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Dash of Pepper

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Read my Lipstick
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
I was a little crestfallen when I turned to FOX News at mid-morning on August 30th and heard that John McCain had not selected my man, Mitt Romney as his vice president, but rather had opted for the little-known governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.
The reporter said McCain would introduce Palin shortly and she would make a brief introductory speech. I stayed tuned, mildly curious as to what this woman was about. McCain appeared and seemed almost secretly excited, more animated than I had seen him since the 2000 presidential primary. He introduced his choice, and this babe walked to the stage, surrounded by family. The people in the hall were going crazy.
She handed her newest baby to an older child and took the stage Good legs, I thought.
She began to speak. It started a little slow as she thanked McCain for his support and told briefly, how she learned of it.
Then she started on her own bio. I was warming up to this person - a woman from the Far North, a hockey mom, a moose hunter, a fisherwoman, and beautiful even in rimless eyeglasses.
Yikes! I was beginning to sit up in my chair. This in Washington D.C.? They won't know what on earth to do with her!
Then she started on her record, first as the mayor of Wasilla (pop. 9,000) then during her time as governor. She had defeated a long-time incumbent Republican and forced some other good ol' boys out of state office.
She sold the governor's jet airplane ... on e-Bay! Now I was on the edge of my chair. Beside her, McCain was wearing a huge grin.
As Palin continued, the image of a young Margaret Thatcher jumped into my mind. Palin then pulled out a happy, smiling verbal stiletto and slipped it into Democrat ticket. Wait! Isn't this just an introductory speech? For Pete's Sake, she's on the warpath and she's a happy warrior!
I can't recall the rest of her speech, except that her oldest son is going to Iraq shortly with the Stryker Force, U.S. Army. (The Stryker is an armored combat vehicle.)
The crowd is going nuts. Now I'm on my feet, jumping up and down like a teenager, yelling "Go Sarah!" She dives into the crowd, shaking hands, hugging, laughing. Palin is that rare person: she is a NATURAL, seemingly born to do what she is doing.
The FOX folks remained silent through the entire thing, possibly as dumbfounded as I was. When they went back to the New York studio, FOX brought in one of their Democrat commentators, Bob Beckel. He managed Walter Mondale's campaign back in the 70s and usually ready to churn out his talking points. Not this time. He looked nonplussed, almost shocked. I can't recall exactly what he said but it seemed halting.
Later, when asked about that moment, he basically said he was experiencing what everyone else was feeling, namely, who is this woman, what is the nature of this critter.
It took the Democrat's dependable surrogates in the Mainstream Press two full days to get the attack machine going. It went way over the top with appalling sexist rhetoric and downright disgusting attacks and backfired big time.
Some, including me, worried it might affect Palin, or, at least, those who were advising her. Happily, they must have realized that the Democrats would suffer some blow back. She made her convention speech and knocked the ball out of the park. She noted that Senator Obama had written two autobiographies but not passed even one reform. She asked the crowd if they knew the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom. Answer: Lipstick.
I am trying to picture Joe Biden pondering the vice presidential debate ...
If I have my information correct on the Neilsen ratings, Obama and McCain each drew about 38 million viewers with their convention speeches. (Probably a mild triumph for McCain because he was up against football broadcasts.)
Palin outdrew them with a whopping 40 million tuning in. More of the Palin Effect: Between the time McCain announced her nomination and her convention debut (BEFORE her big speech) $47 million had flowed into the campaign coffers.
When I look at her now, I wonder if I am looking at the first female President of the United States.
Copyright©2008SheilahPepper
Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 14:32  

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