The political shockwave that is Sarah Palin washed over America -- and the world -- yesterday, nearly obliterating the short-term memories of Barack Obama's acceptance speech in Denver the night before.
Twenty-four-hours-and-some-change later, the opposition and much of the mainstream media (granted, it's sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two) have gotten back up, dusted off their frocks and put up their dukes for the next round(s) of action.
I still contend that John McCain's choice of Palin for the VP slot was a masterstroke. Will the momentum still be with us 67 days from now when the voters hit the booths? Hard to say. In today's world of the 24/7 news cycle, talk radio, and the Web and blogosphere even 24 minutes is a lifetime...nevermind 67 days.
Long-time friend and radio talk show host Dave Congalton disagrees (mightily) with me: "McCain may have won the day, but if you're reading the national press, you already are seeing the red flags being raised over this." Dave's own blog, linked above, is always worth checking out.
The convention is ahead and after that the really hard work begins. But until the GOP shindig gets its final gavel, Team McCain will be Living Large -- perhaps for the first time in his campaign -- in the limelight and momentum.
I've found a few remarks from across the Web and blogosphere that might be worth your time:
From an email Jonah Goldberg received over at National Review Online's "The Corner"--To borrow from Ross Perot (not always a good idea), would you hire any of these people as a manager at your company? Palin you'd offer the job to right away, and then you'd sweat until she accepted it. McCain would seem like a decent choice, but wouldn't make or break you either way. You'd wonder how Obama possibly thought he was qualified, and you'd leave him to be hired by some other company where they fall for people who say all the right things. And you'd be telling stories about Biden's interview, and making jokes about it, for years.
Ed Morrissey, picks apart the Dem's responses to the Palin choice...
Here's what Jim Vendehei and John Harris are saying about McCain's pick over at POLITICO... (hat tip: Mr. Congalton)
Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of "The Corner," received this email -- "On Palin and experience: The question we all should be asking is, does Barack Obama have the experience to take over, if – God forbid – something happens to Joe Biden?"
And The Genius That Is Mark Steyn (also writing at NRO...yes, I do read other online offerings):
- "First, Governor Palin is not merely..."all-American", but hyper-American. What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew?...And for the gun-totin' Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story. Next to her resume, a guy who's done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of "community organizer" and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy.
- Second, it can't be in Senator Obama's interest for the punditocracy to spends its time arguing about whether the Republicans' vice-presidential pick is "even more"inexperienced than the Democrats' presidential one.
- Third, real people don't define "experience" as appearing on unwatched Sunday-morning talk shows every week for 35 years and having been around long enough to have got both the War on Terror and the Cold War wrong. (On the first point, at the Gun Owners of New Hampshire dinner in the 2000 campaign, I remember Orrin Hatch telling me sadly that he was stunned to discover how few Granite State voters knew who he was.) Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are more or less the same age, but Governor Palin has run a state and a town and a commercial fishing operation, whereas (to reprise a famous line on the Rev Jackson) Senator Obama ain't run nothin' but his mouth. She's done the stuff he's merely a poseur about. Post-partisan? She took on her own party's corrupt political culture directly while Obama was sucking up to Wright and Ayers and being just another get-along Chicago machine pol (see his campaign's thuggish attempt to throttle Stanley Kurtz and Milt Rosenberg on WGN the other night).
- Fourth, Governor Palin has what the British Labour Party politician Denis Healy likes to call a "hinterland" - a life beyond politics. Whenever Senator Obama attempts anything non-political (such as bowling), he comes over like a visiting dignitary to a foreign country getting shanghaied into some impenetrable local folk ritual. Sarah Palin isn't just on the right side of the issues intellectually. She won't need the usual stage-managed "hunting" trip to reassure gun owners: she's lived the Second Amendment all her life. Likewise, on abortion, we're often told it's easy to be against it in principle but what if you were a woman facing a difficult birth or a handicapped child? Been there, done that.
- Fifth, she complicates all the laziest Democrat pieties. Energy? Unlike Biden and Obama, she's been to ANWR and, like most Alaskans, supports drilling there.
Media mix-master John Batchelor on the approach of Hurricane Gustav and its possible implications:
"John McCain's luck continues. When it looked as if the drama was gone from the Republican Convention in Minneapolis, the climate change script writers called up Hurricane GUSTAV (left, 5 am Saturday 30) and aimed it at New Orleans....There is no better way to emphasize the failure of Katrina and the triumph of the last three years, with the wunderkind Bobby Jindal as Louisiana governor, with FEMA rebuilt by Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, with John McCain now master of the remnant GOP that failed in '05, then to replay the video with new results...Rainswept vistas for the cameras, with John McCain on the phone to the head of his Louisiana delegation, Bobby Jindal. Cross-cuts of New Orleans preparedness then and now, the disaster of 2005, the trim success of 2008...this is a spectacular showcase for the new New Orleans. And it provides the opera of severe weather to challenge the new Republican Party gathered to crown its new maverick leader and his new maverick VP. Will Jindal, Chertoff and FEMA succeed?...Have the Republicans learned from their defeat? Will New Orleans survive? Hold onto your hat! Lights! Camera! GUSTAV!"