Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken
gozz@gozz.com

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Snap poll - and mavericks don't engage in self-aggrandizement 

CNN,

On the question of the candidates' qualifications to assume the presidency, an immediately 87 percent of those polled said Biden is qualified and 42 percent said Palin is qualified.

In the context of a vice-presidential debate - and the wide media coverage of Palin's abysmal performance in the few interviews the McCain campaign has granted her - 87-45 is close enough to parity with current public sentiment so as to not be moving in the horse race. I believe, as mentioned below, Palin's answers didn't immediately lay bare her failure to grasp and comprehend policy issues - as her presentation far exceeded expectations.

The substance of Palin's answers will drive the narrative in the following days. Her desire to come off as an agreeable and optimistic candidate were at odds with several McCain positions. Which will only reaffirm the focus on the McCain campaign's non-existent rudder.

Saying I'll veto the first bill that comes across my desk with pork attached to it "and you will know their names" is great if the intention is to cue audience applause, but Americans in general are mindful of self-aggrandizement. Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken would have had a field day with this stuff (granted, current satirists are surely in the midst of a writing block).

The substance of McCain's running mate's performance was awkwardly inserted as non-sequiturs - she tried but failed to convincingly segue her responses into campaign talking points. Far from coming across as the maverick she promoted herself as, she revealed that she was only interested in addressing topics for which she had a prepared answer.

"I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear," Palin defiantly declared early in the debate. And certainly she didn't.

By my count Palin called her campaign "maverick" at least four times. Actual mavericks don't heed much attention to their maverickism. If one has to promote one's self as a maverick, it rather negates the point.

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