Speech Therapy: Palin Delivers

Without electricity, I threw open the windows and whiled away a pleasant Wednesday evening sipping cocktails and listening to the rain fall. However, it meant that I missed Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin’s speech at the GOP convention, so I can’t provide any real response right now. I’ll watch it later on YouTube.

Palin punches
Palin punches

But from what I can gather in a quick scan of the headlines—and by Max Brantley’s sudden silence on the topic of Palin over the Arkansas Times blog—the speech was a home run, in the phrase that keeps popping up in items from my RSS feed. (The front page of the Drudge Report this morning tells you what you need to know.)

Of course, the reaction was predictable along partisan lines: Right-leaning audiences adored it, while liberal-leaning audiences are grumblingly dismissive. But there’s a distinctive glum and sour tone to the liberal commentary, rather than the gleeful celebration that they’ve indulged in over the last few days as they tried to knock Palin down.

Am I ready to join the Palinistas just yet? Don’t rush me! But I’m increasingly heartened by the response to her RNC speech and by the fact that she’s driving the Dems down the path of political derangement. But that’s just my preliminary “reading the media tea leaves” impression—I promise I’ll try to come up with more on all this later today when I’ve had a chance to watch the speech.

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2 thoughts on “Speech Therapy: Palin Delivers

  • September 7, 2008 at 2:31 am
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    I’m extremely glad McCain chose her.

    She effectively blunts all the criticism from your quarter about Obama’s supposed lack of experience. The upcoming hearings about her firing of a state police commisioner for not firing her ex-brother-in-law will bring her similarities to GOP heroes and actual rogues like Karl Rove to the fore. Her choice to use the speech by ex-Bush scribe Matthew Scully which featured spitting and sneering against mainstream American values like volunteerism for the less fortunate displays that she and McCain intend to carry on the scorched earth politics Bush’s Republican party likes. Her attendance of a church service at which a character said Israelis deserve to be incinerated by bombs because they don’t accept Jesus will cancel out any chance we’ll hear about the Reverend Wright non-issue again.

    She also puts no new state in play. A pick of Romney or Ridge might have caused the Obama campaign to spend more in states it did not expect to have to contest. Now Michigan and Pennsylvania are near locks.

    And Republican mouth foaming about the flag lapel twaddle puts the Democratic Underground’s rabid posting on Palin to shame. Why are the DUers so interested in the Palin issue? Because they know that hammering at it enough times in the right way means Obama will win.

    Reply
  • September 7, 2008 at 7:24 am
    Permalink

    Jeff,
    I want to focus on your last graf, because that’s where you make your most intriguing statements. First, you’re probably right that all the “flag lapel” stuff (I assume you’re referring to Obama’s declining to wear the flag pin, and the “mouth foaming” that followed) was overblown, though I’ll submit that it was an unforced error on Obama’s part. It would have cost him nothing to simply slap on the pin and go through the motions. It was a foolish place for him to try to make a statement.

    But, having worked both in journalism and politics (I think you’ve done some time in both of those trenches yourself), I can say that the rabid (your word) DU “hammering” is a flawed approach. That’s something you might do in, say, a football game, where you throw a lot of different things at the opposing team to see what shakes them and what works.

    That approach doesn’t necessarily translate to a political environment, where the approach has to be more like that of an advertising or marketing campaign—find a few alternatives, test them for response and then invest in the ones that work. The DU “throw it all against the wall and see what sticks” approach looks desperate and scattershot, especially when most of the charges prove to be erroneous, overblown or outright fiction. (It’s also what a lot of people on the right tried to do to Clinton in the ’90s. I really don’t recommend that as a model.)
    D.

    Reply

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