Calm down Republicans, she’s only your VP nominee.
With all the gushing praise and the glowing reviews after Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican Convention last night, one would have thought she was the presidential nominee and not John McCain. Home run, amazing, brilliant, fantastic, the pundits proclaimed. What it was to me was a typical Republican stump speech, with a little personalized biographical information thrown in for good measure.
I’ll give Governor Palin credit for this much, she was well-rehearsed, well-prepared, and well-scripted. She threw enough chum in the water for the Republican sharks on hand and in the television audience to feast on for days and weeks to come.
She repeated the falsehoods and misrepresentations about her record, recounted again for us John McCain’s ordeal in a North Vietnamese prison camp, and took the obligatory shots at Barack and Michelle Obama. Yawn. Same old, same old.
What Governor Palin also did was leave herself wide open for attacks from the Democrats on everything from her alleged status as a reformer during her time as Mayor of Podunk, Alaska, to her support/non-support of the Bridge To Nowhere, to the accusations that she abused her power, to her knowledge, or lack of same, on foreign and domestic policy.
In his remarks to the Convention on Tuesday, President Bush spoke of the “angry left.” What I saw on display last night was the angry right. From Huckabee to Giuliani to Palin, I heard constant attacks on Barack Obama’s lack of experience and his policy proposals. What I didn’t hear were GOP alternatives to those proposals.
Nothing about the economy, other than the tired old ‘Obama will raise your taxes’ line. Nothing about how to deal with our dependence on foreign oil, nothing about the worsening situation in Afghanistan, just a constant stream of one-liners and zingers aimed at Barack Obama.
So I’ll end where I began, calm down Republicans, your main man has yet to be heard from. After all the hubub over Palin’s speech, McCain’s may become anti-climactic. Palin is a base consolidator, nothing more, and this election is not going to be decided by the respective bases, but by the independents and undecideds.
And when those undecideds get beyond Palin’s rhetoric and take a look at her hard-line stance on some issues and her lack of knowledge on others, I believe they will come to the conclusion that she is completely unprepared to be the person a heartbeat away from the most powerful position in the world.