In what was almost certainly the most-watched speech by a candidate for the number two spot in the US government in the history of that much-derided job, Mrs Palin seized her moment with flair and a self-assurance that suggested her many critics in the last week might have seriously underestimated her.
She delighted an ecstatic audience of Republican delegates with a highly personal account of her life and her record as governor of Alaska, introducing her large and growing family, the focus of much attention in the last week, and detailing her achievements as a reformer in the mould of John McCain.
But she was at her most effective when delivering scathing attacks on her Democratic opponents, taunting Barack Obama about his lofty rhetoric of “change” and repeatedly contrasting his record with that of Senator McCain’s.
“Here’s how I look at the choice Americans face in this election,” she said. “In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.”
And in a daring move, she turned Democratic attacks on her own inexperience against them, contrasting her career as a small-town mayor with Senator Obama’s years as a community organizer.
“Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown. And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”
For good measure she also took time to swipe at her tormentors in the media in the last week, where a profusion of commentators has derided her light qualifications: I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion – I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.”
Her speech was relatively light on policy, though she demonstrated a firm grasp of energy issues, gained from her years in the oil and gas industry and as governor of America’s largest oil-producing state. She made much of her achievements in Alaska, where she has established a reputation for tackling a corrupt political establishment
“Sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power brokers. That’s why true reform is so hard to achieve,” she said, but “in short order we put the government of our state on the side of the people. “
And another thing about Palin bow being attacked by the left for “insulting a community organizer” oh noo!! say it ain’t so!!
Tonight I flipped to CNN and was struck by the talking heads flipping out about the Giuliani/Palin mocking of community organizers—as if the Obama team’s dismissals of “small-town” mayors was fair play. The MSM networks are going ballistic at her speech and apparently never imagined that anyone would dare bite back—and also at them, the ‘elite media’ of the press, no less!
Compared to what Kerry et al. said about McCain, Palin was no tougher on the other side, so it is odd to hear CNN female pundits suddenly shocked, shocked that a “woman” would dare attack a man like that, and that it may “not play” outside the hall. Like it or now we are back in a cultural and populist war, brought on by a week of liberal character assassination.
The Left made a terrible mistake in the manner they have smeared Palin, and now they seem appalled at the red-state authentic populist backlash which is a different sort than studied Bidenism, where one recalls a distant childhood, not the recent past, or the living present, to prove they are one with the people.
So things heat up and are getting ugly as they always seem to do by September in an election year. Today it was no accident in the wake of the attacks on Palin that suddenly Obama comes out with pro-abortion ads attacking the pro-life position of McCain. The timing is a sort of subtext about the current and recent Palin jr. and sr. pregnancies: apparently Team Obama want the viewer to see a pregnant teen-ager and a Down syndrome child and ponder something like: “under John McCain abortion in these cases would have been impossible.”