So, the big question is: how did she do?
The commentators spent the evening debating whether or not Governor Palin would talk about the media storm around her family, the alleged scandals or slips, or the accusations that she’s a bad mother.
(Quick note on that. Yes, I used to be a Naval officer. I used to drive an aircraft carrier. Now I stay home, chase kids, and homeschool. My husband and I believe it is the right thing for our family, and that others should seriously consider the merits of both stay-at-home moms and homeschooling. But I’m not going to slam Governor Sarah Palin for her decisions. I am not voting for Mommy-in-Chief, and I find it offensive and laughable that the Democratic pundits are trying to seriously contend that a good wife and mother would shut up and stay home, after years of insisting that it “doesn’t really matter” whether the kids grow up with mom or in daycare most of the day and that women are only fulfilled by paying jobs. I think this is going to backfire nastily as a lot of working moms and single moms see a bit of their struggles in the smear campaign on Palin, and all women see more than a whiff of sexism in the choice of attacks.)
Good Giuliani lines:
“I don’t remember a ‘present’ button when I was mayor of New York…” Yep, not an option on the aircraft carrier, either. Nor did I get to take a poll of a sample of the wardroom to figure out what my peers would choose.
“Change is not a destination, just like hope is not a strategy.” Yep, hope is not a course of action.
Apparently, former mayor Giuliani was the designated “attack dog” for the evening, and he did a good job of it. He hit Obama on changed positions on various issues, especially the war in Georgia, concluding by pointing out that Obama’s final (third) position actually looked a lot like McCain’s first position. Giuliani compared and contrasted the records and (what a concept!) talked about actual, concrete issues.
Yes, I think parents should get to choose where they send their kids to school; I had some fabulous teachers in public schools, but I also had some who stunk. And I was in a really great school district, not a struggling one.
By the way, have you noticed that the Democratic convention (those theoretically liberal, cut-loose types) was very, very carefully scripted. There were hardly any hand-written signs; they were all glossy, professionally printed things, even the ones that had been smuggled in for “Hillary for President.” The Republican convention seems to have a significant collection of hand-lettered posters.
And then Governor Sarah Palin came out, and the convention went absolutely wild.
Ok, the first part of the speech was good, but a bit predictable, praising McCain.
I loved that she talked about her family, but did not directly argue about the allegations and smears. I think it’s cute that her youngest daughter, Piper, was caught on camera asking her bigger sister, “Shouldn’t we get up? Are we supposed to?” when they were mentioned by name. They all looked a little embarassed by the attention, as did Palin’s parents. (I take that as a good sign; looking a little too comfortable and smug in the spotlight is not a plus in my book.)
Without directly slamming the pressures and policies that cause most babies diagnosed prenatally with disabilities to be aborted, Palin made her point. (I can’t find the text right now, so this is a paraphrase.) “And there’s my youngest son, Trig. He’s perfectly beautiful… All you parents of disabled children out there, who have tried to make this country more welcoming for your children, know that you will have a friend in the White House.” We, as a country, are aborting 90% of the children with Downs, and most of those with many other pre-natally diagnosed disabilities. Do you really think this has no affect on the adults living with these disabilities? To be told, explicitly or implicitly, “You should’ve been killed”? It does not say nice things about us as a country when we reject those who don’t meet our standards for “good enough to live.”
“A small town mayor is sort of like a community organizer… except that you have actual responsibilities.” Right on. Yes, there is a difference between executive decision making and working in a committee. (And what, exactly, did Barack Obama do as a community organizer? We heard about him organizing people to argue for a new extension office of the mayor’s Office of Work in their neighborhood (but, if you can’t get to the office 45 minutes away by bus once in a while, how do you intend to get to work?). What else? And who was paying him for this “job”?)
“We tend to prefer candidates who don’t talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco… Wherever he goes and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man.” Condescending to the voters, then bad mouthing them in public (the “bitter people, clinging to their guns and religion” comment), is never going to go over well. What else is Obama willing to say about us stupid voters behind our backs?
“The purpose of politics is to serve the common good and leave this nation better than we found it.” Funny, but I don’t remember any mention of the “common good” during the Democrats’ convention. There were plenty of promises of more funds to special interests or “underprivileged” groups, but there was always the enemy of “the rich” and “big business”. Class warfare is not a way to move forward.
I’m surprised that she used the exact same line about the “bridge to nowhere” as her initial speech, considering that it’s quite thoroughly out in the media that she supported it before she opposed it. Ok, some commentators explained that change in her policy as a willingness to listen to the Alaskan Department of Transportation, who convinced her after she was elected governor that there were other priorities.
“Our opponents tell us that drilling won’t solve all our problems, as if we didn’t know that already… starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we’re going to build more pipelines, build new nuclear plants… solar… wind… ” Maybe we’ll actually get some action? Bush mentioned some of these ideas before in State of the Union addresses, but all that’s actually happened is ethanol (and we all know what a disaster that turned out to be).
“You may have noticed about our opponent… that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major piece of legislation or even reform…” Yes, Barack Obama has an interesting story, but who the heck writes a memoir just a few years out of law school?!? And, if he wants to be president, shouldn’t he have shown some major leadership at some point in the legislature? Shouldn’t he be trumpeting his accomplishments in the Illinois legislature?
“In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. Others use their careers to promote change.”
“My fellow Americans, the presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery… this world of threats and dangers, it’s not just a community, and it doesn’t need just an organizer…” I think I’ve said something like this before; the UN assumes everyone really wants to get along. Not everybody does. Or, at least, they want to get one more strategic advantage first to keep their neighbors in line. And the UN doesn’t do too well when people don’t want peace in the first place (Rwanda, former Yugoslavia, etc.).
“[John McCain has] the special confidence of those who have seen evil and have seen it overcome…” Yet another reason I like him. No, I don’t like equivocating, “Well, all countries are morally equivalent, everyone is kinda responsible…” No, sometimes, there is evil, and, sometimes, it is clearly on one side and not the other.
The speech was powerful, and the delivery shone. The speech hit all the right notes. It was uplifting and inspiring, but also down-to-earth, and it also hit on actual policy points. Some people won’t like what she said; nothing she did tonight was going to change some people’s minds. However, I think she did a great job, and I think a lot of people are going to agree with that.
I’m ok with a pitbull with lipstick (the hockey mom joke). Especially one with that much talent and conviction.
(Poor Trig woke up when he was handed over to his mom on stage and had this, “*blink* Huh? *squint* Where on earth am I!?!” look that only infants can get… so cute.)