“The press is bad”, “I’m not here to make the press/pundits happy, I’m here for the people”. Paraphrasing Palin’s comments in my mind from tonight’s Republican National Convention, I quickly began to realize I have heard all of this before again, and again, and AGAIN! The lightweight Republican Vice Presidential candidate tried to make the case that she and McCain are the real agents of change while recycling the same inane rhetoric conservatives have spouted since Reagan’s 1980 Presidential campaign. It’s even more ironic and pathetic when you consider that Reagan’s attempt at populism was itself an obvious rip-off from the movie Mr. Smith goes to Washington.
When she wasn’t regurgitating old Republican talking points, Palin was attacking Obama’s job as not offering enough experience. Not the one he has now and has had for four years, of US Senator from Illinois. Not the one he had before that for four years, State Senator in the Illinois legislature. She was attacking the job Obama had ten years ago as not giving him enough experience and contrasting that with the one she had a year and a half ago, Mayor of a city with around 6000 people.
I’m wondering why Palin stopped there? If you are going to be intellectually dishonest and pick on the job someone had ten years ago as an example of their not having enough experience, why didn’t Palin just say, “And Obama’s Preschool when he was three years old didn’t offer him enough experience to run for President”.
Palin delivered the lines against Obama like a comedian that specializes in nasty sarcasm, like a kind of right-wing female version of David Spade. “Obama’s Pre-school, look into it”. In fact, I wondered if Palin was trying to convince people she would be a good Vice President, or auditioning for the open position at Saturday Night Live. She didn’t sound like a Statesperson. She didn’t sound like someone we would want representing us on the world stage. There is nothing wrong with David Spade’s brand of humor and those who like it, it just doesn’t work for the potential leader of the free world.
Did Palin address any of the concerns we had about her being up to the job of taking over for John McCain if he was unable to live out his term should he be elected? Not in the least. We know she knows how to take swipes at the fact that Obama was a one time community organizer ten years ago, that’s about it.
Did Palin address any of the ethics concerns we had about her? She didn’t even try. She obviously didn’t mention that she has a new ethics issue just today as the Alaska State Troopers Union has filed an ethics complaint against her http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D97irw24gzg . Not only is Palin the least qualified candidate either party has put on a National ticket in modern times, she has the most ethics and abuse of power concerns of a national candidate before taking office in history. Note to Palin, usually, Presidents and Vice Presidents are in office a few months before committing crimes and abusing their power. The fact that Palin has these issues going in is a serious red flag that we the American people ignore at our peril.
Where are we left with Palin? If someone writes a speech, she can read it from a teleprompter. I guess we are supposed to be surprised by that. I disagree with some of the pundits who said they thought it was a good speech. I have different expectations for what the potential leader of the free world and the world’s democracies should sound like. When you compare Palin and her speech with leaders like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Kennedy, Lincoln here in the US, or even former and current leaders from abroad like Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, there is not even a remote resemblance. Palin remains the pretender to the throne she was three weeks ago when no one had heard of her.