Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008 :: Day 3: Red Meat

Props where they’re due: Sarah Palin came in with expectations lower than a bug, and delivered like a ninja.

Her mission: set herself up as the mother-next-door, then lance Barack Obama as an uptown liberal.

Boom boom.

She trotted out her son Track, who is about to deploy to Iraq. Her daughters (with no appearance from Bristol’s baby daddy). Her part Yup’ik Eskimo husband, the world champion snow machine racer. Even her infant with Downs Syndrome.

Before a crowd in which the only hand-painted signs either read “Palin Power” or “Hockey Moms 4 Palin”, she retold her single hockey mom/pit bull joke. The Michigan delegation, outfitted in hockey jerseys for the occasion, went craaazy.

Then she started it up. She tossed the red meat again, following the path of her warm-up, the king of the parade of the also-rans featuring Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee—Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani suggested Obama didn’t think Palin’s hometown Wasilla was “cosmopolitan enough”. (Obama has never said anything of the sort.) But Palin evoked old-school red-baiting: “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer’, except that you have actual responsibilities.”

(Ain’t it funny how the meaning of ‘red’ has changed?)

Giuliani called Obama out of touch. Palin said, “In small towns, we don’t quote know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening. We tend to prefer candidates who don’t talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.”

She raised the experience issue. “Listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform—not even in the state senate.”

The partisan crowd—which even at its most alive seemed straining to fill the arena—roared like a kennel of red nose pits.

They had chanted “Sarah” all night. For Obama, they chanted “Zero”.

Palin even dissed Obama’s “Styrofoam Greek columns” and all but dismissed his supporters as brainwashed followers.

“In politics,” she said, “there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those who, like John McCain, use their careers to promote change.”

Palin came off like Tina Fey beyond her most Hillaryest, delivering her punch lines like a savvy fighter. All this after a week in which Republicans had set expectations so low by giving the press over to her daughter’s baby troubles, that Palin could hit it off a tee and get on base. She stepped up and blasted it over the next block.

And yet if this were actually a battle cypher, let it be noted Palin got through round one with a pocket full of writtens.

It’s hardly clear how Palin will do on October 2nd at Washington University when she is separated from her teleprompters and facing off against Joe Biden, who has years of debates under his belt.

All that is certain is that the next two months will be no friendly game of baseball.

posted by @ 8:42 pm | 6 Comments

6 Responses to “ :: Day 3: Red Meat”

  1. Soccer Dad says:

    That “pocket full of writtens” line nailed it. Thanks for all this great insight. It’s just what I’ve been looking for, and what’s missing from major coverage.


  2. Zentronix says:

    hey man. yeah, there’s so much more to say.

    like this: the guy sitting behind me told his girlfriend, ‘she’s like a female reagan.’ davey d said he saw karl rove during palin’s speech wearing a big smirk on his face.

    she offers red meat for the base. if the dems really want to play, they can point that out, call out their rightward ideological tack.

    there’s a reason this arena wasn’t filled like pepsi center was for the dems. but it’s now the fourth quarter and anything can happen. tmw’s will be interesting…

  3. justin says:

    there’s also a few big chunks of the speech that are either untrue or super deceptive. the obama campaign’s already going to work on them, and she’ll never be able to pull them in an actual debate. but, yeah, love the battle cypher analogy, that’s perfect.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “And yet if this were actually a battle cypher, let it be noted Palin got through round one with a pocket full of writtens.”

    Possibly the best line you have ever written (no disrespect, you handle yours). But I loved that.

    She did come hard. The whole line up did really. But at the end of the day, I think when she has to stand on her own- she’s gonna fail.

    The bigger issue and genius is that there is no time for her to BE VETTED. By the time we figure out who she really is- she’ll be pulling her dbl wide up to the Oval Office.

    The other thing here is that we have an oblivious Black left NOT VOTING while they pretend they they bringing a revolution. They will be the ones who make it so Obama is at risk.

    The RNC is bringin’ it. The Black left and rap world is failing.

  5. ejnord says:

    Haven’t visited your blog in a long while. I see you are now “blogging” for Vibe. Or should it be called blog syndication.

    By the way, there are more responses to this post/column on your blog, than on That’s kinda sad, if you ask me.

  6. The Nightshift Chronicler says:

    you forgot to point out Giuliani’s little minstrel shimmy when he said Obama couldn’t decide how to vote. It was as if he were channeling Al Jolson in that moment.

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