The Barracuda

I have paid close attention to every US presidential election since 1984. In fact, since the Reagan v Mondale contest, I have watched most of the convention speeches given, not just by the Democrats, but also the Republicans. But this year, I just don’t have it in me. The reasons for this are varied. One, there is the time difference now that I am in London. Also, after 3 years of living abroad and conversing (really arguing) with colleagues, friends as well as a few drunks at the pub about George Walker Bush, the Iraq War and American foreign policy in general, my tolerance for listening to Republican rhetoric has greatly diminished. So this year, while I stayed up to watch the Democratic convention live, I’ve mostly been watching the Republican speeches via YouTube!
That said, I just spent 45 minutes of my life (which unfortunately I’ll never get back), listening to Governor Palin’s speech to the RNC. Taking off my partisan hat, I have to say that while I disagreed with 99.9% of what she had to say, it was a good speech that I’m sure will play well with the Republican base. However, not sure that it did enough to seriously appeal to independents out there. A good chunk of time was spent introducing her family (again!) and talking up her limited experience in government. She also had high praise for Senator McCain and repeatedly mocked Senator Obama — all of which was very predictable. However, what I find surprising is that there was no real talk about political issues or reform. So lots of hype but no real substance.
Thus, I can’t wait for her to get grilled by the media while making the rounds on the Sunday morning talk show circuit. Also, I can’t wait to see how she performs in a debate against Senator Biden. I just have a hunch that she won’t be living up to her Barracuda nickname. Basically, after a few unscripted rounds, she’ll be all bark and no bite!

1 Comment
  1. Republicans can never win elections on the issues because most Americans don’t support their public policies let alone their private agendas. So instead they make every election into a personality contest. They do everything they can to humiliate, degrage, belittle, and feminize their opponents while at the same time presenting themselves at salt of the earth, real honest to goodness Americans. They wouldn’t be able to get away with it except, stupid Americans fall for it every election and they are ably assisted in their efforts by the Media which enable this sort of politics because, I don’t know, it makes for good ratings and the corporate owners of the just about every major media outlet wants to maintain the status quo.
    Hopefully with the Republican brand in tatters, this election will be different, but it’s expecting a lot from the American people. George Bush is held in the lowest esteem by the public by just about any president, and by all accounts the Republicans are incompetent and should never be let near the levers of power–they simply don’t believe that government can do anything. Asking Republicans to govern is like asking a vegetarian to cook a filet mignon. Yet if you look at tracking polls, the race is close.
    It’s truly disturbing. I wish the Democrats would take the gloves off and play on the Republicans field. It can’t be one side blasting the other side while they sit idly by. It’s a recipe for disaster. Democrats needs to continually harp on McCain’s lack of judgement, his temper, his right wing ideology, his lack of economic gravitas, his war mongering, his age, etc. etc. Otherwise we risk the distinct possibility that the Democrats will lose.

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