Let's cut through the partisan filter, Palin's speech last night was impressive, poised, authentic, measured, feisty, engaging, not to mention fascinating. Nobody really knew what Palin was about, the only real exposure the maelstorm of controversy in the last few days. In many ways, Palin's enemies were too aggressive, effectively setting the bars so LOW, she merely had to look somewhat credible to succeed. The fact Palin was so much more than that, explains why many were downright giddy about her performance, sceptical media in tow.
I tried to listen to the speech, not so much focusing on the factual part, the policy, but really the style, how Palin came across. Whomever wrote the speech deserves kudos, because it hit on so many different themes, it read with coherence. Palin spent the first part of the speech defining herself as the small town advocate, introducing her family, essentially winning you over, or at least those with an open mind. People with remember CNN's Campbell Brown was attacked by the McCain campaign earlier this week for her aggressive questioning of Palin, not fair, entirely biased against her. I think Brown's reaction in the aftermath was representative, she said as a woman, it was hard not to feel an emotional connection listening to her description of her family, the average, run of the mill, real life presentation. That reaction is why I see the speech as such a success, most people aren't versed in the detail, it's the general sense of the person and in that regard Palin did herself well.
Having established a sympathetic frame, Palin then turned into a "pitbull with lipstick", and she certainly showed she is no shrinking violet. I actually thought Palin was on the verge of going over the top, the red meat flying everywhere, but it did convey a feisty persona, a sense that this woman is up for the challenge, she will not crack under the pressure of her new found fame. The assassin with a disarming smile, quite at home in the trenches.
It was an introduction on the national stage, and the people watching, most of them, tuned out shortly after she spoke, the media digestion largely an esoteric exercise after the crowd went home. Palin passed the test, far exceeding expectations, while McCain's judgement is still fair game, at the very least, it is easier to understand his rationale, she is simply the new star of the GOP.
However, this is was just a moment, one with legs, but Palin still needs to do more as we move forward. How will she react to reporters questions, and more importantly, can she stand with Biden in a debate, when substance becomes more critical? All this remains to be seen, the media vetting will continue, but as far as the first act goes, last night was a slam dunk, if one is being fair.