A political analyst friend of mine has a penchant for asking the regular folk how they see elections. At breakfast the other day he asked a chef in South Philadelphia whether she thought Sarah Palin looked nervous during her Charles Gibson interview on ABC.
"She's expected to be nervous," said the chef. "She's a girl. She's supposed to excuse herself after dinner and let the men to adjourn to smoke cigars in another room."
She also said, "Keep your eyes on Sarah's t*ts."
And therein lies the brilliance behind the selection of Palin as John McCain’s running mate. High School is where the debate team might win the argument, but the quarterback always wins the girl and Republicans have long known that presidential races are filled with high school giddiness and emotion.
Oh, sure, the nerd on the debate team will get better grades, probably end up with a great job, pretty stable marriage and family while the football star will go through divorce, a bunch of low-paying jobs and 12 step programs. But that is far in the future. Maybe four, sometimes eight years. But for now the quarterback is in the back seat of 56 Chevy with the head cheerleader.
Today, which one do you want to be?
Not that the Dems won’t continue to discuss the issues, but how does debating whether your tax plan is worse than mine play when the guy debating you just spit on your best girl? The New York Times, Keith Olbermann, Charlie Gibson. Just wait until Sean Hannity lets Palin rip into the Times for their weekend background investigation on her administrative style. Oh, the Dems will call it analysis based on the facts as they are. But the Pubs will differ.
Except for the hiccup that was George Bush the Senior - who in actuality was born of Quarterback Reagan’s stewardship - America pretty much always finds itself in the back seat with the inebriated cool kid.
And with years of getting pounded into the ground by the seemingly oafish, Mr. Touchdown, who just can’t lose for winning, the Democrats keep spitting on the Republican’s best girl. Not that she doesn’t deserve it, but it won’t win you a seat on the student council, let alone the White House.
The genius Dems watched the dastardly bully, Chuck Gibson, pummel head cheerleader Sarah, sure that her nervousness and inability to come within a football field of a legitimate answer would damn forever her and McCain’s chances of winning. What the Dems fail to understand is that, short of breaking down crying, her performance could not have been more successful for the Republicans. If a tear had run down her cheek during the “Bush Doctrine” smack down segment, it would have nailed the election for the Palin-McCain ticket. Not that the Dems could pull off the same thing. A tearful Ed Muskie proved that years ago. It has to be a “girl.” Not a Hillary Clinton “girl.” You need a “girl” who is fine with letting the men adjourning to the study have their cigars without giving them the stink-eye. Hillary cried and Obama Dems called her a con artist. If Palin cried, Republicans would be spending the entire weekend looking for the guy who made her and beat him to a pulp. Or at least they have Hannity do it.
McCain’s America is happy to have a girl-type female on the team. The Dems might get foreign policy, but the Pubs get laid. McCain might not understand the basics of the economy, but Dems don’t understand the basics of winning.
We like to think that as we get older, we get better. In some ways that may be, but not when it comes to having your team win. Go to an Philadelphia Eagles game and watch the grown-ups appreciatively applauding the Dallas Cowboy’s brilliant play. Right.
Republicans figured out a long time ago that winning is a high school sport. Our cheerleaders are prettier than yours. Our school is better than yours. And, no matter what, don’t spit on my girl or you better be ready to meet me after class in the parking lot…or the election booth..
Ask any chef.
Award-winning TV writer, Steve Young, is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" (www.greatfailure.com) and blogs at the appropriately named steveyoungonpolitics.com