If I did nothing else this evening, I wanted to make sure that I was home by 10 p.m. tonight so I could hear John McCain’s vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin make her acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.
After days of hearing about her pregnant 17-year-old daughter, her possible ethics violations (she seems to be particularly fond of firing police officers for not bending to her will) and the controversy surrounding her youngest son, I was ready to hear what she had to say about herself, her vision for the country, and what she had to offer.
So I sat in my car, as I seem to have done for most of the speeches I’ve heard during the 2008 Presidential Campaign, and listened to Palin’s speech. I heard a lot of attacks on Barack Obama. I heard a lot of the usual Republican themes of “The Washington Elites hate us” (although her running mate is among them), “I speak for real people and they (the Democrats) don’t” and my personal favorite “What’s the difference between a Hockey Mom and a Pit Bull? Lipstick.”
(In case you don’t know what that last one was, that’s the usual sexist reference. That it was delivered by a woman gives it special resonance, I guess.)
I listened to the speech, then I grabbed a copy from MSNBC.com. I read it and read it, and read it again, looking for anything that didn’t look, sound, or feel like a McCain talking point. Something that felt like it was genuinely hers.
I’m still looking. In fact, here’s exactly what I got from that speech:
(a)While I’m not proud of this, I have to say to you that if the Coen Brothers decide that they want to do a remake of their hit movie “Fargo”, Frances McDormand won’t have to reprise her role as Sheriff Marge Gunderson if this whole political thing doesn’t work out for Sarah Palin. Most of the time she was speaking, I kept imagining this scene:
(b)As a member of the media, I’m tired of politicians with skeleton factories in their closets attacking us when we bring them out. If you don’t want your skeletons unveiled, don’t make them. If you want us to talk about your experience, have some. Otherwise, take your lumps and keep moving.
(c) During their speeches last week, most of the Democrats pointed out that because the Republicans have either (a) bad ideas or (b) no ideas, they’d go on the attack. Unfortunately, they were right. I saw or heard very few ideas here. But there was plenty of attack, and I expect to hear the same tomorrow when McCain does his acceptance speech.
So my assessment of this speech is that it served one of its purposes: providing red meat to the Right Wing Republican Base, but didn’t serve the other, which was to make me think of this woman as anything other than a Hockey Mom with an abuse of power problem.
But at least my assessment is kinder than the one given by a friend of mine. His two-word response: Fuck her!
Feel free to take another look at it and judge for yourself. If I missed something, tell me.