Friday, August 29, 2008

Christmas in August

Nothing more needs to be said about Barack Obama's performance last night, in front of a live audience of 80,000, and a TV audience that exceeded that of the opening Olympic ceremony. I mean, when Pat Buchanan and Bill Kristol are piling on the encomiums, you know that he had to have been nothing short of spectacular. I can't wait to see the full post-convention bounce (which has already started).

But the real gift going into the Labor Day weekend has to be McCain's vice presidential selection. Sarah Palin is an inexperienced, apparently ethically challenged, creationist and mother of five who McCain thinks will appeal to disaffected Clinton supporters. Honest to God, he (and those Knights of the Roveian Brotherhood who serve as his advisors) thinks that women candidates are so interchangeable that the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pantsuits will switch their allegiances forthwith. HUH?
I mean, I know these women. They are friends of mine. And this choice is going to be seen for what it is: an unbelievable insult to our intelligence.

If you are a Republican, until this morning, you probably thought the biggest impending disaster for the GOP was the terrible prospect of Hurricane Gustav hitting the coast of Louisiana (a prospect that no one hopes comes to pass), causing not only the postponement of your big party in St. Paul, but reminding people of the dazzling ineptitude Republicans displayed the last time a hurricane made landfall in New Orleans. It would now appear that there are two disasters to be managed.

The challenge for Democrats is to manage their behavior. I'm a bit concerned about Joe Biden coming across like a boor in his debate with Governor Palin a la Al Gore in 2000, during his first debate with President Bush. Beyond that, Obama's crack team of managers and strategists have to frame the narrative about Gov. Palin before McCain does (which is eminently doable, since she is such a blank slate to the electorate in the continental US).

But as a friend of mine said today, Michelle Obama should start measuring the windows in the residence quarters of the White House. History is beckoning.

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