That whooshing sound you are about to hear is Sarah Palin sucking all the air out of the room at the Republican Governors Conference. I don’t know what happened. Maybe somebody slipped an Ambien in her morning coffee. But the perky, feisty, ‘pallin’ around with terrorists’ ‘you betcha’ Palin looks completely deflated and totally out of her element.
But, part of the Sarah Palin we have come to know is still in there, clad in black shiny clothing that wasn’t hers before August 29th.
I’m hoping that the one thing that will come from the fact that Sarah Palin is inexplicably still in the national spotlight, is that people will realize after a while, that there is no there there. When allowed to speak at will, she regurgitates the same handful of talking points, the same double helpings of word salad, and the same endless High School filler words to inhabit all the space that should be filled with actual thoughts. Scratch the surface, and you’ll find more….surface.
Here’s part of her intro:
I am very proud to be here with this group of Republican governors. There’s something different about this group where we…uh…as a whole what we do in our states is govern with strong executive experiences that are put to good use. We don’t let obsessive extreme partisanship get in the way of just doin’ what’s right for the people who have hired us…our constituents in our states and you know…um…we have to balance our budgets. It doesn’t matter who controls our legislatures, we balance our budgets. We’re in charge of tens of billions of dollars in our states and tens of thousands of public employees all providing services and projects and implementing policies that are best for our states, and again not allowing obsessive partisanship to get in the way. I think this group is going to be looked to and looked at for leadership that had perhaps been lacking in congress and uh…in Washington D.C. This group’s going to be uniquely qualified to provide leadership in this nation.
Now all those governors understand what it is exactly that a governor does every day. At least we are led to believe that she was addressing governors…it might have been middle school students…can’t tell the difference.
And after the intro, we were treated to a very short press conference!
Q. What are the chief issues on which you would like to turn your political celebrity into a new political credibility for your party and yourself?
Palin: I don’t know if it’s political celebrity but I want to put to good use my experience that I have as uh..the governor of an energy producing state to help our nation become energy independent and…and, you know, we’re going to focus here on what we can do as a team of Republican governors together because again, what we do in our states is balance budgets despite who controls our legislature. We don’t let obsessive partisanship get in the way of doin’ what’s right. We’re all about healthcare reform and doing those things in our own states to allow competition accessibility, affordability for healthcare for more of the residents in our own states. Our border states, of course, being very concerned and committed to uh, immigration reform. Those issues that we work on every day. We as a team I believe are going to be looked to and we offer up the solutions that on a national level our elected officials are going to need.
Q. You have lost the vote of women and Hispanics. What can you do to recover? (ouch)
Palin: Well, ya know, I treat everybody equally – women, Hispanics, I..I..am going to…uh…work with this group of governors to serve, um, all Americans and individually in all of our states our residents..um..we’re going to work extremely hard but treating everybody equally and not allowing gender, race, uh, background, demographic representive, we’re not going to let that get in the way of doing what’s right for our country as a whole.
As you’ll notice, she keeps backing away from the podium, wanting to end this, and who knows why, but Texas Governor Rick Perry says Palin will take one more question and actually grabs her by the arm and steers her back to the microphone like she was a child…or a prop. The whole thing is just painful.
It’s nothing wrapped in nothing, stuffed with nothing, and tied in a pretty bow. Usually no matter how woefully inadequate her spoken words may sound, there’s nothing that compares to actually reading a transcript. There’s no visual distraction, there’s no non-verbal communication, it’s just the words. But this time, her obvious discomfort, disconnected tone of voice, and almost dazed confusion at times is quite startling. If you watch her face, and listen to the tone of her voice, much of the press conference sounds like a watered down version of the deer-in-the-headlights moment when Katie Couric asked her if there were any other Supreme Court decisions she disagreed with, only without the adrenaline.
Q: Given that this is your first formal press conference on the national stage, what message are you trying to convey?
Palin: I’m trying to convey the message that Republican governors are a unique team, a unique group. They are here. We are here. Together. United and ready to reach out to the new administration to offer solutions that we know will work to meet the challenges that America is facing.