Governor and now Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin introduced herself to America tonight. She did OK on the big stage. And she may yet prove to be an asset to John McCain.
It was still very surreal to see her up there. It really felt like something out of a movie. Here was someone coming out of nowhere to claim a 50% shot at the second spot in our society and government. I couldn’t help feeling like I’d like the plot a lot more if she’d somehow done more to earn it.
Despite much of the right’s protests against allegedly liberal media, it should be noted that MSNBC (not Fox News) served up tons of shots of Palin’s handsome family. In particular, the cameras repeatedly showed Palin’s youngest daughter holding her younger brother, who has special needs.
Palin and her family came across as real, nice, and ordinary Americans. I truly got goose bumps when she spoke about her young son and her eldest who is soon off to Iraq. So, job well done there.
As for her speech, Palin had no major bumps despite someone having to be escorted out for trying to (I think) run toward the stage in the middle of it. During the speech, Plain showed she wouldn’t be shy about slamming Obama with the lines provided to her by the GOP’s yucksters. A particularly good one was the one about a community organizer being like a mayor except without any real responsibilities. A good zinger there, but of course it ignored both Obama’s time as a State and US Senator and her own lack of credentials to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Mostly, and remember I’m really trying hard to stay undecided until the debates, watching her speech as well as the entire night tonight, I was struck by one major item. This campaign and perhaps this party is flat out of ideas. What I heard from Sarah Palin and company was a lot of negativity about their opponents, repeated promises to bring vaguely defined change and of course the same tired GOP standards.
I think if Palin is really to help McCain and frankly if McCain is to help his own cause, they need to come up with some ideas of their own. No doubt, as we heard over and over and over again tonight, John McCain is a bonafide war hero. America certainly owes him a debt for his service. America does not, however, owe him the presidency no matter how honorable his service and how horribly he was tortured. Despite his military record, McCain still has to earn the job.
Equally, it’s absolutely true that the Republican base is going to go hook, link and sinker for the following appeals that defined tonight’s session: liberals are the problem, the media is the problem, our enemies are the problem. For the core, chanting “USA, USA” and “America First” is going to be enough to get their vote out for McCain and Palin.
My guess and hope for America is that the undecided will need more in order to commit to McCain. McCain owes it to himself and us to define himself in terms beyond his war service no matter how honorable and the standard GOP scare tactic appeals.
As you can probably tell from this post, tonight’s session only further drove this undecided away from McCain. What is it about getting thousands of Republicans in a room together that results in an underlying negativity that has always scared the crap out of me?
As for the Democrats, they too issued a lot of their same cliched appeals at their convention. But, at the end of it, I got a real sense of where Barack Obama wants to take this country. I don’t know if he can get us there, but it was an exciting possibility and vision for tomorrow.
The vision is what McCain and Palin need. Sarah Palin didn’t trip up tonight. She proved likable if not presidential, but there’s still time to get her there.
The GOP tripped up tonight. If Sarah Palin is going to be a game changer then she has to bring a vision. For all her success tonight, I just didn’t see it. I’m guessing it’s not there.
Rudy Giuliani said tonight that his time as a lawyer taught him that when the facts aren’t on your side you make up new ones.
Tonight, we learned that when you’re out of any new ideas or any fresh vision, you just go to the old standbys and get the crowd chanting “USA, USA”.
I love America as much and maybe more than the next guy, but here’s hoping that undecideds ask for a few more specifics from the party that plunged us into an unnecessary war before chanting along. And I say this only because I want John McCain and America to be the best they can be.
God bless America.