What to make of the Vice Presidential debate [transcript here] last night?
We err if we view Sarah Palin through the lens of our own ambitions and anxieties. Many assumed she would be apprehensive, even terrified by the prospect of facing millions of Americans. The future of the GOP was hers to destroy.
But this is not an average woman. She has experience. She has stood nearly naked in a two-piece bathing suit before crowds of gawkers in beauty contests and smiled confidently. Do that a few times and the audience behind Gwen Ifill and the television transmitters is far less than intimidating. She has sat before broadcast microphones reading teleprompter sports copy. Do that and the fear of tongue-tied dead air disappears.
She was confident, attractive, and never off her game. The News Hour Commentator Mark Shields later called her “colloquial,” a less folksy way of saying she’s “folksy.” American loves the common (wo)man. Rather than demand leaders whose superior knowledge and intelligence separate them from the masses (and qualify them by these superior attributes to lead), our voters seem to feel entirely more comfortable with good ol’ boys like George W. Bush, the kinda guy you’kin have a brew with.
Or with good ol’ gals like Sarah Palin. She is well chosen for our anti-intellectual America. A formidable candidate.
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Although the statewide polls show Ohio as a toss-up (Obama up by 2%), on the drive to Kent State this morning we did our own scientific poll by tabulating all the lawn signs on Ohio’s Route 43 from Streetsboro to Kent.
Obama: 9 signs
McCain: 2 signs
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Today’s Vote Today Ohio schedule has 49 students booked for rides to the polls. By the end of the day I shall be fully qualified to drive a rental car shuttle bus to and from any airport.