Confidence Lost, Sympathy Gained

Sarah Palin doesn’t agree with Roe v. Wade…but she definitely believes there is a right to privacy in the Constitution.  That’s kind of like saying you love television, but hate TV.  She doesn’t get that privacy is the crux of the pro-life argument against Roe v. Wade…and that’s one of her core beliefs.

Politics is a confidence game, like so many human endeavors.  But Sarah Palin’s confidence is shot.  Of course she was better as governor–she was confident then.  Of course she gave a kick-ass convention speech–not only because someone else wrote it and it appeared on a teleprompter, but because she was confident.  More confident than she had ever been in her life, most likely.  Hell, she was the friggin’ savior of the ticket and all she had to do was show up, pass out her biography and read her speech, and the election had turned.  That’s some confidence, right there.

But since then?  All she’s learned is how much she doesn’t know.  You’ve seen the Couric videos.  They don’t lie.  She’s had the McCain people in her ear 24/7 from the first day she gave an interview.  “Don’t say this about Pakistan.  Don’t say this about changing Washington.  Don’t contradict McCain.  Don’t talk about Roe v. Wade.  In fact, the less you say, the better.”  She’s getting that message loud and clear, all in the week before she goes before millions on live TV with the Presidency on the line.  That’s why she can only speak to make-believe media now, because she is truly a make-believe candidate.  And she knows it.  (And you better believe the media black-out works both ways; not only can the media not get access to her, but the McCain people have to be insulating her as much as possible from media coverage and commentary.  Which is difficult to do considering she reads “all media, everything”.)

I know, I know.  Many, many reasonable people I know are scared about the “lowered expectations” and the Great Biden Debate Gaffe of 2008.  People, trust your eyes and ears.  It takes confidence and concentration and mental acuity to perform, even if that performance consists only of reciting canned answers to anticipated questions.  It’s not easy, yet a lot of politicians make it look easy.  They do this because they have mastery over facts and history, or are confident and experienced enough to fake it when they don’t.  She has none of that.  She’s right back in college(s), cramming for the biggest test of her life.  And yuck!  They are oral exams.  And double yuck!  Live in front of millions of people!  The good news is that even though it’s for the Presidency, it’s a pass/fail test, and no matter what, she’ll never, ever have to take it again.

Tomorrow night could be like watching someone drown.  And even if she treads water…we know it’s only because she’s wearing water wings, not because she can really swim.  The damage is already done.  She’ll always be the woman in over her head on the Katie Couric videos.  Always.  Over and over again.  The only way that gets erased by anything that happens tomorrow night is if an even worse gaffe comes up.  But hey, what are the odds of that?

And yeah, I do feel bad for her.  She sucks in a lot of ways, but I can think of at least 10 people alone from the last eight years who deserve this more than her.

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4 Responses to Confidence Lost, Sympathy Gained

  1. Stanton says:

    Up to this point, her most redeeming political quality is that she’s good at talking trash. That might help her in a debate; it certainly is a key quality of many former debaters I’m acquainted with.

    From the “Cant make this stuff up” department:

  2. Steve C says:

    I think Biden kicked ass tonight. Nothing like real answers vs. canned talking points.

  3. pipelineblog says:

    Great job by Biden. The more I see of him, the more I like him. He’s a sharp guy, and he stayed on point.

    Biden crushed her in every substantive way, but she did fine. She didn’t embarrass herself like she had previously. Pretty high bar, huh?

    I could see McCain’s hemorraging in the polls slow down or even reverse tonight, but this isn’t a game-changer. The only outcome out of tonight will be that her (much smaller than before) base will fall in love with her all over again because she showed up and spoke like a teenager.

  4. Katy says:

    I think this debate will marginalize Palin for the rest of the election cycle… it won’t affect the polls alot on either side, but except for the Republican base who is merely appreciative that she did not actually break down crying or vomit on herself, nobody will care anymore. She will have lost interest for most people, though she may leave a permanent mark on McCain’s judgment that could affect some independents.

    She’s not going to do a press conference, or anything but stump speeches and conservative radio interviews where she gets softball questions like “tell us why the liberal elites hate you.” Her 15 minutes is over. Assuming, of course, Obama wins.

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