It's the bottom of the ninth, bases are loaded, two outs and the score is tied. The tension in the stadium is so palpable it's as if the air has thickened to sludge prohibiting the merest movement. All eyes are fixed on the batter walking up to the plate. The spectators hush, waiting with bated breath for the first pitch. The pitcher and catcher exchange head shakes-n-nods. There's discord. More fervent shakes-n-nods. The crowd begins to murmur. Finally, as ripples of anxiety course through the stadium, a pitch is determined, and the crowd sighs in relief. But the tension ramps up again as the pitcher takes a step back, winds up and torpedoes the ball toward the batter.
And Gov. Sarah Palin digs in, swings, and knocks that damn ball right out of the park.
The crowd roars!!!!
As Sarah Palin takes her victory lap around the bases, the crowd goes nuts and her teammates rush on the field to congratulate her. But Sarah? Her eyes are right on her family.
It isn't possible that a human being could have watched that speech without being absolutely won over, Republican or not.
I'm not really a patriot, as most of my readers know. But watching her speech last night, and especially the moments after the speech when her family came on stage, I had the rare experience of being proud to be an American. Ok, lump me in with Michelle Obama, fine! But as I listened to that strong, intelligent, gutsy woman and then saw her embracing her family, it really made me feel that she represents the best of what America strives for: good family, working hard and standing up for what is right, not just what is popular. I was so proud to be an American woman at that moment, I got tears in my eyes! (Now don't go tellin' anyone that!)
As I said yesterday, the best hope for a jump-start out of the running blocks was for Palin and McCain both to deliver knock-your-socks-off speeches. So, as the crowd roared and McCain stepped on stage, I was waiting for McCain to deliver the knock-out blow. As he raised the microphone to speak, I was virtually willing him to say, "The doubters questioned my choice of running mate. They said I was crazy. Who's crazy now!? Barack, you may think you can speechify your way to the White House, but I'm here to tell ya, you got another think coming! We're gunnin' for ya, and we won't stop until we're in the White House!"
Instead he said something lame and a final "Look at that beautiful family" before awkwardly standing there not knowing what to do and finally exiting the stage rather abruptly. Not what I expected from a seasoned politician. He should have been poised to fully exploit the moment and drive the dagger home, right to the heart of his opponent.
But he didn't.
Maybe at that moment he was wondering whether his pick of VP will continue to overshadow his campaign, making voters wish she were the top pick, and he were the VP hopeful. Hmmmm....you think?
The reality is, we are not voting Sarah Palin for President, as much as we love her (and believe me, the pundits do love her!) John McCain is the man running for President, and she is just his running mate. After the election, she will be relegated to the near-invisible role of 2nd in command. Is it not well known that all Prezzies fear the usurping power of an overly popular VP? Oh, yes. That is why they are kept well in the background, off in (peaceful, placid) foreign lands smiling while the little cloggers dance and the old politicians shake their hand. As much as we love Sarah Palin, it is John McCain who will be at the helm if elected, and that is a point to reckon with.