Alaska's Gov. Sarah Palin hit the RNC convention stage Wednesday night with the fiery intensity that Hurricane Gustav threatened but failed to wage on the Gulf Coast earlier in the week. Let's face it, she's beautiful, sexy, smart, funny, sarcastic, tough, oozes charisma and can deliver a rousing speech the same if not better than Sen. Barack Obama. She's the real deal. A true rock star. Pat Benatar with smart-girl glasses. That she's sounds like Frances McDormand in "Fargo" is a special little bonus. It's quite easy to see why Republicans are like high school boys with a mad crush. But fortunately for Democrats, she also has more skeletons in her closet than an osteologist, making her the juiciest target to come along in years. For the left, she could be the election on a silver platter.
As an example, the National Enquirer is dispatching an army of reporters to continue investigating Palin, and explosively alleges in its print edition this week that she had an affair with one of her husband's business partners. And where there's infidelity smoke, there could be fire, especially since the Enquirer recently earned its stripes with its accurate reporting of John Edwards' affair. It also broke the Bill Clinton/Paula Jones scandal back in the early 90's. For any politician these days, having the National Enquirer hot on your trail is definitely not a good thing, especially in the middle of a heated presidential race.
Additionally, an article in The Washington Post Thursday highlights several intense emails Palin sent to former Alaskan public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan, who was fired by Palin in July allegedly for failing to heed Palin's calls to fire her brother-in-law, State Trooper Mike Wooten, who at the time was embroiled in a messy divorce with Palin's sister. As a result, she's currently under investigation by a bipartisan legislative body for alleged abuse-of-power. To be sure, this story has legs and, long after Palin's much-heralded convention speech, it will continue to haunt her and the McCain campaign all the way to November.
The media has not been too kind on Palin either. During the televised convention coverage on MSNBC, conservative columnist and former Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan was inadvertently overheard answering a question about Palin’s experience: "Most qualified?, no," adding that McCain had chosen her not based on ideology, but for the personal narrative. "Every time Republicans do that they blow it." I suspect this sort of off-the-cuff honesty from the press, as well as more hard-hitting reporting, will continue, in part incited by the campaign itself.
The McCain camp has been harshly criticizing the media for its coverage of Palin, signaling that the curmudgeonly nominee's lovefest with the press has finally ended, as it should. As the NY Times reports Thursday, the campaign has distributed news releases criticizing individual reporters for their unfair coverage, including CNN's Campbell Brown, over which they cancelled McCain's scheduled Larry King interview; dismissed a NY Times article about Palin's vetting process as "fiction;" and the campaign's chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, accused journalists of pursuing a "mission to destroy" Palin with "a new level of viciousness."
Overall, Palin's checkered past is quite troubling for the ticket. Toss in her supposed involvement in the Alaska Independence Party, which advocates the state's secession from the Union; her 17-year-old daughter Bristol's
unwed pregnancy; and her husband's DWI 22 years ago and the picture painted is hardly the desired one of conservative family values. Yeah, she's pretty and gives a darned good speech, but there's plenty of there there, just not the kind that McCain bargained for.
What's more, it's laughable to think she'll attract the disaffected female supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton. There's not a liberal chick alive who voted for Clinton that will throw her support to the anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-stem cell research, gun-toting, carcass-skinning, evangelical, creationist, abstinence-only Republican. I mean, are you kidding?!
Regarding the convention itself, it's so far been a well-orchestrated charade consisting of American flags, cowboys, veterans and the black guy. Twenty thousand fanatic supporters filling the arena and it seemed that all they could find was one lone black dude who kept appearing on camera repeatedly. There sure was a helluva lot of red, white and blue, but hardly any black. If it wasn't so embarassing, it'd be comical.
While Tuesday night's opening mentioned not one single word about the economy, proving yet again how out-of-touch Republicans are with the mounting financial anxieties of the average American, Wednesday's circus contained not one word about Bush and Cheney, proving that Republicans are quite adept when it comes to burying their ugly embarrassments.
In Wednesday night's exercise in revisionist history, speaker after deceptive speaker--including Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani and Grandma Sarah herself--were tricked out to distort the truth and lie about the candidates, the war, the economy, taxes and the role of government. These people have no shame. No scruples. They never let facts get in the way of their spinning. And watching their flag-draped BullshitFest was/is enough to make you sick. But what they do have is an insatiable hunger for power, and are doing and saying whatever necessary to win the White House. Obama and the Democrats indeed have a gift in Palin, and with McBush. Let's just hope they know what to do with it before November 4th.
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