Thursday, September 04, 2008

On Sarah Palin's Speech

On a history making night, Sarah Palin introduced herself to the world yesterday as quite possibly the future of the Republican party. She endured harsh press from her initial presentation last Friday and came out without missing a beat. She showed poise, wit and delivery. And she almost achieved Obama's TV ratings.

In a speech designed to as always promote the presidential candidate, Sarah came off solid and entertaining. I do not believe she was mocking Obama or community organizers per se, but mocking the idea that she was more inexperienced or that she had no experience. She was making her case. Besides, mockery and attacks are not above either party.

Palin did what she had to do, fire the base and unite the party under McCain. While it is true that McCain will need swing voters to win the election it is also true that without the evangelical right, and without the social conservatives - both of which were unexcited with the pick and willing to not vote - without them he didn't stand a chance. So Palin went out and delivered.

Biden came out this morning and said the following regarding Palin's speech:
Biden would only criticize “what was not heard” from Palin, pointing to a void he saw in the Republican’s speech last night.

“I didn't hear the phrase health insurance mentioned once,” he said. “I didn't hear, I didn't hear one time any reference to education. I didn't hear a single syllable about how hard it is for middle class folks to get to their kids to college. I didn't hear anything concrete about jobs and what's going to be done about stopping the export of our jobs.”
I watched Biden's speech. I watched him go through his biography, tell us about how Jane and Joe are financially tight, that Obama was right and McCain was wrong, and that McCain was more of the same. He was very passionate. But since I didn't remember any substance in his speech I went back and looked at the transcript. I found very substantive attacks on McCain, and as for the Democratic stance this is what he said:
Barack Obama will reform our tax code. He’ll cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people who draw a paycheck.

Barack Obama will transform our economy by making alternative energy a genuine national priority, creating 5 million new jobs and finally freeing us from the grip of foreign oil.

He’ll make college more affordable.

Barack Obama will bring down health care costs by $2,500 for the typical family, and, at long last, deliver affordable, accessible health care for all Americans.

Barack Obama will put more cops on the streets, put the “security” back in Social Security and never give up until we achieve equal pay for women. That’s the change we need.

I know that to some of you this may qualify as substance, but not to me. I have very high standards; I was one of the few people disappointed with Obama's speech b/c I thought it lacked "substance" and he missed an incredible opportunity to present his platform.

Here all I'm hearing from Biden are campaign promises. How is he going to approach this tax cut? How will he lower health costs? Do we need more cops in the streets? How do they plan to save social security since they scrapped the idea to allow me to do what I want with some of my funds? How will he make college more affordable when more and more state universities have continuously - including the Clinton years - increases tuition to attract more students and qualified professors?

Palin needed to introduce herself and her experience to all who watched last night. Her speech had a very different purpose than Biden's who we all met during the primaries. Sarah had to let people know how she got to where she was. That was her mission. In addition she did address the financial pinch we are all in by rising oil prices and the fact that we must become energy independent:
And families cannot throw more and more of their paychecks on gas and heating oil. Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to lay more pipelines and build more nuclear plants and create jobs with clean coal and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal and other alternative sources.

We need -- (cheers, applause) -- we need American sources of resources. We we need American energy brought to you by American ingenuity and produced by American workers.
Now she goes on the trail, now she goes in the debates. It is now that she must bring the substance to the table and prove that she can not only deliver a speech with greatness, but survive unrehearsed.

I don't know what this election will bring, but I know this - it will change the politics of this country for ever. And not because of who is or isn't elected; the campaigns will change the politics. It is a history making election, the first Black major party candidate and the first woman on a Republican ticket.

While I do not look forward to the presidential debates, I have to admit I cannot wait for the Biden-Palin debate to see how "barracuda" or the lipstick wearing pitbull faces Joe Biden.

Stay tuned folks.