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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Liveblogging Sarah Palin's speech at the RNC convention

10:29: Sarah Palin is introduced to wild applause. Very wild applause.

She looks great, in a beige number, a black skirt, and with glasses. Her husband, Todd, looks a little nervous with babe in arms. (He looks good too, by the way, with a red tie, and a big smile. What a handsome fellow).

10:31: She begins: "I will be honoured to accept your nomination for vice-president of the United States." More applause. The camera seems to spend a lot of time on the Palin family.

"I accept the challenge of a tough fight with our opponents... and I accept the privilege of serving with a man who has come through much harder missions, and tougher battles, and knows how fights are won. The next president of the U.S.A.: John S. McCain."

10:33: "It was just a year ago when all the experts in Washington counted McCain out (or something like that). Because he refused to blah blah blah. They overlooked the caliber of the man himself, the sheer blah blah blah. The voters knew better. Maybe that's because they realized that there's a time for politics, and a time for something. A time to do something or other, and a time to put our country first."

10:35: "He refused to back down from siding with the troops in Iraq, and they are now within sight of victory. And as a mother of a troop member, that is exactly the kind of leader I want." She's proud of all the men and women in uniform.

The crowd goes into that "U.S.A." chant that grates on my nerves. It grated on my nerves when I watched some of the DNC convention, and when I watched a bit of Ron Paul's counter-convention, and now when I'm watching Palin give her speech. Irritating.

10:37: She says something that gives the camera an excuse to pan over to Bristol and her new fiancee Levi.

"From the inside, no family is typical. Our family is no different. We have ups and downs, just like every family. And children with special needs require a special kind of love. To the families with children with special needs all across this country, I have a message for you: For years, you have fought to get recognition for your boys and girls (rough paraphrase. I can't type that fast). I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have an advocate in the White House." (her newest baby has down syndrome)

10:39: She talks about her husband. She is really nailing this speech. Spending a lot of time on the family that everyone is really, really interested in. It's a great story, actually, and Palin is kicking ass.

10:39: Now she's talking about her parents, who taught her that every woman could walk through the halls of any job, and other nice pro-woman noise. Did she crib this from Hillary?

10:41: I guess somebody in her family was a farmer, because now she's saying that farmers are pretty good peeps. And everyone's happy.

Hey! She says she's a proud hockey mom. That should secure the Canadian vote right there. "You know, they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull... lipstick." Awesome. I think that was off-the-cuff.

10:42: "I was mayor of Alaska, and now I'm the governor of that great state. And since our opponents like to talk down at that kind of experience--let me explain to you exactly what that means. I guess being mayor of a small town is like being an organizer... except you have some actual responsibilities."

10:43: Ha ha. Some protestor is being carted off the floor. Not too roughly. She's crazy.

10:43: Another reference to people clinging to their God and guns (Giuliani made reference to it). "We don't like those candidates who talk about us one way in Scranton, and another in San Francisco. You can be certain that my -- she's refering to McCain -- will be the same man no matter where you see him."

"Well, I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I've learned quickly that if you're not a member in good standing with the political elite, then some in the media are going to think you're not qualified for that reason alone." The crowd boos for what seems like literally a minute.

"Here's a little newsflash for those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to get their good opinion, I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this great country." She's smiling, having fun. (Did I articulate fully just how beautiful this woman is? Because she is.)

10:48: She mentions Juno! You know, that movie with the girl who decides to have a baby and not get an abortion because babies have fingernails? Wait. Wait. No, not Juno, "Juneau." The city in Alaska. My bad.

10:49: She put a luxury jet on eBay? For real? Because, as she said, the governor of Alaska had one. She put it on eBay? Quick, someone double-check. This is the coolest thing ever.

10:51: She's talking about gas and oil, and throwing in references to all kinds of countries out there. I guess she's trying to demonstrate that she knows a thing or two about foreign policy. Now she's talking about Iran cutting off a fifth of the oil supplies. "And take it from a gal who knows the north slope of Alaska, we've got lots of both (gas and oil, she means)."

10:53: People chant "drill."

"Our opponents say that drilling won't solve all of our energy problems, as if we didn't know that already. But the fact that drilling won't solve all of our problems, doesn't mean that it won't be a step in the right direction." Palin and McCain will drill, lay down pipelines, go after solar, wind, water, and other sources of energy. "We need American energy, brought to you by Americans, and American workers." (Didn't some gas project go to a Canadian company when Palin put the contract up for bid?)

10:55: "This is a man who can give an hour-long speech about war and never use the word 'victory' except when he's talking about his own campaign."

10:55: "But when the lights go out, and the stadium empties, and those greek styrofoam columns go back to some movie lot... what has he accomplished--after he's pushed back the water, and (some other religious reference that gets a good laugh. I'm laughing too. Her delivery is great)--not much."

10:57: Woah, there, Palin: She says something about al-Quaeda terrorists and how Obama is worried that someone doesn't read them their rights. Uhm.

10:58: Obama wants to raise all kinds of taxes.

10:59: People who wear stupid hats will be on TV. Bring your stupid hat to some televised event. Also, don a lot of campaign buttons. Lots of them. You'll look like a complete idiot, but you'll get on TV!

11:01: Ken, in the comment section, points to the picture of the private jet that was up on e-Bay. So she did try and put the thing up on e-Bay. Man, that's pretty awesome. (Thanks Ken!)

11:03: "Ladies and gentlemen, the job of President is not supposed to be a journey of personal self-discovery... applause... this world of threats and dangers ... doesn't just need an organizer. And although both Sen. Biden and Obama have been going on about fighting for you, there is really only one man who has really fought for you." Everyone cheers, except for one veteran who sits bemused. If you guessed that that man was Congressman Jeff Flake, dock yourself two points. Similarly if you said John Stossel. No, no, she means John McCain (yes, the answer was John McCain).

11:06: She's talking about McCain's experience as a POW. I'm a bit exhausted of all the POW stuff in this election.

11:08: "Join our cause, and help elect a great man as president of the United States. Thank you and..." (got a guess what she says to finish off the speech? No, not for points, cause it's as obvious as it's, uhm, cold in Alaska)... GOD BLESS AMERICA." (Golly.)

Here comes the whole family to say "hello" and wave to us schmucks and the schmucks at the convention. Levi gets to be on stage too, and holds Bristol's hand (Levi's the guy who knocked Bristol up).

Oh. John McCain comes up on stage to also say "hello" to all the schmucks gathered in attendance. He's got an orange tie to match Hilary Clinton's orange suit from her speech last week in Denver.

McCain: "Don't you think we made the right choice for the next vice president of the United States? And what a beautiful family." He bends over to awkwardly say something to one of the younger Palin's. I think that little girl got frightened.  Cause she walks on over to her mom and won't leave her side. (Okay, cynicism aside, she is a really cute kid).

11:14: And they leave the stage. Overall, it was pretty good. I was very excited at the beginning, thought Palin had some great early moments, and then it was kind of boring. Then it was even more boring when she talked about that McMaverick guy. But she did well.

11:15: Time for some cowboy entertainment. I'm done. They say the opening bit of the Declaration of Independence and then sing the anthem. Oh. They cut in with a line from the pledge of allegiance to the state. I mean the flag. More anthem. More pledgery (he really emphasises the "under God" part). More anthem. Guy says "indivisible" and that's it. Singing. You get the idea. Woman's voice cracks. But it's okay. Cool concept, not sure about the content (just using the pledge part. I hate the pledge. But the Declaration is awesome. They should have stuck with that).

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on September 3, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink


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It seem very curious to me that people are praising Palin's "executive experience" so much and denigrating Obama's lack thereof when McCain's suffers from the same lack of "executive experience". The last time I checked McCain has never been a mayor, governor or any kind of elected official with so called "executive experience". His highest elected position is exactly the same as Obama's, U.S. Senator. He just happens to have held this position a lot longer than Obama, but the fact is they have achieved the same level of political success. If we follow the logic being pushed by Republicans then Sarah should be on the top of the ticket, not VP since she has his valuable experience. Let's hold McCain to the same standard he is holding Obama to. He doesn't deserve a pass simply because he has been at the same level as Obama a lot longer. A senator is a senator, nothing more.

Posted by: Derrick Harris | 2008-09-03 8:46:52 PM

Yes Peter, she did put the plane on e-bay. From what I gather it wasn't actually sold through e-bay, but she did sell it off.

Posted by: Ken | 2008-09-03 8:54:05 PM

This appears to be the picture from the e-bay auction:


Posted by: Ken | 2008-09-03 8:56:44 PM

Senators are politicians too! They have experience dealing with other politicians, which I argue is essential for success as President. Anyone can give orders as President, but it takes special experience in wheeling and dealing in order to deal with Congress. LBJ was awesome at it. McCain can be too. Obama won't be because he has less experience. So, there's no reason why McCain can't be a decent president (being a good president is hard; being a great one is nearly impossible). I'd vote for him if I could.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-09-03 9:00:48 PM

Ok last comment on this because I found articles.

When the jet was about to be put on e-bay:

After being sold:

"In December, barely a week after being inaugurated, Ms. Palin said the plane would be sold on eBay. One serious offer was posted, for a similar price, but the deal fell apart when the state hesitated on the terms and the prospective buyer found another jet, said Dan Spencer, director of administrative services for the Public Safety Department."

Posted by: Ken | 2008-09-03 9:02:14 PM

I'd liveblog "The Daily Show" again, but Venus and Serena look headed for a third set, and I ain't liveblogging tennis.

Now, about the speech. You quote Palin: "You know, they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull... lipstick."

The original joke substitutes "a woman with PMS" for "hockey mom". Very sexist, but funny. I'm sure she'll get away with it, even if she is projecting the image of the ugly sports parent who screams in the stands.

You say, "Spending a lot of time on the family that everyone is really, really interested in." Well, to steal Bill Maher's bit....

NEW RULE: You can't complain about people using your kids (Bristol) to score political points if you want to use your kids (Trig) to score political points. You son is also soon to be a war hero. That's great ... for him. But if you want us to love you because you care about your Down's kid and because you have a war hero-to-be son, then you have to be ready to take it from the people who hate you because they think you raised a daughter of questionable vurtue. You know, the kind of thing Christian conservatives have been so good at doing.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-09-03 9:04:25 PM

You're right, Fact Check. Open season on the kids?

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-09-03 9:06:29 PM

Well, the tennis ended just in time to see the start of "The Daily Show". I wish I had liveblogged it, because they did a great bit on the Minneapolis Airport bathroom, and have totally EVISCERATED Karl Rove, Bill O'Reilly, Dick Morris, Nancy Pfotenhauer, senior adviser to McCain, and finally Palin herself. All hung by their own words. Beautiful stuff!!!

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-09-03 9:23:31 PM

She is a firecracker. She neutered Obama. I loved the line about her experience as a small town mayor being a bit like a community organizer, except with actual responsibilities.

Wow...best speech I ever heard...as for the children, I never heard lefties complaining when Biden paraded his son (soon to be going to Iraq), so quit the crap.

Posted by: markalta | 2008-09-03 9:35:59 PM

Sarah unloaded on Barry and that car salesman who is his running mate. Beautiful baby.

Country First

Country Stars Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy and John Rich of Big and Rich, gave a great performance tonight at the RNC.


Posted by: John V | 2008-09-03 10:07:13 PM

Great speech, great personality.
Even PBS was impressed.
I think Palin for sure will benefit the McCain campaign, perhaps all the way into the White House.
But the also need to present their own policies, not just illustrate the emptiness of Obama. There was little, but not enough, of that in her speech.

Posted by: Johan i Kanada | 2008-09-03 10:07:17 PM

Jo, you weren't listening then, though I'm sure she left something for McCain to talk about tomorrow night. More energy independence, with diversity of sources and veto power for government waste. Those are two biggies.

Posted by: Markalta | 2008-09-03 10:16:49 PM

As I said: "There was little, but not enough, of that".

Posted by: Johan i Kanada | 2008-09-03 10:28:15 PM

FactCheck is just pissed because the whole lib-left 'chickenhawk' meme just got flushed down the crapper. They can no longer complain that the Prez and Veep don't have their own kids involved in the battle... Imagine how much less whining we're going to have to listen to... I can sense the bliss already...

Oh wait... 10 to 1 sez that FactCheck is going to ignore the facts, change the subject, and continue bleeting like the good little socialist sheep that he is...

Posted by: Richard Evans | 2008-09-03 10:43:02 PM

Palin seems to be a great addition to the ticket. Her first real test, if successful, will be whether or not she can reign-in McCain on cap and trade and similar AGM snake oil he seems to have swallowed. Getting ANWR onto the drilling list and lifting the Oil Shale moratorium wouldn't hurt either.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2008-09-04 10:08:24 AM

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