(Credit to the Drudge Report for that metaphor.)
Well, I think Sarah Palin can take care of herself. Did you see how she dealt with the controversy over her daughter getting pregnant? In the most in-your-face way imaginable! She brought the father from Alaska and made him sit with the rest of the family!
And her speech was spectacular. She delivered it perfectly, with impeccable expression, timing,and presence. She was poised, intelligent, and funny. She just lacerated Barack Obama and her Democratic critics, and yet maintained her charm.
Hillary Clinton is also tough, but when she does it, she comes across as angry, icy, and off-putting. When Sarah Palin gets tough, she does it with a smile and she becomes even more likable. A TV pundit noted that she displayed her maternal qualities–her son about to go to Iraq; her promise to parents of special needs kids like her baby that they will have a friend in the White House; her presentation of herself as a hockey mom who got into politics through the P.T.A.–in a way that softened the way she came across in her political attacks. But I think that understates what we saw. Sarah Palin’s toughness is precisely the toughness of a mom.
To put it simply, Sarah Palin has charisma. Barack Obama has charisma, and that has been the Democrats’ big advantage. Now the Republicans have charisma on their ticket. And she may have more of it than Barack Obama does.
But is she qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? I think many Americans would rather have her as president than John McCain!
Look. I’m not saying this is a good thing, but here is the national mood and the political reality: Americans are not caring about experience. If they did, Obama would never have received the Democratic nomination. And who DOES have adequate experience for the presidency, surely a sui generis job that no one who holds that office is fully prepared for and that everyone who holds it must grow into. Furthermore, I don’t think Americans are caring all that much about issues, in the sense of specific policy proposals. If they did, John McCain would never have received the Republican nomination. Americans right now are craving fresh leadership, someone to like and look up to, someone to inspire them. This has been the appeal of Barack Obama. And this is the appeal of Sarah Palin.
And, frankly, I think Sarah Palin may prove to have even more appeal to Americans than Barack Obama does. Some politicos have fretted how Governor Palin will do in the vice presidential debate with Joe Biden, with all of his foreign policy expertise. Are they kidding? Put those two side by side and Senator Biden is doomed, not just because she will likely speak much better than he does but because her persona is just so much more appealing. The Democrats thought Joe Biden would appeal to blue collar voters, to make up for Obama’s weakness with that demographic? Do they realize how Governor Palin, who embodies the blue collar family, is going to come across?
Great moments from last night: Governor Palin’s speech somehow managed to overshadow that of Rudy Guiliani, which itself had to be one of the best political presentations that I can remember. He just took apart Barack Obama, point by point by point. His method was satire, and it was devastating.
Sarah Palin’s six-year-old daughter, Piper, was utterly cute, jumping up and down, waving, obviously so proud of her mom. I loved it when the camera caught her licking her fingers and smoothing the hair of her baby brother.
When the speech was over, the whole family came on stage, whereupon the vice presidential nominee promptly went up to take her baby, holding little Trig, afflicted with Down’s Syndrome, facing the camera for all the world to see.