Hillary’s Mad…This Oughtta Be Good.

4 09 2008

When I heard, on Friday that Hillary Clinton had commented on the Palin nomination, I was ready for it. I’m not sure what I was expecting but when I heard her, I almost choked. I was expecting something forceful, something strong and assertive, something…well…Hillary. Instead was a lukewarm congratulations.

Gulp.

Perhaps Hillary was as much in shock as the rest of us, and needed a little time to regroup. I’ve been drumming my fingers, waiting for the regrouping to be complete, and honestly, I was starting to worry a little. The Clintons have the power to make people nervous. You never know quite what they’re up to. But the New York Times reported that Hillary’s miffed, and miffed big time.

Mrs. Clinton’s friends said she was galled that Ms. Palin might try to capitalize on a movement that Mrs. Clinton, of New York, built among women in the primaries.

Clinton advisers said they expected that a bloc of her female supporters would give Mr. McCain a second look because of Ms. Palin, and that Mrs. Clinton was probably Mr. Obama’s best weapon in response.

So back Hillary goes to the “Rust Belt” states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, presumably to talk some sense into the women who are considering a vote for Palin based upon matching body parts. I’d like to think that women as a collective are way smarter than that, but there’s no harm in bringing out the big gun if she’s willing and able.

Now, if the Republican Convention would hurry up and be over with, we can get on to the real campaigning. Obama/Biden, for the first time broke the 50% barrier in national polling, garnering an 8 point lead over McCain/Palin. The polls were taken over the weekend, so at least initially, the Palin pick showed no bounce. She may see a bouncelet after her acceptance speech last night. She speaks with energy, and sincerity, and as it has been said, “Sarah Palin will look you straight in the eye and tell you black is white.” She dazzled in comparison to the parade of wrinkly old white guys that preceded her, but the effect may not last through the media vetting, and the debate with Joe Biden. And there are many more scandals coming down the pike.

So Hillary, come out, come out, wherever you are!

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Palin’s Pitbull Problem.

4 09 2008

Hoo. OK. Before I get out the mud boots and shovel my way through the steaming pile of speech that Sarah Palin deposited on the stage of the Republican Convention last night, let me mention one thing that might be lost to most Americans – a telling little footnote.

Believe it or not, despite the unbelievable political news that’s been happening in Alaska lately (indictment of Senator Ted Stevens, investigation of Rep. Don Young, and all of the Palin antics) there’s really not that much else going on here. If you went throught the Anchorage Daily News wtih a pair of scissors, and removed the stories about politics, you’d end up with a quirky assortment of news that most people in the Lower 48 would consider not very newsworthy. The local news covers the high school basketball games.

Just so you get the idea, here are a few headline, front page news stories from the past few weeks:

Electronic scarecrows haze ravens from utility equipment

Orphaned Bear Cub Eludes Fish & Game Agents

Missing Hikers Found in Denali

In a small community, these are the kinds of things that really ARE news.

So last night, as I watched Palin’s debut on the national stage, something struck me. First, of course, she was polished and poised and handling her new found celebrity with confidence. She even pulled off an ad lib that was her greatest laugh line of the night. In response to the homemade “Hockey Moms for Palin” signs that were being held aloft, she said, “I love those hockey moms. You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick!” (thunderous laughter and applause from the crowd)

Now let me share with you another of those headline stories from three weeks ago:

Child Taken Off Life Support After Pit Bull Attack.

This was the big news story in Alaska for several days that week. A child and her babysitter were viciously attacked by the family pet pit bull. The owner surrendered the dog, waited for the girls father to return from his deployment in Iraq, and watched as his six-year-old daughter was taken off life support after she went into an irreversably vegetative state.

I don’t know how other Alaska residents felt about the pit bull joke, and obviously her audience loved it, but most of us here in “small town America” probably didn’t find it particularly funny.

Cross posted on Huffington Post