Friday, October 3

Sarah Palin takes command

I didn't watch the vice-presidential debate; not wanting to be distracted by images, I chose to listen. Twenty minutes into the debate, I exclaimed, "Man o' War!"

Sarah Palin had taken charge of the debate, as she had taken charge of John McCain's town hall meetings when she first joined them. She had taken command effortlessly, in an unstudied way, and without being overbearing.

Joe Biden handled himself very well, I thought, but he was a politician sharing the stage with a leader.

As Man o' War was born to race, Sarah Palin was born to lead. Will McCain be able to hold her in check if they take the White House? Between the influence of McCain, her husband and her common sense, I think she'll get through her four years of training okay, although not without chafing at the bit, as is so for a great thoroughbred racer in training.

Being president is not all about leadership, of course; there are many things she needs to learn. But when Sarah's temperament and her actions as a mayor and governor are viewed along with her two national speeches and debate last night, she gives every evidence of being capable of serving as commander-in-chief. Again, she needs training but she's got all the raw material.

I shook off my reverie and clicked open the email with John Batchelor's take on the debate, which I noted he'd posted at 10:30 PM -- moments before the debate actually ended. He'd made up his mind quickly. From his posts over a period of days he'd been in a savage mood because of the shenanigans on Capitol Hill regarding the bailout plan. So I read with great interest:
Palin surprise

The surprise of the evening was that Sarah Palin took control of her facts right out of the box ...
No surprise there; one wouldn't know it from the media's treatment of her but Sarah is an experienced debater:
... and pushed back repeatedly with what she wanted to say, not what the moderator wanted her to say, not what her opponent wanted her to say. ...
Yes; Batchelor had nailed it.
... Sarah Palin pushed harder and harder to keep the conversation to her governorship, what she had done as a governor. She ignored Joe Biden's wonkish legislature talk and stayed with her governorship.

Again and again, Mr. Biden wanted to talk about votes with more of his wonkishness, but Sarah Palain would not get drawn into it. She was a governor tonight, not a senate rat. ...
I broke into a grin. Batchelor was still in a savage mood.
... By the time Joe Biden used the chant "drill, drill, drill," it was clear that Joe Biden was also surprised by Sarah Palin's enthusiasm for the debate. It was also clear that Biden was aiming to bulldoze Sarah Palin with robotics -- repeat, repeat the number of McCain votes for this or that, repeat, repeat Barack Obama will, repeat, repeat, about George Bush. ...

By thirty minutes into the debate, the conversation was about what Sarah Palin would talk about, not what Joe Biden wanted to talk about. ....

I had switched off the radio at the debate's end, not wanting to hear the pundits go at it. But after I finished reading John's post I zipped to No Quarter to take in some of their readers' opinions of the debate, then I went to Google News and clicked through a few analyses and reports on the debate.

I was surprised to see an item that the Obama Girl had joined with Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey in mocking Sarah; I also saw that some female pundits were making fun of Sarah's way of talking.

We speak of the glass ceiling for women, and always the blame is cast on men. Ayn Rand said that she would never vote for a female for U.S. president. I don't remember her exact argument, but if I recall she believed that only a male was capable of being an effective commander-in-chief.

I venture she would have changed her mind if she'd seen every episode of Meerkat Manor.

May the spirit of Flower and all the other great female meerkat general-clan leaders of the Kalahari guide and protect Sarah Palin.

That I -- a mighty human -- should have to go hat in hand, as it were, to the animal kingdom with such a prayer, well, I think human history's legions of Obama Girls are as much to thank for that embarrassing state of affairs as human male prejudices.

This entry is crossposted at The Real Barack Obama.

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