Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gov. Palin's Convention Speech

It isn't easy to rank political speeches. Some stand the test of time & some don't. Some get lost immediately by being overshadowed by an event or another speech that follows. For example, Edward Everett was considered one of the greatest orators of the 19th century and based on his reputation he was selected to give the primary speech at the dedication of the Gettysburg Battlefield Cemetery. He spent weeks preparing his speech which went nearly two hours long. Then another speaker took to the podium and in three minutes delivered a speech that completed overshadowed the two hour effort.

That intro to this post is meant to temper peoples over excitement about Gov. Palin's vice presidential nominee acceptance speech. Don't get me wrong. It was an excellent speech expertly delivered. Listening to commentary and reading reviews of the speech it appears unanimous that she did great.

Last night, Palin did what she had to do. She showed she is more than ready for prime time. Some political pundits have wondered whether someone who hasn't been on the national stage was up to this task. Well, after the speech some are comparing her to Maggie Thatcher. The speech itself was short on specific policy. However, an in depth policy dissertation wasn't the purpose of that speech. Her task was to fully introduce herself to the country, prove she wasn't some rube from the hicks of Alaska and show she is ready to do the attack dog job of the VP candidate without forfeiting her friendly nature. I'd say she achieved all three. After the speech I felt like I've known her for years. As they say she's regular folks. Her smooth delivery and effective timing showed she is no rube. Lastly, she hit their opponents without being mean spirited.

In the 1980's the late Texas governor Ann Richards famously crowed a line about George H.W. Bush being born on third base and thinking he hit a triple. Well, Sarah Palin wasn't born on third but instead had to fight to get into the game and ended up hitting a home run.

Bottom line: None of it will matter if Sen. McCain isn't able to make the case to the American to elect him. People vote for the top of the ticket. The VP may attract some to be more enthusiastic, but the person at the top of the ticket has to close the deal.


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