Palin's Speech

She’s a good speaker. The speech was full of half-truths (“I killed the bridge to nowhere”, “All the lobbyists have opposed John McCain’s candidacy”), but she gave the crowd what it wanted. She kept the anti-media theme alive and played the traditional attack dog role. The key for the Republican’s will be if they can keep her radical evangelical views out of the public eye. The facts that she sees no exceptions in an abortion ban in that she would require rape and incest victims to carry their pregnancies to term. she wants to teach creationism and is interested in banning books from the library need to be kept from the public view. I doubt that Joe Biden will let her keep those out of view.

Two questions, does the excess sarcasm in her maiden speech play well on TV to the Independents? Does this good speech make McCain’s speech tomorrow night more important and maybe more risky?

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0 Responses to Palin's Speech

  1. zak says:

    Obama is running abortion issue radio ads in swing states; so it’ll be tough to completely dodge that one

  2. BobbyG says:

    One scary chick.

    As much as I oppose her, I give her an “A” for flawless delivery of all those platitudes, half-truths, and outright lies. A low-information voter’s dream.

  3. dennymajor says:

    Surprisingly insulting speech. I was prepared for Giuliani’s to be insulting (but I even underestimated his) . . . but woooow. I think they played to the crowd more than to the viewers at home.

  4. zak says:

    it’ll be interesting to see how many people were watching at home. I would guess more people are interested in her than mccain at this point. . . . and did you hear. . . John McCain was a POW!

  5. dennymajor says:

    Zak . . . do you have a source for this claim? I find it hard to believe that I haven’t heard that yet. O_O

  6. wilco278 says:

    A couple more half-truths from her acceptance speech:
    “The luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay.” The jet was living on borrowed time from the moment Frank Murkowski bought it, using slush funds when the legislature refused to fund it. Every candidate in the governor’s race except the incumbent promised to get rid of it.
    “I also drive myself to work.” That’s the same as every other Alaska governor except her immediate predecessor (Republican Frank Murkowski, who came in 3rd in the primary when trying to get re-elected). Not really much change there. Of course the fact that she is living in Wasilla, 700 miles away from the capitol, has something to do with it.
    “And I thought we could muddle through without the governor’s personal chef – although I’ve got to admit that sometimes my kids sure miss her.” The chef was part of the house staff at the governor’s residence in Juneau. Most of the staff were laid off because she stayed in Wasilla and never moved to Juneau. You don’t need a chef for an empty house, and the state wasn’t going to hire a new chef in Wasilla. The kids never missed her, because they never knew her.
    “Our state budget is under control. We have a surplus.” Under control only through very creative accounting, where debts become deferred revenue. She blew the budget, and the only thing that saved her was an unexpected rise in oil revenue.
    As an Alaskan who has followed her rise, it was obvious that the people who wrote her speech have no clue about the reality of what she actually has been doing up here. Eventually it may leak out that she became governor simply because she was not Frank Murkowski, not because of who she was.

  7. Seth says:

    That attack delivery was why they chose her. I’m not sure what Peggy Noonan was thinking when she said:

    …they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives … Every time the Republicans do that because that’s not where they live and it’s not what they’re good at and they blow it.

    I’ve seen nothing but narratives from the Republican leadership for decades now. They are scary good at it. Noonan just isn’t quite so inside the bullies’ clique these days so she picks up a little better on the cynicism of it.

  8. Morgan Warstler says:

    Zak, c’mon. I mean you’ve been to college and that’s kinda just like being a POW, huh? your tone is why, talking about the POW thing works, it’ll work until you don’t resent it being said.

    Winning zingers tonight:

    community organizer
    “The American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of ‘personal discovery.’ ”

    She’s going to be pitched as the energy czar. Forget abortion issues, she’s not the president. She’s going to be pitched as the smarter than Al Gore on energy. Pipelines and nuclear, Her throw away line about “like we didn’t know that.” “Russia uses oil as a weapon,” (be still my heart), in fact her focus in Georgia mentioned specifically it was about the OIL.

    She’s going to go after the 70%+ who agree with, “Drill Baby Drill.”

    I’m warning you, she’s going to say, “Drill and fight the Big Oil companies.”

    Man your battle stations and forget the silly shit, if she didn’t have an affair, you aren’t going to touch her with social issues.


  9. dennymajor says:

    Zak – it was a joke . . . I was talking about the claim you made that McCain was a POW.

    Obviously – my joke fails. *shakes head* hah.

  10. zak says:

    i’ve temporarily lost my sense of humor on this blog because morgan is constantly attacking everything I say. puppy has a new toy. Thus I thought I missed an angle.

    otherwise, i would have appreciated it. cliche, but it’s not you, it’s me.

  11. Greg says:

    denny, I got it :)

    well, I have to say — it seems like they’re on the defensive this time. Just where Rove has had the democrats for 2 elections, constantly on the defensive, playing cleanup, responding to allegations, etc.. I didn’t watch tonight (phew) but read over the summaries, and all the points that the papers are covering at least seem to be reassurances of all their key points, which seem to be crumbling right out from under them. ^_^

    The liberal media — which Palin isn’t fond of — is sure giving fair time on this one. I’m already completely sick of hearing these whiners, brainiacs and yes-men, and it’s only been 2 days worth.

    and hey, what about the delegation from Indiana with the buttons that read: “Hoosiers for the hot chick”? Man, thats some real class right there.

  12. Seth says:


    …she’s going to say, “Drill and fight the Big Oil companies.”

    Didn’t she already? Maybe not in so many words, but it was pretty blatant. Maybe “drill, baby, drill” will morph into “Drill, Sarah, Drill!”

    Quite the PR coup for Big Oil to have their pet policy idea implemented as if it were some huge attack on … get this … Big Oil. That’s “low-information” for you.

    I think you are right that Palin will be positioned as the anti-Gore on energy strategy. Her “like we didn’t know that” on the need for alternative energy was exactly the kind of mockery the right loves and will echo ceaselessly. She claimed a McCain/Palin administration would charge out of the gate on more drilling, more nukes, and … all that other stuff she just mocked. Perfect indication of their priorities: all the usual stuff Cheney’s energy syndicate wants, followed … someday … by all that politically correct stuff .

    The team that wrote this script for sure doesn’t think much of Americans’ BS detectors. I guess they would know.

  13. Alex Bowles says:

    Oh, you want class? Sorry, you came to the wrong monster truck rally for that. Class is outside, to the left, down by the arugula. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  14. Seth says:

    (once again with brackets that WordPress might not suppress as if they were malformed HTML tags)

    Perfect indication of their priorities: all the usual stuff Cheney’s energy syndicate wants, followed … someday … by all that politically correct stuff [snort, giggle].

    The team that wrote this script for [insert VP nominee name here] sure doesn’t think much of Americans’ BS detectors. I guess they would know.

  15. Alex Bowles says:

    And I think Morgan is on a roll – even if it is still a bit rough around the edges. She’s busy taking the only foreign policy point that matters right now, and making it hers, before Biden has had a chance to explain to her what foreign policy is.

  16. Lewis Haidt says:

    I think they’ve set up a great “story” and given MSM failure to convince public that it will address any substantive issue, let’s just say, your boy the Messiah ain’t in the promised land.

    Even I find Obi synthetic and the attacks compelling. I mean, what exactly has Obama accomplished outside of that thang-thang called Hope.

    Don’t forget all the “hope” that rallied against the Iraq War only to see dissolve and see Dubya elected……….

  17. Phil says:

    I’m surprised that nobody caught (or thinks much of) that line about being an advocate for parents of special needs children, accompanied by those loving, and adorable, shots of her youngest daughter stroking the baby’s head.

    There are a lot more of them, by orders of magnitude, than PUMAs, and they don’t care about party affiliation in matters concerning their children.

    That might have been the most dangerous part of the speech.

  18. Brian says:

    A rousing speech to the masses that will energize the Left.

    I can’t see Palin lasting much longer considering all the issues being raised since she wasn’t vetted beforehand. McCain may get Lieberman after all.

  19. len bullard says:

    The Creationism issue is the attack vector. Telling mother’s their children have to consider seriously a point of view that the world was created 5000 years ago while the Indians are teaching combinatorics to their children at the same age, well, that’s not competitive.

    On the other hand, the talking heads at CNN and MSNBC went ballistic and are going after her the same way they went after Clinton. That’s dumb. It’s too close in time and they come off looking like gender bigots. Even the liberal women were taking umbrage.

    Then the teen-agers. They should heed Obama’s advice. The media begins to resemble the monster in a B-movie sneaking up on two kids in a parked car at lover’s lane.

    Beyond the obvious oratory skills and presentation, her strength is her knowledge of energy policy and her identifiability with the middle class working moms. Her weakness is the extremeness of her conservatism on issues of science.

    She is definitely a game changer. It will be interesting to see both parties modulating their positions in response to the new attractor in this space. As I’ve said elsewhere, relying on emotional vectoring is a dangerous strategy because it takes very little to flip the domain and that drags the news cycle along with it. The closer we get to the election, the more this will begin to look like a high school wrestling match.

  20. Morgan Warstler says:

    I have a sneaking suspicion, that the religious stuff is off the table. She left the church in 2002.

    Her creationism thing wasn’t really, “teach both,” it was said along the lines of, if kids ask:

    “my parents tell me that god…” the teacher isn’t supposed to call the parents stupid, the answer has to be soemthing more like,

    “many people believe that since doesn’t yet have a definitive answer from science on how life began, even though evolution is science’s best estimate, that since it doesn’t have an exact answer, many people believe their god started it.”

    Next question about how the atom works?

    Thaat’s not teaching creationism.

  21. Jon Taplin says:

    The morning after “Pit Bull with Lipstick” narrative seems to have caught on. I’m not sure that’s the first impression they wanted, because it clearly will not pull inde4pendents over to the Republican column. Reading over the speech, it’s remarkably free of substance or policy. First part is bio, second part is vintage Rove machine attack.

    It will take a few days to see if this works as they hoped.

  22. Mark Woods says:

    My take on your questions Jon is that the sarcastic bear baiting we saw last night was well placed in a theater of discontented people. These people are running scared from an opposition who has clearly mapped out how things need to change and how if elected how they will do this. I feel she was just preaching to an already blind choir who are afraid of change, even if that is the right path socially and economically.

    McCain has his work cut out this evening, didn’t hear anything substantial about how this country’s going to move forward. He’ll have to rectify that if he wants a fighting chance come the debates.

  23. Peter says:

    Not directly about her speech, but more about the whole night: David Rushkoff offers this analysis.

  24. Alex Bowles says:

    Awesome link, Peter. I was trying to get to it earlier, but I think it was swamped by the Boing Boing effect (they picked up on it too).

    I was also pretty disturbed by Rudy’s overly-rhythmic fist pounding at the very end of his speech, though I couldn’t figure out why. when I woke up this morning I realized that it was one of Hitler’s favorite mannerisms.

    Not the image that any sane American wants to be channeling, and yet, that’s exactly what a favorite of the RNC did. Also, I couldn’t help noticing that the crowd was almost entirely white. In a nation that’s swiftly turning brown, I can’t believe, for one second, that these guys are busy building any substantial connection to the future.

    Final thought: I’m not crazy about overly-simple reductions, like ‘top-down’ vs. ‘bottom-up’, mainly because I think most successful systems involve an interplay of whatever dichotomies can be used to frame the dynamics within them. The GOP has adopted its own version of the bottom-up meme with the story about a Mavrick from AK storming into the DC Media Den.

    The real question is how two sides compare in terms of their ‘blending’. For Obama, it’s bottom up to the top, and once there, it’s a matter of hearing out both sides of a story, finding the value in each (hard to do, for committed partisans), and presenting a balanced solutions (hard for anyone), while asking for buy in from each. It’s deal making in the very best sense, because it happens with the consent of the governed in the full light of day.

    The GOP’s ‘blend’ is a bit different. Rise from the bottom, yes, but as an ass-kicking individual, and once you’re at the top, accept the same command and control role, only without the excess corruption and all the trappings that overtly signal decay. In other words, accept and promote a dichotomy as a means to an end, not as an end in itself.

    This, it would seem, is a pretty fundamental distinction between Obama’s platform, and what we saw from Palin / McCain.

  25. Mark Maglio says:

    I just watched her speech to see what all the fuss was about.

    First thing that caught my eye was the Special Needs child thing. What got me about it (and I’m certainly less than sure others will see it this way) is that the kid is a friggin’ infant. She’s been a special need parent for about five minutes, it’s not like Trig(?) has been this huge formative event in her life or politics.

    Other than that, she just essentially mocked Obama for having a tax plan that will raise taxes (although of course NOT for the vast majority of folks, and then fibbed about whom it would hurt and help) and for being… a community organizer.

    I don’t understand this self-confident attitude that she plans on just coming in and fuckin’ shit up in Washington, when she hasn’t done a thing, really.

    And then what was all this faux-populist “for the People” nonsense?

    But yeah, nothing there to bite into.

  26. Phil says:

    Well, if the callers to the local talk radio station are an accurate sample, Palin’s speech was a slam-dunk.

    (Amusingly, neither they nor the talk-jocks had anything to say about the plethora of fibs, and Huckabee’s outrageous lie about the comparative vote counts of Palin and Biden is now being quoted as fact. But, I digress.)

    At least for the time being, she has energized the *hell* out of the base.

    Makes McCain look like a trojan horse for the GOPs “real” candidate, doesn’t it?

    Anyway, my feeling about the special needs parenting portion of the speech seems to be somewhat validated: there were quite a few calls to both the morning and evening drive time shows about it, and in many cases the callers were in tears. The hosts gleefully predicted millions of votes raked in for the GOP because of it.

    If Palin’s family troubles were a political IED, that line is a political smart bomb: it breezed right past most of us, but *nailed* its intended targets.

  27. len says:

    People like her. It’s hard to fight that.

    Palin’s future depends on how well she modulates the extreme conservatism.

    Anyway, at this point in the election, it’s about The Deal.

    Policy acts as a control for directing the feedback between top down and bottom up systems. No mysteries there. Cybernetics 101.

    The Deal is the control. That’s the debate we really need to have in the next two months.

    “If I had a gun for every ace I have drawn,
    I could arm a town the size of Abilene.”
    Loser – Hunter/Garcia

  28. Jon Taplin says:

    Phil- I was told she cut special needs funding in Alaska in 2007 by 40%.

  29. Rick Turner says:

    God’s plan…we shouldn’t interfere. Next thing you know, there will be a caste system made official by the church. Homeless as untouchables.

  30. Rachel says:

    Ah, Len, what a great song :)

    Sadly, I very much doubt Palin’s ability to modulate anything.

    “I know a little something you might never know”, as the song goes.

  31. Ken Ballweg says:

    Read earlier today that the cut in Special Education is an artifact of moving the state’s large special needs school into it’s own budget catagory. When the two are taken together the cuts are significantly smaller.

  32. Alex Bowles says:

    The back and forth on this thread seems like a microcosm of the larger vetting process now being conducted by the media and the public alike, as they search for the underpinnings to the narrative that the McCain has developed around Palin.

    Each point is examined. Supporting evidence is sought out. Mitigating details are discovered. The truth eventually comes into focus.

    In a healthy campaign, this happens before the narrative is presented. With McCain, it’s shoot first, aim later.

    Which is a lot like Bush…

  33. len says:

    @rachel: Note, it is named “Loser”.

    People like Palin. She’s powerful juju. There are a lot of us wired up to like her. They are modulating her by restricting access. That makes the hungry go insane. If she can hold her on against Biden, that’s enough.

    This isn’t support, BTW. It’s analysis.

    If the election comes down to independents, it comes down to those who take responsibility for their own wiring. Unfortunately for the spin meisters, she appeals to those people because her image is precisely that: a woman who goes hunting Bullwinkle’s grandchildren, dresses the meat, then shares it with the family.

    Reality? Hard to tell. The bios suggest she is what she appears to be. Do we want honest appearances or a fair deal?

    Also, and I hate this bit: she is the breath of air for the white people who have been led to fear they are being pushed aside, made into dodos, about to go extinct. This is something I’ve been counseling Obama supporters against: stirring up a gumbo of us vs them, out with the old, in with the new. In the simpler domain dynamics of emotional centers, that is greed creating fear through the appearance of smug ambition. Suddenly a symbol of hope comes along and flips the domain in an instant like the earth’s magnetic poles reversing.

    Palin is a symbol of hope shared by enough brains with the same wiring that she could tip the election back to the right. Again, see the Devil and Daniel Webster.

    Palin is to the right what Obama is to the right, but as of now, she is the new kid in town and that dominates the media, the electrical signal carrier of our emotions. We can go on and on about the issues, his plans, his speech making but if those made fearful by his campaign are energized by her hopefulness, the small numbers that decide the election are up for grabs.

    Go lightly. Make sure that Obama remains a symbol of hope, not the dark knight that turns over the chess board. That may feel good to the young, but it just scares the pawns, pisses off the King, and makes the Queen the most dangerous piece on the board.

    “everybody’s praying and drinking that wine
    i can tell the queen of diamonds by the way she shines
    come to daddy on an inside straight
    well i got no chance of losing this time
    Last fair deal in the country…”

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