"Like being a community organizer, except a mayor has actual responsibilities." "A pit bull with lipstick." These zingers and others from Gov. Sarah Palin's speech to the RNC Wednesday night were notable not only for the words themselves, but for the combative twinkle in the Barracuda's eye as she delivered them -- along with the playful smile, the athlete's body language, the little taunting drawl in her voice, and her flawless timing as the hall roared and the nation watched. The VP nominee had attitude coming out of every pore, and it was just right, not over the top but not one bit intimidated either. I've taken your best punch, she seemed to be saying to all the jackals of the left, and I'm still standing, glad to have my chance to punch back, and ready for the next roundhouse you may want to throw. Bring it on.
Here is, as she herself told the delegates, a news flash: This woman is a frontier fighter, as happy a political warrior as you'll ever see from any era or either sex, a huge asset to the McCain ticket, a nightmare for Obama-Biden, and a new force on the national scene that's not going away any time soon, come Daily Kos and Sally Quinn in September, win or lose in November. Sarah Palin is here and she's staying.
I've been there for convention speeches since Goldwater said no to an adoring throng at Chicago in 1960, been around Presidents and Vice Presidents and candidates for the job since Nixon went into Cambodia in 1970, written and given a zillion speeches of my own or for others on large and small occasions, and my friends -- as the Original Maverick might say -- this was a hell of a speech delivered by a hell of an American.
I also happened to be there when the jackals ran Tom Eagleton off McGovern's ticket in 1972 -- the Nixon team were loving every minute of it, of course, and RN knew a little about that; they had tried the same thing on him in 1952 and failed -- and my reading after tonight is that anyone on the Dems' side who thinks Palin can be chased away this week, or who expects McCain to panic and dump her, is smoking something.
Sarah's message at RNC St. Paul is that she doesn't scare, doesn't quit, doesn't run. She's a winner and intends to win this round against the odds as she's won so many before. Sarah's got sass.