Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 4, 2008
POLITICS: Shock and Awwwwww

It is, as I have said, so hard to be really objective about convention speeches - Republicans see one thing, Democrats another, and what really matters is the view of independent "swing" voters.

That said: man, was this a great night for Republicans. Could not possibly have gone better. I watched on CNN and the panel was just totally swept away, to the point where Campbell Brown was gushing about Gov. Palin and John King was anguishing over how CNN is harder on the Republicans than the Democrats. What a difference a day makes.

There were an awful lot of smiles tonight. Bill Clinton and maybe Brian Schweitzer were the only really happy warriors at the Democratic Convention; Obama's speech was almost wholly joyless (did you see him smile once?)

We started with Mitt Romney. Romney was....Romney: smart, tough, technocratic (few convention speeches use words like "largesse" and "moribund") and hard-hitting, but probably inspiring only to boardroom Republicans. Romney landed some punches, but I doubt many people watched him and thought "I really wish we'd nominated this guy." A good start to the night, but just a start.

Then, Huck. I had really hoped that Huck's mission in this convention would be to hit Obama, and hard, on his extremism on abortion. But I suppose with Palin on the ticket, they decided that that issue hardly even needed to be raised. Instead, we got a lot of Huck's blue collar background and folksy stories. And Huck tells a great story.

PS - Yes, Huck still hates Mitt, as you could tell in several little ways.

Then, Rudy, and Rudy came to fight. You know, of course, that I love Rudy. There's perhaps no more effective tool in political rhetoric than mockery, and there is much about Obama to mock; Rudy picked a few juicy targets and drilled them. The best riff was on Obama's "present" votes in the State Senate - words can't really capture Rudy's facial expression in mimicking Obama finding it "too hard" to make decisions. I swear I have laughed less at many standup comics than Rudy's takedown of Obama. And Rudy, who has always stressed the unique and important role of executives, emphasized over and over the superiority of Gov. Palin's experience as a Governor and even a small-town Mayor compared to Obama's time as a legislator. Rudy had the best nod to media-created rumors that the Republicans would dump Palin with his crack that Biden better have the VP job in writing.

Then, the star of the show: Sarah Palin. Yesterday's storyline may have been whether McCain goofed by picking Palin, but after the speech the talk is shifting to whether she's too tough on Obama. It was truly a tour de force of a speech, one that eliminates the notion that she's the deer-in-the-headlights Dan Quayle in a skirt. It's not the last test for Palin, but she passed the first test with flying colors.

Alaska Democrats have spent a good deal of the last week warning national Democrats not to underestimate the nation's most popular Governor, who got that way for a reason - but did they listen? Nooooo. And now they know why. Palin started slowly, and I personally would not have dwelt on her family so long, but Rudy was such a 'hot' act to follow that she had to get the crowd eating out of her hand first. The crowd in the hall, of course, has gone wild over Palin and needed little prompting to get in her corner. Other writers can express better than I the emotional impact of Palin's family. And then she moved in for the kill on Obama's disdain for small-town America and his rhetoric and fancy props where he ought to have accomplishments.

What impressed me most about Palin as a speaker was her timing. She didn't force things, didn't step on her applause lines, let the speech and the crowd build and come to her. The set of her jaw actually reminded me a bit of Bush after delivering an applause line, but of course she has her own unique sort of flair that Bush never did - I was positively bursting with confidence after Bush's convention speech in 2004, but I never have seen him control a crowd the way Palin did tonight. The McCain camp's strategy of hyping up expectations of how well Palin would do in the speech was richly rewarded. And McCain came out for a well-deserved victory lap over his selection of Palin after the audience got to see her for themselves.

It was a good night, one that could not have gone better. We shall see tomorrow how McCain himself closes out the convention now that the spotlight finally shifts back to the man at the top of the ticket.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 1:14 AM | Politics 2008 | Comments (49) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Crank, I live in Brooklyn-6 different women, Hillary supporters all, have emailed or called me in the last 3 hours to tell me they are now voting Mc Cain. Its NY and Obama will still win, but.........

Posted by: dch at September 4, 2008 2:00 AM


Talking about comic relief, Romney Romney and the GOP just as lost as the democrats LOL pitiful

Posted by: rawdawgbuffalo at September 4, 2008 2:32 AM

"Change is not a destination; and Hope is not a strategy." Love that Rudy; both you and the Power Line chaps commented on his comedic timing. His willingness to say what needs to be said deserves a mention as well.

I hope that Team McCain spends some time campaigning in New York, as a New York Sun ditorial suggested. I view Barrack Obama as a thin, insubstantial product, and I believe with a push his shelf life might just expire before November, even here.

And while I'm on the subject: America is the longest running, most successful democratic experiment in human history. There is much, much that is right about America; any reasonable person should pause before endorsing ill-defined "change" on something so precious as the American success story.

Posted by: dd at September 4, 2008 7:58 AM

"Change is not a destination; and Hope is not a strategy." Love that Rudy; both you and the Power Line chaps commented on his comedic timing. His willingness to say what needs to be said deserves a mention as well.

I hope that Team McCain spends some time campaigning in New York, as a New York Sun ditorial suggested. I view Barrack Obama as a thin, insubstantial product, and I believe with a push his shelf life might just expire before November, even here.

And while I'm on the subject: America is the longest running, most successful democratic experiment in human history. There is much, much that is right about America; any reasonable person should pause before endorsing ill-defined "change" on something so precious as the American success story.

Posted by: dd at September 4, 2008 7:58 AM

I missed some of the early speakers, was struck by the way they arranged the speakers. Particularly having Rudy immediately preceding Gov. Palin made for a perfect contrast.

Palin's youngest daughter stole the show in the audience. The camera went to the family and the kid was holding the baby and licks her hand & uses the spit to comb her little brother's hair - twice. Don't know about you, but that's was funny to me.

Posted by: largebill at September 4, 2008 9:07 AM

Whether McCain/Palin win, lose, or draw (an actual possibility this year; it's not hard to put together a 269-269 electoral college tie with the current map), it's good to see new blood coming up in the GOP. If Obama wins, a Jindal/Palin (or vice versa) ticket in 2012 would be formidable.

Posted by: per14 at September 4, 2008 9:30 AM

"It's not the last test for Palin, but she passed the first test with flying colors."

That's it in a nutshell. Now it's on to the debates.

Is it possible for the Veep's speech to outshine the Prez's and if so, how will that look to the swing voter?

Posted by: Phils57 at September 4, 2008 10:05 AM

I think it would be easy for Palin's speech to outshine McCain's, since it's no secret that McCain is a mediocre speechmaker. But I think that's already built into people's opinions of him, so I doubt it would have a huge impact.

Posted by: Jerry at September 4, 2008 10:56 AM

As you'll note, I said if she didn't drool, CNN would say it was a homerun...sure enough, Wolf Blitzer said it, and the ridiculous talking head pundits there to help the cheerleading for the Corporate Media followed suit predictably.

It was actually not as good as I thought it would be, given that she was a trained sportscaster. Very short on specifics, and virtually nothing on economics. And blatant falsehoods that were fully debunked before the speech. The Shrilla from Wasilla on the Campaign to Nowhere. The good news? Kid gloves can come off. Now, how about testifying in that investigation, Sarah? Whattaya, Chicken?

Posted by: AstrosFan at September 4, 2008 11:01 AM

Also, three PUMA's I know all were turned off by her last night, all thought she looked "vindictive", just like the reports that were coming out about her. Red meat speeches work for the base, which McCain desperately needed, but Indie's want to hear how they are going to solve the subprime crisis and turn the economy around, without destroying the environment by drilling everywhere for oil that will help maybe in 2016.

Posted by: AstrosFan at September 4, 2008 11:05 AM

You might start by reading her formal response to the "Troopergate" complaint (follow the link to the PDF, as well as the link to her response on national TV to the Monegan side of the controversy) and tell me if you think Trooper Wooten was the kind of person who should be in a position of armed authority on behalf of the State.

I'm no expert on Alaska ethics law but it appears from this document that the Governor may have the opportunity to get the matter thrown out without the need for live witness testimony, in which case why would she bother? It's not like she won't get grilled on this during the campaign.

Posted by: Crank at September 4, 2008 11:14 AM

AF, you're pretty short on specifics there. What did she say that had already been debunked? Do you have any figures at hand as to how many voters want to hear how we're going to drill without destroying the environment?

The numbers in favor of drilling for domestic energy are daunting for the Luddite Left, that's just a fact.

And now the kid gloves can come off? You must mean your guys can work over her kids some more, that's working out great for you guys.

I don't have any numbers at hand, but it may be that Indies will understand that ripping a woman dealing with her young unmarried pregnant daughter looks a little hypocritical when you guys just threw a going-away party for your senator, who just drowns young pregnant women.

Hey, problem solved, right?

Posted by: spongeworthy at September 4, 2008 11:18 AM

Lefties still don't get it (or at least won't confess if they do). The election will be won by whichever side gets the Reagan Democrats in states like Ohio and Pa. And those folks are going to love Palin. She is one of them.

Barack has no chance with them and Biden gives him no help regardless of the MSM's ridiculous efforts to try to invent Joe as working class.

Sarah is going to campaign in those areas and her face is going to be the heart of ads in those areas. They will love her. McCain the war hero and Sarah the stunningly successful reformer from the small town in America's heartland. Meanwhile, Barack is going to be trying to explain why everyone he admires hates America and complaining that his patriotism is being attacked by a bunch of meanies.

After weeks of "G-- d--- America!" linked to Obama, does anyone who actually knows rural, working class Reagan Democrats really think that Barack is going to have a chance getting those votes?!

Posted by: stan at September 4, 2008 11:29 AM

This is a generic comment on all the yahoos who seek reelection, but it bears saying here, especially for the Oval Office. Everyone campaigns that they will throw the bums out, and clean office; that they are the "reform" candidates and party for "change." Well, I heard the same thing last night from Palin. Only thing is, what "change?" What "reform?" All she promises is
more of the same as the last eight years. Now if that wins,fine and dandy, as long as it is an electoral win, and not a judicial one. But if Washington needs "change" and "reform" then why should we keep in the toads we need change and reform from?

The real analysis was done by Jon Stewart. Yes he is funny, but more because he is truthful:

1. On her daughter having a baby:
A. She said it was her daughter's choice (almost a quote), thereby saying it wasn't our business. Yes, it is NOT our business, but if her daughter would have a CHOICE, and Palin had her way, nobody else would have a CHOICE.
B. A great couple of clips with Bill O"Reilly, one extolling the Palin's for their "Choice," and the second, complaining that Jamie-Lynn Spears' pregnancy was the result of "pinhead parents," and blamed all such teenage pregnancies on them. (and no comments on whether or not the Spears' parenting is any damn good).

2. OK, he's a commentator, and not anything more than a lying shill, but then there was the Karl Rove one (and Rove was the Deputy Chief of Staff, and therefore spoke with some authority --unless of course he hadn't any, and therefore can't claim Executive Privilege), where he laid into Tim Kaine,when he was considered for the VP post--claiming that Kaine was mayor of a dink town like Richmond, and then was only a Lt. Governor, so of course was not qualified. Now of course, Palin, from a town too small to be dinky, was totally qualified. I guess Virginia doesn't count to Rove. It did to guys like Madison and Monroe, not to mention Jackson and Lee, but not to Rove.

When she mentioned that the Republican Party was the one of Lincoln, even my 14 year old had a chuckle over that one.

So please stop the propaganda, and let's at least settle it with truth, no inuendo and votes. Am I asking too much, even from Republicans?

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at September 4, 2008 11:38 AM

1A: I don't see the problem. Palin's daughter had a choice and made the right one. If nobody had the choice, they would all make the right one. Problem solved!

B: Who is Bill O'Reilly? Since when does he set standards for anybody? Is he hypocritical here? Who cares, he's not on the ballot and doesn't speak for the GOP.

2. If you don't want your candidates to be held to a higher standard for the Veep spot than McCain is, don't nominate such a lightweight for the top spot. I can't understand why you guys are having such trouble with this concept. Perhaps if you prefaced each reading of criticism of your ticket by repeating to yourself, "Obama is a lightweight, so..."

You're welcome.

Posted by: spongeworthy at September 4, 2008 11:54 AM

sponge,

1) Nothing elitist about that statement (s far as you know).

2) To answer your question:
Bill O'Reilly is an actor (and part of a huge shell game, like Limbaugh, Dobbs, Savage, Coulter, Russert, etc) who is put on television by his corporate masters to confuse American citizens into thinking the poor, the "liberals", illegal immigrants, etc are stealing their tax money and ruining their lives. You and I can be smart and realize it's the Wall St. tycoons, big pharma, defense contractors, etc who are stealing the money of the citizens, but O'Reilly and ilk have proven effective with those who don't pay too much attention.
As for him not being on the ballot, I believe his spot was taken by Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

3) Notice that issues American citizens are facing played NO role last night.

4) Even an apologist like you can't come up with an excuse for Roves lying.
That's a refreshing start.

Posted by: Berto at September 4, 2008 12:16 PM

"...if her daughter would have a CHOICE, and Palin had her way, nobody else would have a CHOICE."

That is simply not true and a favorite Democrat scare tactic: "If you vote Republican, they're going to make abortion illegal on day 1!!!!"

If Palin had her way, the American people would decide the abortion issue, on a state by state basis, not 5 (or I guess it was 7) judges.

Posted by: per14 at September 4, 2008 12:19 PM

"issues American citizens are facing"

You mean, like gas prices? Or schools? Or taxes? Or job creation? I guess you slept through a lot of Rudy's and Palin's speeches (and the entirety of Romney's).

I know there's a certain segment of the left for which "issues"=health insurance and only health insurance. But there is more to life than that.

per14, I don't actually know where Palin stands on, say, the Human Life Amendment. I do know that (1) there are some conservatives who would fight for federal laws banning abortion and (2) John McCain is not one of them. Pro-lifers want an end to Roe, which would send the issue back to the states and result in a democratically-enacted ban in some of them right away; it remains open what would happen from there.

Personally, I can't stand Bill O'Reilly. Although the one time I caught his radio show he seemed much more calm and reasoned than he does on TV (not hard, I know).

Posted by: Crank at September 4, 2008 12:30 PM

Bridge to Nowhere lie, earmark lie...even the base that visits here knows that. You choose to ignore it, but it is true.

As for her brother in law...I'm a lawyer in a firm that handles divorces and child custody issues...the families divide up and put on their spin hats...as I understand it, taser was the kid's idea, wanted to see what it felt like...

And...whatever happened to, "I want them to ask questions because I have nothing to hide?"

She's a disaster to everyone but the base...

See indy's interviewed

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080903/NEWS15/80904002

Posted by: AstrosFan at September 4, 2008 12:57 PM

Even by the standards set here within the fawning was such in this post that I now need a new keyboard as I threw up on mine. Jesus, you would think she was the new playmate in Playboy magazine reading the content here.

Posted by: jim at September 4, 2008 1:11 PM

I know I'm going to regret this, but Berto, I did respond regarding Rove. Maybe if you were to point out exactly what Rove stated in the excerpted (that means cut out) portion that Daryl quoted as #2 you think is a lie?

I believe Daryl was calling Rove out for hypocrisy, which would be a valid charge if your candidate were not such a lightweight. With a lightweight at the head of your ticket, the Veep spot needs to counter that.

I was pretty plain about this in my comment at 11:54. It appears you either lost concentration at some point or you simply cannot comprehend such sterling logic as displayed by me. At 11:54.

We're pulling for you, Corky!

Posted by: spongeworthy at September 4, 2008 1:15 PM

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=184086&title=sarah-palin-gender-card

Guess it didn't post...here's Jon Stewart's hysterical and hard hitting commentary...more effective than anything I've heard so far...other than perhaps Peggy Noonan saying "it's over".

Posted by: AstrosFan at September 4, 2008 1:17 PM

AstrosFan: So, give me your odds on Obama winning the election.

Posted by: Crank at September 4, 2008 1:22 PM

You asked AstroFan and not me, should I be insulted? I think McCain is probably a 55-45 shot to win. Do I think it's because Obama is black (a white mom, a black dad, shouldn't he be gray?). Maybe, I know people who won't vote for him because of that -- they also wouldn't have voted for Colin Powell, so they are consistent. Both sides have legitimate issues; and if everyone would just have them discuss them the way Lincoln and Douglas did, we would all be well served.

How about on "free TV." plus a webcast, plus broadcast on all cellphones, a series of free wheeling debates, where they discuss things as they see fit. For three hours a clip, four or five times. No topics, let them pick 'em. Nah, I guess it belongs on TV with Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits.

And BTW, I've always written that abortion is an issue that is a state by state matter. Which brings us back to what do you do if a state then says it's OK and you are ardently against it?

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at September 4, 2008 1:33 PM

I asked AstrosFan because I want to pin down all these lefties who come by here with this swaggering certainty that everything is going their way and the GOP ticket faces CERTAIN DOOM. I had a great laugh at those people's expense in 2004, and would like to reserve my right to do that again.

I won't reassess my odds until I see McCain tonight but I continue to believe this is a winnable race by both sides. And I'm pretty certain that the short list of things that will be seen in retrospect as having decided the election will include at least 2 that have not happened yet.

Posted by: Crank at September 4, 2008 1:40 PM

Sorry sponge. The hypocrisy of Rove is that he goes on TV and lies. I can't state which of his statements was the lie (or both were), but obviously when he says, "I believe..." and recites 2 dichotomous statements he's lying at least once.

Your lightweight charge would be more forceful if you put it in context.
Something like this: After watching what having a moron with no successful executive experience as President has done to this countries standing the last 8 years, I just can't vote for Obama, who I also believe lacks experience.

Of course, C+ Augustus did surround himself with experience, and they still ran the country into a ditch.

Feel free to call me "Corky", Dr. Shitforbrains.

Crank,
I did see Palin, Rudy and Mitt lie about taxes and job growth, but I was looking for something with more meat (i.e. honesty) to it.
BTW, do you believe healthcare isn't an economic issue? The majority of Americans who file personal bankruptcy do so due to a health crisis.

Posted by: Berto at September 4, 2008 1:41 PM

Presidential elections are not about popular vote totals, as we've seen, they are state battles...this is where Obama's ground game comes into play. His organizational skills were completely underestimated by the corporate media and Clinton.

I also think this year was the year for him to run. McCain is carrying Bush's water, and the economy and gas prices will not improve before the election. Iraq, although still a quagmire, is being controlled enough to not be an issue, which is becomming both a positive and a negative for both campaigns.

Palin won McCain a days' news cycle, today, which he desperately needed. It made it close, merely because it quickly changed the subject from the phenomenal spectacle that was Obama's speech. But she's got a lot of skeletons, and she's not appealling to Jews in Florida or Independents elsewhere, two big areas ripe for pickup for McCain.

That map is awfully big for McCain, much smaller for Obama, which is why I give him the edge...I see it as Clinton/Dole like election. Kemp gave a good few speeches and reached the base too, as I recall...didn't help change the age of the head of the ticket.

Posted by: AstrosFan at September 4, 2008 1:43 PM

I was looking for something with more meat (i.e. honesty) to it

Berto, given your worldview, I can promise you that you will never hear anything said at a GOP convention that will meet that standard to your satisfaction.

Posted by: Crank at September 4, 2008 1:46 PM

Uh, even if your kid begged to be tasered, it's probably not a good idea to do it. Especially if part of your job requirement involves good judgement.

Posted by: Nate at September 4, 2008 1:49 PM

As someone who's fairly on the fence in this campaign, I thought Palin gave a good speech. There could have been more specifics, especially economically, but the primary purpose was to establish herself, look credible, and look like she can pull her weight politically, and I thought she did that well. There's always time for more specifics in the debates (plus, McCain, who doesn't need to introduce himself to the American people, is likely to get more specific himself).

I think Palin will be a plus as long as no further embaressments emerge on her record. And I would say my odds of Obama winning are a bit under 55% - he is the favorite, but I'd give McCain a much more solid chance than he should have, given the mood of the country.

Posted by: Jerry at September 4, 2008 2:16 PM

I'd say it's 55-45 Obama right now. That could change if McCain gives a great speech. For some reason, this feels like a critical stage, but I'm not sure it really is.

A 269-269 tie is really a possibility. If McCain wins CO, OH, and VA (very possible, maybe not likely he'll win all 3), Obama wins NV and NM, and all the other states go like they generally have in the past, it will be 269-269.
At which point I think each state gets one vote, as decided by a caucus of their Congressmen.

Posted by: per14 at September 4, 2008 2:27 PM

per, my own feeling is if it gets thrown into the House, then John Quincy Adams has the best shot.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at September 4, 2008 3:12 PM

Berto, who are you talking about with no successful executive experience? Do you know anything about this stuff? Are you from Kazakhstan and you're just winging it here?

And do you realize that you told me I hadn't responded to Rove's lies and them failed to point to a single false statement? Epic FAIL.

Posted by: spongeworthy at September 4, 2008 3:22 PM

By the way, I'm not defending the tasing stuff, but don't believe everything you read in talking points:

From:

http://www.adn.com/politics/story/476430.html

One day -- maybe a year or two before the investigation -- Wooten showed his stepson his Taser. He had just been to Taser instructor school. Wooten told Sgt. Wall that the boy was fascinated and pleaded to be tased.

"So we went in our living room and I had him get down on his knees so he wouldn't fall. And I taped the probes to him and turned the Taser on for like a second, turned it off. He thought that was the greatest thing in the world, wanted to do it again," Wooten told the investigator. The boy flinched but nothing more, he said. The boy was about 11 at the time.

In his interview with troopers, the stepson said it hurt for about a second, according to Wall's report. The boy said he wanted to be tased to show his cousin, Palin's daughter Bristol, that he wasn't a mama's boy. The probe left a welt on his arm, he said. His mother was upstairs yelling at them not to do it, the boy said.

Posted by: AstrosFan at September 4, 2008 4:57 PM


It is, as I have said, so hard to be really objective about convention speeches - Republicans see one thing, Democrats another, and what really matters is the view of independent "swing" voters.
That said: man, was this a great night for Republicans. Could not possibly have gone better. I watched on CNN and the panel was just totally swept away, to the point where Campbell Brown was gushing about Gov. Palin and John King was anguishing over how CNN is harder on the Republicans than the Democrats. What a difference a day makes.

BUCHANAN FIRED UP THE BASE IN 1992, THAT DIDN’T TURN OUT SO WELL. LET’S SEE HOW THE REST OF THE COUNTRY REACTS BEFORE MAKING INAUGURATION PLANS.

There were an awful lot of smiles tonight. Bill Clinton and maybe Brian Schweitzer were the only really happy warriors at the Democratic Convention; Obama's speech was almost wholly joyless (did you see him smile once?).

FACED WITH THE UTTER ECONOMIC AND FOREIGN POLICY DEVASTATION LEFT BY THE CRIMINAL BUSH/CHENEY ADMINISTRATION, AND HOW FAR WE HAVE TO COME TO RETURN OUR COUNTRY TO A PLACE OF HONOR AND DIGNITY IN THE WORLD, HELP THE SUFFERING IN OUR SOCIETY AND RETURN THE RULE OF LAW TO WASHINGTON, IT IS A GRIM TASK FOR SERIOUS PEOPLE, NOT MISS CONGENIALITY, THE HOCKEY MOM. SPEAKING OF MOM, WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH HER FAMILY? ARE THEY PROPS THAT CAN BE TROTTED OUT FOR BACK-DROPS OR, SINCE MOST OF HER SPEECH WAS ABOUT HER FAMILY, ARE THEY PART OF THE CAMPAIGN. SHE CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. LEAVE THEM AT HOME OR ALL BETS ARE OFF.

We started with Mitt Romney. Romney was....Romney: smart, tough, technocratic (few convention speeches use words like "largesse" and "moribund") and hard-hitting, but probably inspiring only to boardroom Republicans. Romney landed some punches, but I doubt many people watched him and thought "I really wish we'd nominated this guy." A good start to the night, but just a start.

WAIT. MITT ROMNEY CALLING SOMEONE ELSE AN ELITIST SHOWED HIM BEING “SMART, TOUGH” AND WAS A “GOOD START”? IF HE HAD TAKEN A DUMP ON STAGE, WOULD YOU HAVE PRAISED THAT AS FEARLESS AND UNPRECEDENTED?

Then, Huck. I had really hoped that Huck's mission in this convention would be to hit Obama, and hard, on his extremism on abortion. But I suppose with Palin on the ticket, they decided that that issue hardly even needed to be raised. Instead, we got a lot of Huck's blue collar background and folksy stories. And Huck tells a great story.

I WISH ONLY WE HAD HEARD THE ONE ABOUT HOW GOD CREATED THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH IN SEVEN DAYS AND, DAMMIT, THOSE SCHOOL CHILDREN ARE GOING TO BE TAUGHT CREATION “SCIENCE” COME HELL OR HIGH WATER!!

PS - Yes, Huck still hates Mitt, as you could tell in several little ways.

Then, Rudy, and Rudy came to fight. You know, of course, that I love Rudy. There's perhaps no more effective tool in political rhetoric than mockery, and there is much about Obama to mock; Rudy picked a few juicy targets and drilled them. The best riff was on Obama's "present" votes in the State Senate - words can't really capture Rudy's facial expression in mimicking Obama finding it "too hard" to make decisions. I swear I have laughed less at many standup comics than Rudy's takedown of Obama. And Rudy, who has always stressed the unique and important role of executives, emphasized over and over the superiority of Gov. Palin's experience as a Governor and even a small-town Mayor compared to Obama's time as a legislator. Rudy had the best nod to media-created rumors that the Republicans would dump Palin with his crack that Biden better have the VP job in writing.

MOCKERY IS SUCH AN EFFECTIVE POLITICAL TOOL, UNLESS OF COURSE IT IS DIRECTED AT SOMEONE YOU LIKE, SUCH AS HRH SARAH I. THEN IT IS SEXIST AND THE LOWEST FORM OF SLIMY LIBERAL ANTI-AMERICAN PROPAGANDA. I THINK I’VE GOT IT NOW. AS FOR RUDY “NOUN, VERB, 9/11” GIULIANI – THAT PARAGON OF FAMILY VALUES TRUTH AND HONESTY – HOW DOES A SERIAL WOMANIZER WHO TELLS HIS WIFE AT A PRESS CONFERENCE THAT HE IS DIVORCING HER AFTER PLUGGING JUDY ON THE CITY’S DIME FOR MONTHS AND IS SO DESPICABLE HIS OWN CHILDREN WON’T SPEAK TO HIM HAVE ANY STANDING TO CRITICIZE ANYONE? THE TONE OF MOCKERY WAS SICKENING. WHAT WAS ONCE THE SELF-PROCLAIMED “PARTY OF IDEAS” HAS SUNK SO LOW. THERE WAS NO MOCKERY OF JOHN “NOUN, VERB, POW” MCCAIN DURING THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION (SPONGEWORTHY, I WAS BEING IRONIC THERE; HAVE SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO YOU WHAT THAT MEANS).

Then, the star of the show: Sarah Palin. Yesterday's storyline may have been whether McCain goofed by picking Palin, but after the speech the talk is shifting to whether she's too tough on Obama. It was truly a tour de force of a speech, one that eliminates the notion that she's the deer-in-the-headlights Dan Quayle in a skirt. It's not the last test for Palin, but she passed the first test with flying colors.

WE’LL SEE. SHE CAN TALK ABOUT HER FAMILY WHICH IS A TOPIC ABOUT WHICH SHE KNOWS SOMETHING. THE “SUBSTANTIVE” PART OF HER SPEECH WAS MUCH MORE HALTING. LET’S SEE IF SHE KNOWS MORE ABOUT FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL SECURITY THAN SHE’S SHOWN SO FAR. EARLY EVIDENCE IS NOT GOOD.

Alaska Democrats have spent a good deal of the last week warning national Democrats not to underestimate the nation's most popular Governor, who got that way for a reason - but did they listen? Nooooo. And now they know why. Palin started slowly, and I personally would not have dwelt on her family so long, but Rudy was such a 'hot' act to follow that she had to get the crowd eating out of her hand first. The crowd in the hall, of course, has gone wild over Palin and needed little prompting to get in her corner. Other writers can express better than I the emotional impact of Palin's family. And then she moved in for the kill on Obama's disdain for small-town America and his rhetoric and fancy props where he ought to have accomplishments.

CRANK, SEE ABOVE. IF THE FAMILY IS USED FOR ITS “EMOTIONAL IMPACT,” THEN QUESTIONS ARE FAIR GAME. THE OBAMA GIRLS WERE AT THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION LET THE RED STATE GUYS GO AT THEM. MAYBE ONE OF THEM GOT A “C” IN PENMANSHIP.

What impressed me most about Palin as a speaker was her timing. She didn't force things, didn't step on her applause lines, let the speech and the crowd build and come to her. The set of her jaw actually reminded me a bit of Bush after delivering an applause line, but of course she has her own unique sort of flair that Bush never did - I was positively bursting with confidence after Bush's convention speech in 2004, but I never have seen him control a crowd the way Palin did tonight. The McCain camp's strategy of hyping up expectations of how well Palin would do in the speech was richly rewarded. And McCain came out for a well-deserved victory lap over his selection of Palin after the audience got to see her for themselves.

AGAIN, SHE’S FINE TALKING ABOUT THE FAMILY AND THE PTA, LET’S SHE IF SHE CAN HANDLE ISUEES LIKELY TO BE FACED BY, SAY, A VICE PRESIDENT.

It was a good night, one that could not have gone better. We shall see tomorrow how McCain himself closes out the convention now that the spotlight finally shifts back to the man at the top of the ticket.

THE LIBERAL MEDIA IS AT IT AGAIN. MCCAIN FACES OFF AGAINST THE NFL OPENER!!!

Posted by: Magrooder at September 4, 2008 5:21 PM

Crank,

“Jesus was a Community Organizer, and Pontius Pilate was a Governor.” http://mudflats.wordpress.com/2008/09/04/palin-palooza-wrap-up/

Posted by: Magrooder at September 4, 2008 6:50 PM

That's what the Obama campaign has been lacking - not enough comparisons to Jesus.

Posted by: Jerry at September 4, 2008 7:40 PM

Now THAT is funny. Touche.

Posted by: Magrooder at September 4, 2008 8:03 PM

Also, from what I've read, Jesus never thought he should be in government. Something about being above all that crap.

Posted by: largebill at September 4, 2008 9:01 PM

Crank,
Agreed. This "Screw the poor, they should be rich" stuff will never satisfy me.

Posted by: Berto at September 4, 2008 9:08 PM

Jesus was a savior, not a "community organizer."

Al Capone was "community organizer."

Posted by: ides of march at September 5, 2008 4:08 AM

Jesus is the Son of God, not a community organizer. Sometimes I wonder if Obama thinks he's the son of God. ;)

Posted by: per14 at September 5, 2008 6:25 AM

When I think Palin is perhaps less than qualified I remember to think about from y'all's perspective and then I realize that GOPers think that the roll of the vice-president is to abuse power, obstruct justice and shoot old men in the face. She seems like too good of a hunter to accomplish the last one (it's also hard to shoot someone in the face when you are hunting from a helicoptor).

Posted by: jim at September 5, 2008 9:45 AM

Yes, it's "role" not "roll" I know. Yeah, like she's a croissant or something. Who's the one here who always says to have coffee before typing and editing? Good tip.

Posted by: jim at September 5, 2008 9:47 AM

Jim - Well, the joke making the rounds is that since Cheney hunts birds and Palin hunts moose, at least we know that if she shoots a lawyer he will stay down.

Posted by: Crank at September 5, 2008 2:08 PM

To categorize the type of bird shooting Cheney does as hunting would be akin to classifying gunning down animals from a helipcoptor as sporting.

When I was growing up in Maine they made moose hunting legal after about 50 years of it being illegal. I believe they issued a 1,000 permits for 1 moose/permit and something like 997 moose were killed. It was more difficult to shoot a moose than it was your average house pet.

Posted by: jim at September 5, 2008 2:14 PM

Yeah, not my day. That would be "it was more difficult to shoot your average house pet than a moose." G-dammit!

Posted by: jim at September 5, 2008 2:16 PM

In my haste to butcher a turn of phrase I forgot to remark that I did not realize I was joking about the vice-presidential qualifications.

Posted by: jim at September 5, 2008 2:17 PM
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