Tonight's debate proved beyond a doubt, that Sarah Palin is qualified. Qualified to be a right wing evangelical preacher, a PR flack, a local news anchor, and a motivational speaker.
But not Vice President of the United States. And certainly not an English teacher. Why is it that politicians think it endears them to the average working American when they drop the final G's from their words. That's not endearin', that's insultin'. It assumes that if you're really a hardworking middle class American, you're too busy to finish pronouncing your words. Palin dropped so many G's that maybe her last name is really Paling.
In contrast to her previous interviews, Palin gave confident, crisp responses. Without actually answering any questions. A one on one interview can reveal a person's thought processes-or lack thereof. A structured debate is almost like a speech. You can "answer" the question with memorized talking points that you can repeat over and over again.
Her supporters applaud her feistiness. But being feisty is one of the least unique traits a human being can have. We all know feisty people who are sure of what they're saying. Many of them can be found leaning unsteadily against the bar at 3:30 in the morning.
Yes, she connected well with the camera. And so does every host on the QVC shopping channel. And every spokesperson on late night infomercials.
The things Sarah Palin did well tonight are things that millions of Americans are capable of doing equally well, if not better. Except that few of those millions of Americans think they're qualified to be Vice President. Maybe they just need a little confidence boostin' by Ms. Palin.
"Ya betcha ya can be VP. I'm tellin' ya all ya need is a smile, and a couple of pieces of info that don't have to be true. Gettin' to be in the 2nd highest office in the U.S. is a lot like bein' Mayor of a city of 7,000, and Governor of a state where Putin rears his head."
Before tonight, Sarah Palin was entertaining, fun to watch, bumbling and horrifically unqualified to be Vice-President. Tonight, she became a folksy Karl Rove, a smilingly mean-spirited bore who is like so many right wing pundits on television.
In other words, more of the same.