Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Impressions of Palin



She's very good.

Seriously. Some of that is the context—she shared a stage with some AWFUL speakers—but she blew away the field. She is far and away the best public speaker and presenter on the GOP team, and will clearly be the highlight of this otherwise moribund convention. I fear she will be a terrific motivator for a swath of the party that has pretty much sat on the sidelines until now.

There was a laundry list of bullshit in that speech, but nobody watching that will know it, and no one in the media will call her on it.

Palin brought out pure red meat for the base. Perfectly prepared, and served with a smile. She hit every GOP applause line, and checked off the usual list of imaginary foes, and totally fraudulent talking points.

Her record is thin, her experience lacking, and the substance of her message is crap, but it won't matter, I think she just earned herself a giant fucking pass from the doubters in her party and from a media just waiting to get put back in its place.

John McCain might have made a risky campaign decision, or a bad post-election governing decision, but he clearly made a great casting decision, and I think she just aced her audition.

It remains to be seen how this message is received in the wider, non-convention arena, but she did her job tonight.

She's a gamechanger.

12 comments:

The Disgruntled Chemist said...

I have to think it had a lot to do with her audience. She was just navigating from one applause line to the next; that shit's not going to fly in interviews, debates, or town hall meetings.

Mr Furious said...

Clearly. But MRs F (who does NOT follow the daily ins and outs of politics) was adamant about Palin's skill at connecting to the television audience.

Mrs. F is seldom wrong about stuff like that. She can read people, and can anticipate response.

--

I think the media smelled blood in the water and was poised to rip her apart if she did badly, but she didn't. She also made sure to call them out in her speech—aggreesively and repeatedly—and they will be cowed by that.

Bank on it.

And for that reason alone, "that shit" WILL fly from here on out.

Rickey Henderson said...

All she did was slam the usual list of GOP punching bags. The handed her the opening monologue from the Sean Hannity Show and she read it on national television with a sickly sweet smile on her face. There was very little substance in her speech Rickey's gotta believe that the "liberal media" isn't going to let this shit stand.

Mr Furious said...

Ye of too much faith, Rickey. I'm done losing money on the media standing up for the truth and the electorate learning the facts...

She's in the race to be the iron fist in the velvet glove, and it is clear McCain is going Rove/Atwater from here on out.

It will be all small bullshit, wedges and culture war. And she is charged with delivering the bulk of it. She WILL fire up the GOP base.

Smitty said...

She hit every GOP applause line, and checked off the usual list of imaginary foes, and totally fraudulent talking points

Check, check and check.

Her record is thin, her experience lacking, and the substance of her message is crap, but it won't matter, I think she just earned herself a giant fucking pass from the doubters in her party and from a media just waiting to get put back in its place

You said it, perfectly and succinctly.

It will be all small bullshit, wedges and culture war

The Olbermann/Matthews team said exactly that last night; that this is the beginning of a culture war played-out on the national scene in front of cameras for the next 2 months. I am afraid that this election's sheer brutality will make '04 look like a congeniality contest, and the rift between Americans will grow angrier and even violent.

Mr Furious said...

They can't win on the issues, Smitty. Hate and division is the only arrow in the quiver.

Earlier this week McCain's strategist tipped his hand when he said "This election is not about issues," said Davis. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."

Red State Blues said...

Not sure I agree, because here is what I am hearing from some non-political women I work with:

She was mean

She was vindictive

She was spiteful

She was too shrill

She was full of herself

She was arrogant

And they hated her speaking voice (which is an added bonus).

All of these women are middle-of-the-roaders, not much interested in following politics. They are educated and they are working mothers. Palin did not do well with these women.

Rickey Henderson said...

Ugh, after mulling over it over the course of the day, Palin's speech just seems more and more despicable. At a certain point, you almost become unable to logically talk about it. Perhaps you're right Furious, but Rickey's gotta believe that this will galvanize some of the Democratic base. People that censor libraries and bash community organizers can't be allowed to win office... ugh.

Mr Furious said...

I wrote this post last night right after I shut the tv off when the speech was over...I've also been mulling it over all day, and had a chance to read some reactions.

I think the McCain campaign has made a conscious decision to aim for their base at the expense of the middle and the perhaps mythical swing voters.

I've seen others question this strategy because the GOP base has dwindled (I'm not sure what that's based on) and that McCain needed to draw new voters over from the independants and disaffected Dems...

I think the campaign took a look at the landscape and did the math and determined they cannot win on the issues—which was their appeal to the middle—and they cannot win without their base.

Palin's selection is a clear sop to the religious right. I was worried she could mobilize the base AND pull some voters from the middle—she is an engaging speaker, and could have an appeal if used correctly. But that won't happen if they use her like this. She will drive the middle away.

This is now a battle to see who can get out their base. The GOP has done a better job than us the last two elections. That can't happen again or Obama will lose.

The media will also be key in this election. Gore wiped the floor with Bush in the debates, but you'd never know it from their accounts. If they continue to set low bars for Palin and McCain and treat them as overmatched underdogs and then celebrate the fact that they didn't drool on themselves as a victory it will be tough going.

If they treat lie-filled speeches like last night as one side of a "he said/she said" instead of saying "this side is lying" we might well be screwed.

The best thing that might happen now is that McCain & Co will overplay their hand based on the enthusiastic response last night and turn Palin into a "pitbull with lipstick." That she turns off as many swing voters as she energizes from the right.

I don't think that math works in their favor.

Mrs Furious said...

Mr F,
"But MRs F (who does NOT follow the daily ins and outs of politics) "
Bullshit. I might not obsessively read political blogs all damn day but I'd say I'm better versed than most. Up until a month ago I did listen to NPR all day long for crying out loud. I do get my daily Moveon.org and DSCC emails. Ahem... Who knew who she was before you did? That's right... me.

Rickey Henderson said...

Hot damn, you know the race is getting ugly when the Furiouses are attacking each other... Rickey recommends that we stop the partisan bickering!

Missives From Suburbia said...

LOL at the "partisan bickering".

"If they continue to set low bars for Palin and McCain and treat them as overmatched underdogs and then celebrate the fact that they didn't drool on themselves as a victory it will be tough going."


You nailed it, and Gore/Bush was the perfect example. Everyone expected Bush to stink up the stage in debates, and instead, when he only sucked, people and the media were impressed.

McCain is at his most dangerous when he is ranked as the underdog.
Palin put a pretty face on a lot of bilge last week, and the audience lapped it up. She is his validation for the social conservatives, and we can only hope she is going to be a galvanizing force for the Democratic base.