07 November 2008

SARAH BARRACUDA

SARAH BARRACUDA
By Andy Weddington
Friday, 07 November 2008

Well, it didn’t take long for us to get a great big peek behind the curtain of the McCain campaign—all was not well backstage. Yesterday, while the Obama camp was still popping tops on cold ones (and probably still is), less than professional McCain aides, make that “The Wizard of Oz”-caliber lions, began pointing their fingers (forgetting that one pointing away means three are “right back atcha”) and blubbering like their yellow brick road cowardly namesake to make Governor Sarah Palin the (scape)goat for the ticket’s top maverick’s defeat. Accusations abound that Palin actually refused to read press releases, threw temper tantrums, was not an expert on history or geography, and God forbid was attired in a bathrobe and not ready for the day’s business one morning when staff arrived, and who knows what else will come out. The word “Diva” has even been uttered. All crimes of the highest order—of course. Wouldn’t you agree? Good grief. Who knows—and who cares—whether there is any iota of truth to all the nonsense or not. It’s stupid and irrelevant. Their shameful modis operandi to trash the campaign’s ray of hope is not only absurd, it’s the wrong tale; there was no goat—or Barracuda—in “The Wizard of Oz.” After McCain does the gentlemanly and professional thing of publicly defending his running mate, he needs to distribute the faces and names of his courage-void minglings throughout the Republican Party—in 8 x 10 glossy, living color prints suitable for framing—stamped with big, bold red letters: “LOSER—DO NOT HIRE.” The fact is, had McCain not selected the dynamic Alaskan governor as his running mate, he may as well have conceded the election at the convention. He would have gone nowhere—and knows it. By all rights, Sarah should have been carried off the battlefield on the shoulders of the people. Her performance throughout the campaign—from convention to concession—was remarkable considering the incredible pressure and discerning eyes on her 24/7. You can bet “The Barracuda” is not about to loiter around to be gutted, filleted, and fried. Her side, when and where she decides to tell it, should prove quite interesting. We have not heard nor seen the last of her as a significant presence in the Republican Party. Not by a long shot. Stand by.

Outside the campaign, Palin haters mocked her education, belittled or completely discounted her many accomplishments, smeared her family, and laughed at her qualifications—which they could not find one—to be vice president. The attacks left a wound or two but only superficial ones and not before the feisty Barracuda damn near interrupted all their plans to put their savior, Obama, in the White House to right America—to the left. Never mind our president-elect was and is less experienced in the executive arena. As is his running mate. All proof that Palin was one hell of a threat. I thought long and hard about Sarah Palin when McCain tapped her to be his running mate. As she was for most of America, she was unknown to me. Objectively I listened, I watched, I researched, I read, and I watched some more as she skillfully side-stepped the tripwires and traps of politics in the public arena. I came to the conclusion she was a class act. She detested and attacked corruption; spoke sensibly, in plain language, and with confidence; was a quick study; and demonstrated she knew how to get things done. She made it clear she was indeed a public servant--not new found royalty entitled to wasteful perks and privileges. And I liked her for one of the principle reasons I decided to vote for McCain—Sarah Palin has character. For me, this is the most important trait for an American president—from character, all else flows. Had McCain been elected and unable, for whatever reason, to fulfill his Oval Office duties, Palin could have handled them—no question. Or so I believe.

McCain chose Palin. His big, very big mistake was not letting Sarah be Sarah. She did not rise to win the governorship of Alaska by being stupid. She has character, stick-to-itiveness, and great instinct; all of which has served her well—no matter what she has tackled in life. McCain should have loosened the restraints and let her make decisions about public appearances; when, where, and with who in the press to meet for interviews; what clothes to wear; etc. provided her engagement was in complete synch with the boss. It would have been. She had nothing to hide. Now it’s obvious that McCain did not direct such and he and his “lions” clearly did not get that Sarah being Sarah was their biggest asset—an average American who intimately understands the challenges and hardships of everyday Americans because she, and her family, has and continues to live them. She connected—she is the real deal and people recognized it immediately. That is why she drew huge crowds everywhere—you can’t fool that many people. The effort to present her as something she was not surely caused her personal discomfort and disrupted her rhythm—as it would anyone—and, in turn, her imbalance threw the campaign into an irrecoverable yaw. The crash was inevitable. Lesson learned—Sarah Palin will not let that happen to her again.

Never mind the yellow brick road…the McCain “COUNTRY FIRST” Express traversed the airways, highways, and by-ways of this great land and in hindsight the trip is all so clear. In fact, the view is 20/20—the McCain show, air and road, lacked an able trip planner, navigator, and pilot—even though the boss knew a little something about flying airplanes. Even Sarah—who also knows something about airplanes—and snow machines—could not save the Express. Comparatively, McCain may have been the better product but he couldn’t settle on a sales pitch to close the deal. Obama offered a new, shiny, tempting ‘somethingorother’—irresistible to children and modern American pop culture—and made the sale. Though most major consumer purchases in this country include a cooling off period—buyer’s remorse—this one does not. This sale is final. The Republic at large may have rightly concluded—time will tell—that a man who could not manage a campaign of such great importance, could not possibly lead a Cabinet, a Congress, or a nation. Now it’s about country and supporting our President-elect—while retaining the right to respectfully disagree.

6 comments:

Kevin said...

Keep leaning forward Andy; Sarah Palin was the obvious running mate choice from the get go.

Mark said...

Andy, I forward to Sarah Palin, great blog!!

Betty said...

Andy, I totally agree. You put into words so eloquently how I feel. Keep it up!

Cathy said...

Great piece Andy.

78buckeye said...

i see it differently ... this year, it was about the economy (even if neither candidate had/has a real plan to resolve it) since the recession is likely beyond our best political attempts to manage it. Global, national and local economic conditions drove the election to Obama (as the non-incumbent party candidate) in key states ...

HOWEVER - that said, I believe Sara Palin's selection contributed significantly to McCain loss ... she is obviously a fine lady but syrup and cuteness and homespun maverick comments - didn't play well to some in the blight of the industrial midwest (Ohio/Indiana/Michigan) where "hope" is all many families have. "Joe the Plumber" backfired, around here too. (Joe lives 30 miles from me and was a joke on the local news broadcasts - "loser and fake" were the words that described him - along with his unpaid taxes, non-licensed plumbing, speeding ticket incidents). SNL skits hammered Palin into a caricature. Far better if McCain had chosen a Sam Nunn type (although Nunn likely would have declined)... it's about winning key states to win the presidency ... the red and blue nation ... and McCain's gamble (being the risk taking fighter pilot, shoot from the hip guy he is) was that Palin would pull enough democratic H. Clinton supporters - but that flamed out as the SNL skits became the face of Palin ... McCain is responsible for his VP selection and he blew it - the states he lost (like OH, IN, NC, etc) may have been salvaged with a wiser selection for VP.

Anonymous said...

Choosing Pail was proof positive that McCain was not fit to govern. The people saw his choice and made theirs. Instinct and gut feeling are all very well, but that's how Bush got the country into the mess it's in. Let's try it with reason, intelligence and consideration for a change!