Sarah Palin gave her acceptance speech last night at the RNC, and can I just say that I stood up in my living room and applauded several times during the course of it–something I’ve never done when I’ve heard Barack Obama give his long-winded empty speeches about “change.” There’s buzz today about her being too “sarcastic,” too “mean,” and too “harsh,” but you know what? I think she (as many pundits were saying immediately after) hit it out of the park. That was a brilliant speech, brilliantly delivered.
She had several avenues she might have traveled last night, and I think she took the best course in terms of letting America know what she cares about and who she is. I suspect that she, like John McCain, is the same person no matter what state she’s in or which audience she’s addressing, that she holds the core beliefs that she espouses no matter who berates her for them, and that she intends to continue using her career for change (rather than vice versa).
Some of the points she made I’ve been making all along: Obama talks pretty, says nothing, and does less. It might be “mean” to say if his lack of . . . well, experience, action, anything were due to some sort of personal problem he couldn’t help, but it’s not, it’s because he’s writing (two!!) biographies and running for president instead of actually doing anything to spark “change we can believe in.” Palin pointed out that Obama writes bios instead of bills; well, it’s true, he does. He does use “change” to create his career rather than his career to create change. It’s just the facts.
Aside from that, she just made me proud to be an American, proud to be a woman, proud to be an American woman. She didn’t ask me to believe in her (like a god?) or to take a leap of faith; she just said what she’s done and told me, told us all, what she holds dear. It resonated with me in a way that nothing Barack Obama can or will say; I’m a tired old English teacher, I listen for content and want to know what supports the central thesis, and I’m constantly disappointed by Obama’s speeches in those terms (though, again and again, I’ve said he gives a pretty speech and is easy on the eyes).
One of the moments that had me up, off my couch and skipping around clapping my hands, was when Governor Palin announced that in her cutting of the chaff from the Alaskan state budget, she eyeballed the governor’s fancy jet plane and determined that this was an unnecessary burden on the taxpayers of her state, and . . . she put the jet on eBay.
That’s the kind of leader I can believe in, one that puts her money where her mouth is (she also decided her family could struggle along without the chef provided also by the state/tax payers). What she does and has done speaks volumes of pretty pretty speeches, and I’m there, in the McCain camp waving my sign and preparing to vote for that ticket, even as I carefully pack away my Hillary gear . . . at least for the next four years.