Politico and Yahoo News sponsored a breakfast panel in conjunction with the St. Paul Pioneer Press at the GOP convention this morning where Karl Rove addressed the question of the things McCain needs to emphasize tonight in the wake of Palin’s excellent performance. "Kitchen table" issues, he says and I think he nails it (even if I tire of that too often repeated descriptive). In addition to Karl, he should listen to the women around him. Cindy’s tone in defending the success of her parents (who scraped together 10K in order to build their fortune) and Sarah’s understanding of what it takes to build a business in America (i.e., not much burdensome interference from government know-it-alls, thank you very much) are exactly the sort of thing he needs to reflect in order to show that he "gets it."
The mantra from the Democrats now (just to show how cutting edge and "fresh" they really are) seems to be that Palin and the entire GOP convention ignored the question of the middle class; that we "don’t get" the middle class. Given the actual substance of Palin’s speech, and the elitist tone of most of Obama’s campaign, I find that charge almost as desperate as the attacks his supporters have leveled at her of a personal nature.
But McCain needn’t answer this with a defense of Palin or with an attack of his own. He may stand for the kind of honor that now does not permit him to salute the flag he fought for and loves so much. But he should remember there is another kind of honor to be saluted and that it is equal in its love for that flag and its great American character: the hard-working and innovative kind that permitted and supplied warriors like McCain so they might exhibit their noble courage. If he can do that he might get close to filling Sarah’s pumps. And really, that’s all he has to do.