A star is made
“When she was good, she was very, very good, and when she was bad, she was…”
My, she was good! The delegates wanted red meat, and Sarah Palin was a butcher shop. They wanted someone who could cut, and Sarah Palin was the Wasilla Stiletto.
They wanted someone who could bring them to their feet in triumphant victimhood, and Sarah Palin did the job, over and over again. She rocked the hall—absolutely rocked the hall.
And she loved every minute of it.
You could see that, couldn’t you? You could see her slow down to savor her punch lines—the slams and the throwaways. You could see the jaw set when it was time to sound defiant. You could see the “Here comes another one” index finger poised in the air, the “Can you believe that guy?” thumb flipped casually over her shoulder.
And you knew exactly what she was thinking. She was thinking, “This isn’t that hard!” She was thinking, “This is just like Alaska!” She was thinking, “I could get used to this.”
Maybe she’ll have that chance.
Maybe she’ll even be the next vice president of the United States, despite being precisely as qualified after the speech as she was a week ago.
Which is to say, un-.
She read all her lines, and she hit all her marks. That’s nice. All those days of rehearsals really paid off.
She had fire, and she had spunk. That’s nice, too.
But in the famous words of Ronald Reagan, “Where’s the rest of me?”
If sarcasm were wisdom, she’d be ready on Day One. It’s not. She’s not. And force-feeding her a CliffsNotes version of the world’s hot spots isn’t going to do it.
You might ask yourself, “What was John McCain thinking?” He’s the one, after all, who keeps talking about what a dangerous planet we live on. How we need his kind of experience to keep us safe. Does Sarah Palin really fill the bill?
Except that you know what John McCain was thinking. He was thinking, “How do I get elected?”
He certainly wasn’t thinking, “I’m a 72-year-old man who’s had multiple bouts of cancer. What if something happens to me?”
He certainly wasn’t thinking, “Wouldn’t it be nice if most of the subjects she’ll have to deal with if she wins the job had actually crossed her mind before last Thursday?”
That’s not “sexism.” That’s reality.
So is this: The country has gotten to know Barack Obama over four years, has learned about his background and his record, has watched him in dozens of debates, has heard him in countless interviews and speeches. It’s gotten to know John McCain and Joe Biden for decades.
It’s known about Sarah Palin for days.
And 60 days from now, we’re supposed to feel comfortable entrusting her with the power, and the responsibilities, of the second-highest office in the land.
You get longer than that to try out a new set of Ginsu knives.
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.