There's little in the way of Batavia news bleeping on my radar this morning—except for reports on the Muckdogs title hopes, already covered by Howard and Mollie this morning. My lack of news to report could be because I was stuck home for a little longer today owing to an overturned tractor-trailer that spilled crushed cars all over I-490 smack in the middle of my commute—anyone else feel that pain this morning.
So I thought we could try another exercise in national news comparisons. Last night was big for the Republican party. John McCain's choice for vice-president, Sarah Palin, took up the microphone and fired up the party—while riot police fired up the tear gas guns outside.
Below are four excerpts from four different op-ed columnists for the New York Times, each one writing about Sarah Palin. Do you think these columnists make good points? Bad points? No points? What are your thoughts on Palin? Does she represent a tough-nosed America that you know well or not at all?
With his choice of Sarah Palin — the Alaska governor who has advocated drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and does not believe mankind is playing any role in climate change — for vice president, John McCain has completed his makeover from the greenest Republican to run for president to just another representative of big oil.
Sarah Palin came out of hiding Wednesday night, and boy, she seemed ticked off.
“Here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to win their good opinion,” said the moose-gutting, polar bear-trashing, aerobics-class-networking vice presidential nominee.
The speech was very well done. The Palin family — who we’re supposed to ignore, but they did sort of seem to be pretty much front and center — were adorable. And she was way more effective than the keynote speaker, Rudy Giuliani, at the red-meat-tossing detail. If you’re going to be really mean for an extended period of time, it’s better if you don’t look as if you want to lunge for the throat of the cameramen.
Maureen Dowd (from Tuesday):
Unable to stop the onslaught of wild soap opera storylines erupting from the Palin family and the Alaska wilderness, McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt offered caterwauling reporters a new mantra: “Life happens.”
Indeed, it does. Only four days into her reign as John McCain’s “soul mate,” or “Trophy Vice,” as some bloggers are calling her, on the ticket known as “Maverick Squared,” Palin, the governor of Alaska, has already accrued two gates (Troopergate and Broken-watergate), a lawyer (for Troopergate), a future son-in-law named Levi (a high school ice hockey player, described by New York magazine as “sex on skates”), and a National Enquirer headline about the “Teen Prego Crisis” with 17-year-old daughter Bristol.
As she showed Wednesday night with her acceptance speech, Governor Sarah Palin fits the mold of a certain kind of Alaskan – “take it from a gal who knows,” as she said. The state has a unique political ecosystem, as quirky, odd and compelling as the big land itself.
But Palin’s style may not play outside of Alaska.
The governor isn’t so much a tough-minded reformer — see her sidling up to indicted Senator Ted Stevens, the earmarks directed to her hometown or the pressure from her governor’s office against a bad-boy former brother-in-law and trooper — nor is she some Annie Oakley throwback.
She is, though, a very recognizable Alaskan.