Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Sarah Makes Us Smile

There’s a lot to say about the speech in terms of content. But for now: The MSM has a whole new view of her. Nobody thinks she’s incompetent or even trashy any more. Our Sarah is a force to be reckoned with. She has the confidence and the timing and the intelligence. Nobody dare claim now that this woman can’t lead. She’s all that, and her opponents know it. It’s real, classy populism, change we can believe in--not that fake stuff from Rush etc. And energy is now a winning issue--great line on how we already knew that drilling isn’t enough, but it is something. Solid shots at Obama boboism without culture war vengfulness--which was always an intellectual thing. Excellent decision to focus on ordinary courage and the small-town guy’s appreciation of Mac’s courage and barely to mention religion. Perfect on highlighting her family and its inevitable problems. And her self-deprecation is a sign that she and America won’t be traumatized or misled by her inevitable screw ups down the road. Everyone nows sees what she offers that is just beyond Mac. She’s rallying the base, but far from only the evangelical base. It takes a woman to rally the natural base for an honorable man.

Discussions - 28 Comments

PETER, you wanted energy and excitement in the VP pick.

She delivered.

She pushed the media meme beyond her daughter and her beau and she pushed to a place where every American is asking themselves did they just she the national debut of the 1st woman leader of the free world.

As I said below, she is more manly and womanly (at the same time) than Maggie Thatcher--and utterly American. Mark my words, the first woman president and maybe the first post-modern president--OUR SARAH!

Nice summary. She is a classy lady. The anti-Hillary.

I tend not to warm to candidates, but I like this lady, and I'm betting most of the country will like her too. What's more is she comes across as a straight shooter, and in politics not many do. I am now looking forward to following the campaign.

Sarah Palin could have spent multitudinous minutes explaining her family. She could have had moments of time spending saying: "Daddy what city are you in?" Rather, Palin presented herself as a mother, but she did not market her own children as Barack Obama did. He made the cuteness of his children an issue--he thereby infantalized the American people once again. We want our children to be able to take care of themselves as adults--not as children.

As chilling as it may aound--dad will be dead some day--and we will no longer be able to ask him for advice. We can't ask him for our advice when he is gone, therefore we in the present must govern ourselves.

Obama says we must take care of the children as chldren. McCain as McCain says that we must provide for our children as adults when they are of the age that they are confronted with the issue of governing themselves. For Obama there will be some government program (no doubt designed by those with Harvard and U chicago degrees who know what is best for us). McCain teaches self-government, while Obama teaches grievances for what has left one behind.

Palin's statement regarding her child Willow who herself is with child is something similar. Palin's child will learn the difficulties of raising her own child--but she will also have her mother as an example. Her family will be there.

She will not have a bunch of social workers who come in to set the bar. Experts from the government may have some ideas, but in reality they are only looking to keep their own job. Why are social workers more important than the family who makes sure that the kid will be married? That's all that matters.

In other words, Obama wants to take over your family.

It is easy to take care of children--it is difficult to make sure that our children can take care of themselves when they are adults and we are long dead. For Obama this is not a question. I tend to think that he thinks he is immortal. Why else would he be pro abort? He certainly infantalizes the youth of today. Abortion is the dream of no reponsibility, and Obama wants to support that.

Obama is fulll of false promises. If our fathers provided anything for us as the children as of adults today--it would be the political institutions that have been bequeathed to us (as Lincoln puts it). Our political institutions don't take care of themselves. McCain understands this. Obama does not.

It takes a woman to rally the natural base for an honorable man.

Do you just make this crap up, or does it actually mean something?

NRO reported that the teleprompter guy screwed the speech up from beginning to end. BUT it didn't faze her one wit.

Now just think about that one. The teleprompter is rolling too quickly, she's out of sync with the teleprompter, ---------------------- but like Reagan would have done, with his decades of Hollywood experience, ----------- she rolled with it, ------------ she rolled with it!

And MATT, if you're asking about meaning, you realize of course that we could refer you to any one of several of Obama's "key" speeches. Which probably even the poor soul that drafted the thing has no idea what it's supposed to mean.

Never said he did, Dan. I'm not happy about either candidate. But I expect more out of this blog.

MATT, sometimes the wrong take is overthinking a thing. A political blog can't emulate David Frum, Charles Krauthammer, who try to introduce something novel into EVERY political discussion. Not necessarily because their observations are compelling, but simply because they're unique, unusual, not expected.

If every kid in the class is presented a trig problem, and every kid comes up with the same answer, ------------ it doesn't mean they're wrong simply becuase the answers are "the same."

I've learned to distrust those that strain for uncommon reads of public events.

She did well.

The pressure on her was ungodly.

Nevertheless, she didn't fold in the clutch, she used the situation to go on the attack.

She's one hell of a woman!

Never mind Matt. Peter, that last line of yours is not only true, it is wise. This is one of the best things you've ever posted.

And Sarah's speech was one of the best GOP speeches I've ever heard and I stand corrected in my doubts about her.

I do think that folks on our side would do well to stop howling about the "sexism" of the the other side, however. The media and the attack dogs on the other side have been devils, yes. But "sexist" is the wrong charge even if it is useful and satisfying to throw it back in their faces. They aren't good enough to be sexists. That would imply they actually believed what they say. They are just old-fashioned hypocrites (and this is not the sort of hypocrisy that can be defended because it is disingenuous) to put forward the questions they ask about her family as they tell us that it's inappropriate or sexist to ask those questions about women on their side. This media circus is petulant and childish argumentation; the kind of thing 13 year olds do when they imagine they've stumbled upon a "gotcha" in a debate with their parents. It should be ignored and talked over. Not gratified by a grown up response.

Besides, men and women are never going to play by the same rules in politics and perhaps that's fair. We are different and if that is not acknowledged then we're kidding ourselves. A person's family life tells us something about their character. I don't think it is unreasonable to say that this is especially true for a woman. Sarah answered the questions and the doubts that I had on that score. That she did this without whining about how unfair it is for a woman to have to answer questions about raising a family at the same time she is working a job like this is refreshing. I'm sorry. A woman does have to answer that question--certainly for herself--but also (if she wants us to trust her) to the people she expects to vote for her. It is our business and, if you think about it, you know why. Sarah seems to know it. The fact that she answered it so well and without complaint is enough to convince me that she really is as good as some of my friends have been arguing. I will have some humble pie to eat in the morning but it is going to taste good.

Did you guys notice how utterly relaxed her father was before the speech. There he was, arms stretched out, legs out, making sure he was comfortable. Her mother couldn't help but reveal a certain, albeit seemly, nervousness. But not her dad. He seemed positively bemused by the whole sit-rep. She was getting hammered for about three days, the whole media unloading and unleashing. And her dad was bemused while she strode out to delviver her speech.

And did you guys notice that Star of David flag pin she wore on her left collar?

And I appreciate JULIE's thoroughly commonsenical observation that a family throws light on character.

Julie--I greatly admire Sarah Palin as governor, mayor, and as hockey mom, mother with five children, one of whom who has downs syndrome. She must be one of the strongest persons I have seen.

So why play the gender card?

It's obvious to me that the Republicans have rallied behind this woman--and good reason for it.

So us men--of which I include myself--may not fully understand the significance of Gov. Palin, but we can love her nonetheless. She is excellent--even if I have not quite figured out why. I will assert several reasons why I like her--I like her choice as a compliment for McCain, I like her reputation as an outside fighter, I like her feisty intelligence, (I will admit) I like her looks, I like her pictures with a rifle, I like her family (including her husband winning the Iron Dog contest), I like the fact she frankly supported to her daughter's pregancy, I even like her accent ("crax" in the glass ceiling). I could go on and on with the love.

Guliani gave the red meat tonight at the RNC. Palin will have time to dump the chum later, but all good Gulf of Mexico fisherman know that you wait to catch sharks after you have reeled in all the red snapper there is first. Red Snapper will get you more money, and it also tastes better. So we wait for her attacks. I hope our ignorance of Sarah Palin be like this bullshit fishing analogy. I love what I see in Palin, but I am a shark at heart. This is another reason why I like her.

Missed the pin . . . but I did notice that the teleprompter was ahead of her and that she was not bothered by it. Loved the lipstick line . . . thought her Dad actually looked a bit uncomfortable. I also want to throw some kudos to Rudy for a great and hard-hitting intro. I am sorry we didn't get to see Jon Voight's movie about her.

BTW---Palin's line that the VP is not a journey of personal discovery was execellent.

John: I said what you said . . . I think. Why play the gender card, indeed? Let it be. Sarah, clearly, can take care of herself.

A funny thing though . . . shark is the only fish that I will eat (if I must eat fish at all). It's meaty like a steak and much less "fishy" tasting than most other fish. As a fisherman and a student of politics, do you think there's a metaphorical reason for this or is it just a coincidence? Nevertheless, my distaste for fish as food does not preclude my love for fishing (or fishermen) or good fish stories.

The problem with sharks is that once you start catching them, you catch nothing else.

I too like the taste of shark, but it kind of messes up the red snapper catch--which is what the audience desires.

I only meant that one should wait until Sarah "barracuda" is put on the attack. Wait and let her pounce!

Outstanding speech by Governor Palin! Rudy was excellent too!

Fox News just showed a poll that said more men think Palin will be the first woman president; HRC will be the first one among women. Not this woman...I lived and worked in Sitka, Alaska last summer and saw plenty of Palin on TV (the natural gas pipleine project was big news) to know she stood up to big business and negotiated what was best for Alaska. It was rather interesting to watch. Perhaps my take on her is from an uninformed outsider but I called it weeks ago - Palin as VP. Her energy and drive are remarkable. I listened to a short speech she gave on the local access channel - her tone and intent was the same then as it was last night. Her audience was bigger but she hadn't changed. I don't expect her to change.

We are looking at the first female president of the United States in the future. HRC will not be able to stand up against the force to be reckoned with that is Sarah Palin. I think McCain is aware of this linkage and gracious enough to give her the moment. Actually, he doesn't seem to mind it at all. In the past few days, Palin has come to us; warts and all. She has weathered the storm over her head with grace and dignity and is not tossed by it. She could have given a whiny, rhetorical demonstration of what is so wrong with the Dems these days. I recorded the speech so I could watch it with my daughter. She won't understand the issues and ideas but that's not the point when you're six years old. It's just the way Palin handled herself - the tone of her voice, the look on her face, the warmth and enthusiasm she radiated. It was marvelous.

By the way, did you see little Piper?? She was waving at the crowd on stage after the speech while her siblings seemed a little stunned and awed by the crowd. She looked comfortable and capable and quite at ease, even at her age. And I think she's smart enough to know what's going on. She lovingly held her baby brother and tried to smooth his hair. The camera caught this seemingly mundane act and we chuckled. In the midst of this riveting speech, life does go on.

One more observation - did you notice that Sarah mentioned the PTA and getting INVOLVED in her children's school? This small point has been overlooked so far - it goes to show that she believes we can do great things with what we have and that we should get involved in our communities to make them better, NOT RELY ON THE GOVERNMENT to do that. We've needed a Reagan-esque infusion into the GOP (sorry, the comparisons are inevitable) and finally, here it is. Embrace her enthusiasm and translate it into your community.

Lastly, I was happy with Huckabee and Rudy's speeches as well. Linda Lingle, governor of Hawaii, was lost in between these heavy hitters. Here is another articulate, smart and confident leader in the GOP. She does not pack the charisma of Sarah Palin but I did like her speech very much. From one chief executive to another, I think her speech did much to relay anecdotal information that would have otherwise been lost. And from one woman to another, she was able to parlay those words into something meaningful about Palin while calmly and directly challenging the MSM's rants. It was one sister defending another; it was one chief executive stating life as it is for a governor without making it all a strident feminist issue as the Dems would have done. Simply well done last night. It was worth the late night.

I did like the suggestion that involvement in your local PTA might take you anywhere. I also liked that the campaign for VP is not a journey of personal discovery. There was a lot to like and I am pleased and happy to see the delight here. That seems good to me, promising.

She managed to make the issue of experience more about quality than quantity--she has more impressive executive experience than any of the other 4 candidates. Also, she transformed Obama's attack on her credentials into a condescension towards the average person---real reform comes from concerned and active citizens versus professional politicians. Much of her speech was fleshing out her "real person" status who connects with other real people. She also provided a clear and pragmatic demonstration of her expertise on a major issue without seeming excessively wonkish or technocratic. She's clearly ambitious, you;d havce to be, but made a powerful case that her ambition is not just for the sake of naked self aggrandizement. Impressively confident performance.

It takes a woman to rally the natural base for an honorable man.

Straight from Greek drama. This is also populism on steroids. Clever to the max. The Democratic campaign must now be off balance and will have to figure out how to deal with something fresh and new. McCain has done something ingenious.

Change. McCain has wrought change in American politics, I think beyond the matter of identity politics as the Democrats have played that game. Or it could go there, anyway. I hope it does. The content of her character means more to me than her identity as a woman, (etc.).


I admit to using the sexist argument. I actually think what has happened is sexist to some extent. But, are the Dems hypocritical in the true meaning of the word--they don't believe in their heart what they say? Of that I am less sure.

But, Peter's post--the last sentence--does beg for explication: men and women are different and have different natures, if you will. That a certain type of woman compliments (completes?) a man is something our political deliberation needs and that discussion might have beneficial implications for our political culture.

Palin's presence is an opportunity for us to explore that deeper and more meaningful question.

Erik: Yours is a good question. Is it sexism on the part of Dems to attack her as a mother or just plain undefendable hypocrisy? Since I am not in the business of reading into the motives of peoples hearts and not in possession of any magic decoder that allows me to be guided by such things, I cannot speak with authority about it. In politics, we can only take people at their word. For 40 years Democrats have been telling us that it is wrong to question whether a woman can be both a good mother and a an effective career woman. I have always thought (to the contrary) that it is a fair question--even if, in the grand cosmic scheme of the universe, it is an unfair break for women and an irritating personal pry. That's just the way it is, I think (if we are to continue to put the interests of children above those of their parents, as we should) the way it should always remain. Babies come out needing their mothers more than they need their fathers. It's harder for a woman to do both motherhood and high powered career--though not impossible--and a woman lies to herself and the world if she claims otherwise. I loved Sarah because she didn't lie. She just does it. And I admit that I'm a bit jealous because she does it better than I ever could do. (Not enough has been said about the possible jealousy motive explaining the negative female reaction to her in the last few days).

Do Democrats secretly believe that I am right and that it IS fair to question a woman along these lines? No. If they did believe it I think they would have had to figure out a way to question it with more civility. Civility and grace are hard to muster when you are lying--not only to others but also to yourself. It tends to make one a bit crazed when one is that conflicted. It always comes off (as it did in their case) as nasty, cloying, snotty and childish. (All to our benefit, by the way.) But we should stop responding in kind. Let Sarah speak for Sarah on these matters. She's the only one who can do it or should do it . . . with the possible exception of Todd. And we should not be sucked into the argument from the other side that posits no important differences between men and women on these matters.

Great comment, Julie, especially that stuff about civility.

I concur with Carl Scott.

McCain is not an honorable man. I may vote for him in spite of that, but lets be serious here.

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