Before Sarah Palin rocked the house with her coming-out speech Wednesday night, many Republicans were worried about her "qualifications" and the prospect of her being "just a heartbeat away" from the presidency. But after the speech many of those same Republicans " and I recognize this is a bit macabre " were simply ecstatic that she might be just a heartbeat away from the presidency.
A star is born.
And by the way, how can anyone say Sarah Palin isn't qualified to be vice president? She shoots bears and moose; Dick Cheney shoots birds and lawyers. Sounds perfectly qualified to me.
Now let's flash forward a bit, shall we? Let's say John McCain and Sarah Palin win on Nov. 4. And let's say, as many suspect, President McCain doesn't run for a second term. Sarah Palin would then be the odds-on favorite for the Republican nomination in 2012. And after only barely losing to Barack Obama this year, Hillary Clinton would be the odds-on favorite to snatch the Democrat nomination.
Would that be a political battle for the ages or what? Wouldn't you just love to see Sarah Palin do to the woman who rode into the Senate on her husband's coattails what she did to The Chosen One Wednesday night?
Palin started out by noting that Obama's sole claim to anything that could even remotely be considered "executive experience" was as a "community organizer" " you know, like Jesus Martinez, the Los Diablos gang-leader-turned-community-organizer on Hill Street Blues. Palin acknowledged that being a "community organizer" was kinda like being a small-town mayor " but without any of the responsibility. Ssss-lam!
But that was only the beginning of the evisceration " with a smile " of Barack Obama by "Sarah Barracuda" (guess we all know now how she got that nickname, don't we?).
Palin slammed him for authoring two self-serving memoirs but not a single major piece of legislation. She slammed him for talking to folks one way in Scranton and talking another way about them in San Francisco. She slammed him for using "change" to promote his career, as opposed to John McCain using his career to promote change. She even slammed him for the Styrofoam columns used at his Denver coronation last week.
And in the process, Palin also landed a right-cross to the jaw of Michelle Obama, pointing out that folks in small towns all across the nation "are always proud of America."
But for my money, as a Nevadan, the best part was when Palin momentarily turned away from slicing-and-dicing The Chosen One to ripping Harry Reid a new one. She noted that the Senate Majority Leader recently said he "can't stand John McCain," and then went on to say it's not so much that Reid can't stand John McCain as he can't stand UP to John McCain.
I think that's called emasculating the opposition.
Many political observers will tell you the true mark of a successful president is his or her ability to communicate with the American people. In that regard, Sarah Palin clearly has "the right stuff." She is, in fact, a political pit bull in lipstick and a skirt (not a pants suit!). And with all due respect to Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin is no Dan Quayle.
Yes, the Alaska governor hit it out of the proverbial park Wednesday night. In fact, she hit it into the next county. But the path ahead is still fraught with trip-wires and booby-traps. It's a long way to go before Nov. 4. That being said, Sarah Palin is the most promising thing Republicans have seen since the Contract with America. And I can think of far worse role models for my two young daughters than Sarah Palin. In fact, I think I'm gonna wake 'em up tomorrow morning and take 'em moose hunting!
Now, will somebody please get that Obama carcass off the stage.
- Chuck Muth, of Carson City, is president and CEO of Citizen Outreach and a political blogger. Read his views Fridays on the Appeal Opinion page or visit www.muthstruths.com. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org