She killed. She had him at "Nice to meet you. Hey, can I call you Joe?" She was the star. He was the second male lead, the good-natured best friend of the leading man. She was not petrified but peppy.
The whole debate was about Sarah Palin. She is not a person of thought but of action. Interviews are about thinking, about reflecting, marshaling data and integrating it into an answer. Debates are more active, more propelled—they are thrust and parry. They are for campaigners. She is a campaigner. Her syntax did not hold, but her magnetism did. At one point she literally winked at the nation.
You'd have to go some to write something that was a more disgustingly drooling example of sycophantism. I'm not proposing that she imploded, she survived and managed to not look incurious, incompetent, and anti-intellect. But for god's sake.
The thing about the article is that the first two paragraphs have one thing to say, something that sounds good for John McCain, then as you read on and get about three paragraphs from the end the wheels come off the POW Express:
We witness here a great political lesson. When you are president, it matters—it really matters—that a majority of the people support and respect you. When you squander that affection, you lose more than mere popularity. You lose the ability to lead when your country is in crisis. This is a terrible loss, and a dangerous one, for the whole world is watching.
...presidential popularity is a jewel to be protected, and to be burnished when possible, because without it you can do nothing. Without the support and trust of the people you cannot move, cannot command. You are left, like Mr. Bush, talking to an empty room.
We saw this week, too, a turn in the McCain campaign's response to criticisms of Mrs. Palin. I find obnoxious the political game in which if you expressed doubts about the vice presidential nominee, or criticized her, you were treated as if you were knocking the real America—small towns, sound values. "It's time that normal Joe Six-Pack American is finally represented in the position of vice presidency," Mrs. Palin told talk-show host Hugh Hewitt. This left me trying to imagine Abe Lincoln saying he represents "backwoods types," or FDR announcing that the fading New York aristocracy deserves another moment in the sun. I'm not sure the McCain campaign is aware of it—it's possible they are—but this is subtly divisive. As for the dismissal of conservative critics of Mrs. Palin as "Georgetown cocktail party types" (that was Mr. McCain), well, my goodness. That is the authentic sound of the aggression, and phony populism, of the Bush White House. Good move. That ended well.
You've been able to tell over time that I do not work for or shill for McCain or Republicans, but that is not an article that I'd link into were I associated with McCain. If you can find something in the last paragraphs I've quoted here that sounds remotely Pro-McCain you're welcome to point it out to me. As a blue collar sort I'd say that was a 2x4 up the side of the head.
I do recognize that this is the outfit that releases ads claiming a win in a debate yet to take place and even put into doubt by the claimant. I understand that these folks didn't see huge drawbacks in Sarah Palin's record and performances. I know their candidate claimed "the fundamentals of the economy are sound" on the day the "Street" tanks on the news of the failure of investment banks and claims a few hours later that in the face of all use of language that the fundamentals of the economy means workers - a lot of words to say 'workers' with. All of that may add up to a failure of massive scale, but either illiteracy or an inability to read more than a few lines resulting in advertising your own failures is stupidity on an unprecedented scale.
This is the disorganization that claims they know how to run a Presidency, to keep us safe and "reform" the system. These are John McCain's hires, the kind of people that he surrounds himself with in the most important endeavor of his career. Phil Gramm is his economic guru, a coterie of lobbyists over a hundred strong runs his campaign and their level of competence is demonstrated by our economy of the last 7+ years, our international standing, and this campaign. It is the campaign of Washington DC inside insiders and this is what they can manage?
I'm a Democrat and I don't like McCain's policy ideas nor his claimed ideology but I find this level of incompetence stunning and frightening. While conservative pundits have been busy kicking the snot out of the Alaskan Barbie Doll for incompetence their lead man, the big Kahuna, has been about as capable a Presidential candidate as a high school freshman would be with a grade school team. This guy makes them look almost competent and here's what it takes at NRO Online:
Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America.I think I'll puke. But here you go, this is what the Conservatives have become, natural selection in operation. The continual purging of intellectuals and actual achievers from the ranks has natural consequences. Whatever you thought of Bill Buckley here's where they're at today and it makes you want to wipe off your computer screen. What is scary is that this election is within 20 points.