Self-described hockey mom Sarah Palin skated aggressively through a defensive line of media critics to score a hat-trick-of-a-speech before a fired-up crowd inside the Xcel Energy Center.
Like or loathe her stand on the issues, now we know why "Sarah Barracuda" is considered a game changer. "She really did hit it out of the park," said CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who would benefit from a crash course in hockey terminology before the upcoming debates.
As usual with political conventions, the evening's activities started out slowly. But then just as I was dozing off, CNN's Campbell Brown doltishly asked the panel, "Besides abortion and gay rights, what other women's issues are there?" Whoo hoo! I'm wide awake now. Did you see the blood drain from Blitzer's face? Gloria Berger jumped in to inform Brown that women are also interested in education, health care, energy costs, and dozens of other ditzy issues.
Former candidate Mike Huckabee used storytelling to score points about everyday Americans, stealing a page from the Bill Clinton playbook. Huckabee was likeable and comedic, for example telling of growing up poor in a rented house in Arkansas and using Lava soap: "I was in college before I found out it's not supposed to hurt when I take a shower."
Rudy Guiliani played the enforcer, calling Obama "the least experienced candidate for president in the last 100 years." Then he asked the Xcel crowd, "How dare they question whether Sarah has enough time to spend with her children and be vice president? How dare they do that? When do they ever ask a man that question?"
I'd be surprised if anyone even remembers Guiliani's speech today because it was Palin's night. We knew it would be from the get-go because CNN put a "Sarah Palin Speech" countdown clock in the corner of the television screen, just like they do for the NFL Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Palin spoke of "the determination, the resolve, and the sheer guts of Senator John McCain," all the while demonstrating her own. "I love those hockey moms. You know what the difference is between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick." The crowd roared. Palin also showed she wasn't afraid to use her elbows, pointing out that "our opponent authored two memoirs, but no reforms."
I disagree with Palin on many of the issues. Yet the hockey mom in me couldn't help thinking, "You go girl!"
Heads up!...Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Game on.