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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: September 4, 2008 @ 2:15 pm

    Sarah Palin

    Harry McGee

    The Alaskan Governor apparently gave a barnstorming and electrifying speech in St Paul last night after a rocky couple of days.

    The saying ‘events dear boy, events’ may be cliché bit it’s also true.

    And Palin’s nascent VeePee campaign looked like it could have been derailed before it really began by a string of revelations from the inane (her husband has a drunk driving conviction from all of 21 years ago) to the more serious – they included the disclosure that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant, which should really be neither here not there, and some flat-earth views (she’s a a climate change denier and is very much in favour of oil drilling in Alaska).

    But her speech last night acted as the galvanising force that was sorely needed by the faltering campaign of John McCain. She will be divisive but she proved that she is made of strong stuff and will prove a tough foe for Joe Biden during their one-on-one debate. She has what the Americans call a good ‘narrative’ (life story and views) that will appeal to voters in America’s conservative heartland. Her speech last night was in the attack dog tradition associated with vice-presidential candidates. She came out with a couple of great lines, not least her counter-attack on the Obama campaign’s portrayal of her as mayor of a tiny town with no real national experience. Her response played on his former job before he became a Senator in Illinois.

    “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”

    She also tartly chided the media, element of which have led an onslaugh against her.

    “I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion; I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.”

    We live in an instant society. We expect everything to be delivered in a flash, even reasoned opinions and judgements on political issues and candidates. That is banal. It was made even more banal by the fact that nobody had heard of Sarah Pailin but yet it didn’t stop pundits across the media from becoming instantaneous wise omniscient King Solomons.

    We’re like that with everything. When the economic bubble was expanding everybody was in denial, suggesting that the weight of history meant nothing, and for once the property boom and credit boom and high consumer spending could continue indefinitely… that we had somehow discovered a counter cycle. And we were wrong… We will realise just how wrong we were in the coming months and years. And then it will all start to recover and optimism will return and once again everybody will begin talking in expansionary terms again and will quickly forget the painfull lesson we learned…

    The only point I have made about Ms Palin is that we should at least wait a couple of weeks to see how she gets on before making judgements about how good or bad she is.

    Incidentally, realclearpolitics.com is a really good site if you are looking for the full range of opinion on American politics.

    • The back story to that speech that appears to be emerging is that her . And from the Obama camp’s rebuttal and this AP article, it appears the “winging” it was a little bit makey uppy.
      Obama’s campaign need to stop engaging with Palin. She’s just the VP candidate and the political science heads at >the Monkey Cage blog are prettty insistant that a VP choice has never really determined a swing in an election. He’s not against Palin, it’s McCain he needs to get back in his sights.

    • An Fear Bolg says:

      Her speech was totally loonie – might have fired up the crazies in the Republican party but it was so distorted that most people should see through it easily enough.

      I liked the bit about need to change Washington – eh, Washington that has had Bush for the last 8 years and a majority Republican legislature until last year?

      Hard to believe McCain is going totally crazy with the campaign.

    • ciaran says:

      the interesting parts of her speech were the “dolphin calls” (i think that’s the term,can’t remember exactly at the moment – the eg being the servants heart remark) to the right wing of the GOP, McCain, it could be argued, by putting a proper Rep cliche as his VP (guns,anti abortion,staunch church goer) has ceded the fight for independents to Obama and is looking to the typical Rep punter to get him in…also interesting was her five minutes or so spent saying how happy she would be to use a veto,which they’re gonna have to do with a Dem majority in the two houses..

    • Jeff says:

      Pahlin’s speech was nothing more than an attack dog set-up, with nothing substantive said about policy or pressing issues. Yet it apparently went over big with the delegates (perhaps not so surprising). Basically she continued the key pattern of McCain’s campaign: attack Obama relentlessly while ignoring major issues. She picked up on most of Obama’s major flubs, a very basic line of attack for someone who, on the surface, seems to be intelligent and articulate. She wasn’t very original. She possibly could have been if she wasn’t working for a Bush clone.

    • Fiona Whelan Prine says:

      I live in the US and I am watching the Presidential election very closely. To say we need change in this country is such an understatement. The last 8 years have been horrific as we have witnessed our government rip this country asunder and create havoc in Iraq.That is not a war it is an uninvited occupation of a country that we have no business meddling with. Oh wait a minute they do have oil…. hmmm….It is getting increasingly difficult here to discern truth from fiction on both sides of the national debate. I read a piece on Palin, written by Mary Mullen and published this week in The Irish Times. I have forwarded it to many of my friends who are looking for real, honest commentary, not angry rhetoric and lies. Obama may not be able to completely undo the travesty of the last 8 years but I believe that the American people deserve an honest , sincere, intelligent leader who can help us (I became a citizen 4 years ago) stand up in the world again with dignity, compassion, strength and the humility required to be once again,the beacon of Hope that this country has been to millions the world over..

    • Mary W. says:

      Mary Mullen is for real. She sees clearly from her home in Ireland, though she was raised in Alaska. I have known her family for years, and they are far more in touch with family values, policy issues, and what it would take to bring about change in the U.S. Google her name with Irish Times to find the article; also chopra.com has 4 great articles regarding the Palin ‘effect’ ~ about what is really going on, and some possible solutions.

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