I HAVE to wave the white flag of surrender and admit that Sarah Palin showed last night why she’s going to become our next vice president in January.
Americans eat up all the things she did in last night’s debate — that doggone folksy talk, the 247 “maverick” references, the shrewd “I’m not gonna answer the questions the way you want” disclaimer. She gave the people exactly what they want, and managed to make Joe Biden look a little old and confused along the way.
Half the time, I couldn’t tell who Biden was talking about — “John” or Obama — and he even mixed up their names at least once. (And did he have to say he “loves” McCain — twice?) He came off like Gore and Kerry in previous debates — just another stiff, know-it-all statistician, the kind of person Americans don’t want to watch on their bigass TV screens.
Tina Fey may do a pitch-perfect portrayal of Palin, but Palin herself is playing a character — and she’s nailing it too. This is a former beauty pageant contestant/TV newscaster we’re talking about — she knows how to make herself likable to judges and demographic groups.
I believe she’s been coached to answer questions as anti-intellectually as possible. I think if she had told Katie Couric she reads the Wall Street Journal and U.S. News & World Report, it would have cost her votes. I think she’s been instructed to pronounce it “noo-ku-lar.” I really believe she’s playing us, in both meanings of that phrase.
All Biden had to say was that our country has been hijacked by politicians in over their heads, that our nation has hit rock bottom and needs people of substance and experience to save it from the very real possibility of collapse. That we have to swallow our pride and vote for people who are better than us and not for drinking buddies.
Unfortunately, smarts are a liability in these debates — long, fact-filled answers don’t play well on TV, and they haven’t for a while. Americans would rather see the smart guy get knocked down a peg or two by a quick quip. And by playing to the hilt this character of the fiesty hockey mom with more moxie than brains, Palin is proving she’s the smartest one of all.