Sarah, Palin and Tall


Consider this an open thread for the first true news event of RNC2008, the second national speech by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as she accepts her party's nomination for Tom Eagleton vice president. Excerpts are being tossed out to hungry reporters, and if they're not exactly full of mooseburger, they're full of… something that comes out of mooses.

I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.

Yes, that's the problem: It's not that Palin's record as a reformer has proven as durable as an oragami mountain bike. Just an excerpt, of course, but from talking to Republicans all day this looks like the hill they're going to die on: Any attack on St. Palin of Wasilla is a product of sexism, media elitism, or both, or more.

We've been promised some attacks on Obama, but what we have so far reads weak.

Here's how I look at the choice Americans face in this election. In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.

I don't quite get that. Obama, if elected, will change things, just not in any way that we'd like. She punches a bit harder in her biography.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities.

Effective! But I'd bet Palin's town got more lucre from taxpayers.

UPDATE: Delegates are buzzing about that "community organizer" line, but the more I think about it, the less sense it makes. Obama wrapped up his community organizer days in 1988, when he went to Harvard Law. He was registering voters in 1992, the year he started teaching at the University of Chicago. So Palin's arguing that she had as much experience in 2006 as Obama did the year that Wayne's World came out.

9:38: I was worried that Palin's gender politics wouldn't do the trick, but the pandering to parents of children with special needs? That's the ticket.

9:42: The GOP-approved signs in the arena are far too samey, and all obviously drawn by the same people. PALIN POWER in bold, straight letters. HOCKEY MOMS FOR (or 4) PALIN in fun, slanty letters.

9:45: First Gov. Lingle attacks Delaware, then Republican delegates literally shake their fists at me (at all the media, actually) and yell "Shame on you!" I may not write that $2300 check to McCain after all.

9:50: "I told the Congress 'thanks, but no thanks,' for that Bridge to Nowhere." This is slightly off. She said "thanks," and then it became unpopular, so she said "no thanks."

9:52: Fast forward! Later in the speech, Palin will fire a series of attacks at Obama. It's sort of jarring on the page… I suppose she's being cast as the champion of humility, standing against the arrogance of St. Barack.

This is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform—not even in the state senate.

When the cloud of rhetoric has passed … when the roar of the crowd fades away … when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot—what exactly is our opponent's plan?

Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America … he's worried that someone won't read them their rights?

They're the ones whose names appear on laws and landmark reforms, not just on buttons and banners, or on self-designed presidential seals.

A challenge: Name two McCain-written laws that have been enacted. McCain-Feingold is one.