Yesterday, I said that a pro-Sarah Palin backlash was on its way:
Sarah Palin is not Dan Quayle. She can put a sentence together and can get through a speech. She may sound like the girl making Blizzards at the Anchorage Dairy Queen, but she is not without rhetorical skills. And now that her family has come under such close scrutiny, expect her to hit back hard in her acceptance speech at the RNC.
Tomorrow, the reevaluation of Sarah Palin will begin. Here’s the standard by which she’ll be judged:
She’ll exceed those expectations if only because she’s capable of reading a teleprompter:
She probably won’t have the bridge-and-tunnel hair tonight, but she’ll look strong and self-assured.
Mitigating tonight’s “success” may be the fact that she still hasn’t given an interview. It’s possible that the press will pound on that — at least for a little bit — while they gush all over Palin’s masterfully delivered address.
Of course, at the end of the day, this election isn’t about Sarah Palin. It’s about John McCain’s intention to model his presidency after George Bush’s. And while it’s fun to see the Republicans suffer for this monumentally poor selection, it will be even more satisfying to watch the Democrats unrelentingly remind voters that John McCain has aspired to be and has become a 90% clone of George Bush.
Did I say tomorrow? Make that tonight.
Palin established herself as a major-league performer, a very effective messenger for the perennial Republican themes of low taxes and strong defense. And a new theme–government reform–that changes the terrain of the election and will have to be forcefully countered by the Democrats. Obama will have to be every bit as sharp–and down to earth–as he was in his speech last week as this goes forward.
Maybe it won’t help them win. Maybe it will turn out to have been too negative and sarcastic for the current public mood, especially coming after Giuliani. But two things are clear after Sarah Palin made her do-or-die debut before 20-plus million people tonight. She is amazingly self-confident. And she knows how to nail a speech.
Focus Group: Palin Was (Alarmingly) Strong Several moderate-Democrat friends of mine have been emailing–few if any would ever vote for McCain–but all agree that Palin was very strong. The more liberal among them are a little panicked.
I completely misjudged how negative she would be. Her lines about Obama were brutally cutting and possibly over the top in places. But she’s a far better messenger than an angry white man.
Chuck Todd (on MSNBC):
Conservatives have found their Obama. . . She may be their future.
Let there be no doubt
Sarah Palin is ready for prime time and has this crowd in an absolute frenzy.