Okay, I know I’ve been pretty much all Palin, all the time this week, but what can I say? Some stories are simply too juicy, too commentable, too, well, easy to pass up. One more, and I’m done for a while.
As Ezra predicted, Palin did an okay job with her speech. Only, that was never really in doubt. I mean, come on – she is a politician, with a few years of experience and one major race under her belt. Surely, she’s read a speech from a teleprompter before, and I was entirely confident that she could do it again. Quoth Ezra:
Indeed, what she must do tonight isn’t even hard: She must come across as sentient, as human, and as critical of Barack Obama. It is widely agreed that she is, in fact, sentient, human, and critical of Barack Obama, so unless she wanders out in an octopus costume and reads a poem, tonight’s going to go well for her. Indeed, it should go better than well. A couple cutting lines about Obama’s experience, an emotional retelling of her struggles to balance family and governance, and she’ll be judged a success.
But here’s the thing – she really only did well on the sections where she attacked Obama. When it came time to tell her family story – meh. When she was talking up the qualifications of John McCain (oh my gosh – did you know he was a soldier? And a P.O.W.? And he’ll put his country first?!?) – meh. She got in some fine digs against Obama, but otherwise, I thought the speech was totally uninspiring. Of course, I wasn’t going to be inspired by it, but I don’t think it was very effective.
Her biggest gaffe that I noticed was not as silly as Biden’s. She called Harry Reid “the majority of the U.S. Senate.” Which is kind of mean – I mean, brother’s got a bit of a weight problem, but what are you gonna do? It’s all those Mormontacular deep-fried Twinkies!
Whereas Biden, in his speech last week, said that McCain wanted to pass ‘200 billion dollars in new taxes for big oil’, when I assume that he wanted to say ‘200 billion dollars in new tax breaks for big oil.’
Also, did anyone notice that she never, once, said the word ‘Obama’ in her speech, instead referring to ‘our opponent’? Reminds me of the flashback episode, I think at the beginning of season 2 of The West Wing, where Josh is lying on a hospital bed, flashing back to when he joined the Bartlet campaign, and Governor Bartlet was ranting on and on about how much he hated saying ‘my opponent’. Amazingly, I actually found the episode’s full transcript:
BARTLET What the hell is this? JOSH That's Sam's draft of your victory remarks. BARTLET "I congratulate my opponent on a well-fought campaign in Illinois"? LEO You don't want to congratulate him? BARTLET Yes, I want to congratulate him, but I'd like to call him by his name! Are we back to this old crap again? JOSH Governor, we just-- BARTLET Leo, I want to go over this whole thing with you. LEO Excuse me. He follows Bartlet out of the room. BARTLET [VO] It's the exact same crap all over again! It's amateur hour...! ABBEY [to Josh] You can say it, you know. It's not like I haven't heard it before. JOSH Your husband's a real son of a bitch, Mrs. Bartlet.
Sarah Palin: A real son of a bitch.