hopperbach


Sarah’s back

Many on the right who tuned into last night’s debate with white-knuckled dread are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief today. Sarah did an excellent job. From the sound of things it appears that the McCain campaign has finally decided to heed the advice of pundits and allow Sarah to be Sarah. We saw a return of the lively, down-to-earth hockey mom we remembered at the convention. While the usual McCain talking points were employed, she seemed to have a lot more freedom to be herself and phrase the answers in her own way.

Both candidates tried to appeal to the middle-class throughout the debate but Sarah, coming from a middle-class background herself, made a more genuine connection. In fact, in contrast to Biden she seldom even used the phrase “middle class” — sending the subtle message that she was one of them and didn’t have to make a distinction like her opponent.

When the focus turned to foreign policy, Biden went into full Senate speech mode and seemed to revel in his knowledge of one of his favorite subjects. But perhaps ol’ Joe was a bit too cocky in assuming he would win this segment of the debate.  Immediately after he finished presenting an impressively worded outline of Obama’s timetable for pulling out of Iraq, Palin rared back and got in the debate’s biggest zinger:

Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq and that is not what our troops need to hear today, that’s for sure. And it’s not what our nation needs to be able to count on. You guys opposed the surge. The surge worked…

Pwned! And Joe knew it, baby. The passion in Sarah’s voice was evident here and Biden almost looked like a scolded schoolboy as she lit into him. How do you like the taste of barracuda, Joe.

Also there were some notable nods to the Gipper last night. Palin quoted Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” line and repeatedly railed on high taxes and our increasingly intrusive government.  She even managed to slip in a famous Reagan retort from his debate with Jimmy Carter:

“Say it ain’t so, Joe. There you go again pointing backwards again.”

Sarah was in great form here and it was a joy to watch.

In her closing argument she invoked yet another moving quote from Ronaldus Magnus:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.

Amazing words from an amazing man. God, I miss that guy. Very wise of Sarah to invoke him here.

So with only a couple of exceptions (most notably her populist stance on the “greed” of Wall Street) Sarah’s message was notably conservative in tone. Overall she appeared poised, confident and intelligent.  Even some of the more liberal pundits have had to admit [snort! spit!] that she carried herself very well last night.  Suffice to say she has now eased a lot of the doubts that were starting to surface on the right in recent weeks.

As for me… I never doubted her for a moment. Sarah has had to hit the ground running and learn a lot in a very short time. But from the beginning I’ve seen in her the raw material for true greatness. I think she’s going to adapt quickly and surprise everyone before it’s all over.

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