Wednesday, September 3, 2008

the palin attack

sarah palin will speak to the RNC wednesday night.

I must confess to being one of those who've been thrilled with her appearance on the national scene. her story is already so good that it seems almost impossible it won't pan out:

a young, intelligent and likeable woman emerges as the new standard bearer for the GOP and helps move the country beyond the entrenched post-cold war political order. she spends a total of 12 years in the white house, succeeding an ancient john mccain in 2012 against a resurgent hillary. she helps our country restore its prestige in the world, breaks the tangle of partisanship that george washington himself cursed. she saves social security and leaves the country self-sufficient in energy. to top it all off, she leaves a supreme court packed top to bottom with disciples of clarence thomas.

the McCain/Palin ticket also offers an outright generational challenge to the babyboomer establishment. he was born in 1936, so is a member of the elvis/korea generation. she was born in 1964, putting her at the very start of generation X.

she's not a cold warrior or a veteran of the 1960s and 1970s culture wars. she's not some republican lackey kissing up around washington looking for a job at a conservative think tank.

but here's what she is:

an attractive woman
a successful mother

but, perhaps most important, sarah palin seems to be a terribly shrewd politician. for instance, she would look much better in this vogue cover if she weren't wearing glasses. she seems to deliberately make herself look frumpy (glasses and freqently uptight hairdos). she knows she's beautiful but deliberately restrains it. she knows it can easily intimidate other women and has learned to leash herself in.

she's a master of restraining her own greatness, which means she'll be full of painful surprises for the democrats. with expectations of her already potentially negative, I think she will find a way to charm and grace americans tomorrow night.

her explosive success in alaska may indicate there is something contagious and powerful about her personality and charisma.

I see some important pieces of evidence coming together:

-the more people know her, the more they like her (alaska)
-she is a savvy political talent, perhaps of a truly historic nature

it reminds me of looking at a stock. sometimes, the chart lines up, the fundamentals line up, the timing lines up. sometimes it's just plain obvious a stock is a winner and it's going higher. it happens in every decision-making context people face... sometimes a story is just too good not to succeed.

one sarah palin comes along every 50 years or so. I think we're going to start learning that over the next 24 hours as she introduces herself to the country. (I also suspect she may prove like the kingfish in terms of presenting herself the right way to the right people at the right time. she may have his mad political genious with none of the dark corruption.)

what if she really is what she seems: a decent person AND a great politician?

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