One of the best lines in the television series “Seinfeld” came when George Costanza went through an episode without his glasses. Midway through a conversation with Jerry, George, without his glasses, breaks away and spots a mercury dime on the floor completely on the other side of the room... being able to see that it is indeed a mercury dime. He follows up this eagle-sighted achievement by then proceeding to the refrigerator, opening it, and taking a chomp out of an onion thinking it was an apple. Jerry in a state of complete confusion and desperation pleads, “I don’t know what to make of you, you’re spotting dimes and eating onions…”
This is what the American public is going through with Sarah Palin right now. How can a person have difficulty with an one-on-one interview with dullard Katie Couric but then also be able to tear down a convention hall with a fiery and self-confident speech? They don’t know what to think of her, and this is making her so much more intriguing than anyone else on either ticket.
Joe Biden didn’t know what to expect or how to handle her. A hockey mom that is nonthreatening enough to deal with phrases like “You bet,” and give shouts out to a 3rd grade class in Alaska during a VP debate - - a time that historically has been serious - - but is also capable of disassembling her opponents with a smile and moving on before they realize what has happened.
Here is an interesting case and point of this in last night's debate. It was very audible when Palin greeted Joe Biden at the beginning of the debate and asked if she can call him, “Joe.” Biden melted to her request and broke a smile, nodding. Here is the insight. Sara Palin was not discretely asking Biden this question for etiquette purposes; she was saying it loud enough so that Alaska could hear it.
With this concession of Biden’s, Palin set him up for the sound byte line “Say it ain’t so, Joe...” close to an hour later. If Biden did not give permission, this would seem like a disrespectful way to address an U.S. Senator, but Biden melted in the moment to Palin’s charm and at the same time was set up like a fool. He was played. Very hard to do with a political master like Biden, but so much easier to do when someone underestimates their opponent.
This is case and point that Palin not a stupid woman as the media hopes you believe. Folksy, which is Palin’s essence, is widely believed to be stupid by elitist, while polished-speaking politicians in thousand dollars suits are taken as smart. My life has showed me the complete opposite is true.
Last night, folksy met a polished-speaking politician on stage. The politician stood there in handcuffs clawing to the podium as folksy repeatedly slapped him senseless. He attacked McCain as Palin attacked Biden. He could do nothing but take it. It was energy, youth and personality verses rigor mortis. She was winking to the audience; he was gritting his teeth privately knowing he was not able to attack her. With everything done, you could not say that the Governor lost the debate. It was a tie at best. And that tie always goes to the challenger, - - a victory for Sarah Palin. She stood toe-to-toe with one of Washington’s most glib, senior Senators and held her own for 90 minutes.
There were quite a few good quotes in the media today about Palin's comeback. Rich Lowry in the NY Post summed it up better than anyone on how the night went:
"One wonders if [Biden] ever realized that, even with 35 years in the Senate and all his expertise and fluidity in policy, he wasn't beating the hockey mom from Wasilla. "
Liberals have underestimated her twice now to their peril. It should not happen again, but it will. She will be dismissed again as just “folksy,” a simpleton, in Obama’s war room and an epicenter of a threat in the liberal media rooms across America. Expect an increase of attacks on her.
On election day we will see by exit polls if America's voting public believes she is spotting "mercury dimes or eating onions".