I just finished watching the rebroadcast of Sarah Palin's acceptance speech at the RNC.
Palin was able to roll effortlessly from folksy and approachable, to professorial and wonky, with just enough knowing snark to highlight the absurdities of her opponents' arguments, and a dash of steely resolve which never strayed into off-putting brittleness. The ease and poise and effortless cadences of her delivery were spot-on and, frankly, far better than I'd expected. Her brief stumble then graceful recovery from an apparent teleprompter malf when talking about Venezuelan oil ("...oil discoveries...and its deliveries of that source..." around 20:15) hints at her ability to think and speak on her feet. Rather a relief, that, after the multitude of malapropisms which President Bush has so steadily fed to wincing listeners. And she can pronounce "nuclear!"
She owned the energy discussion, mixing in just enough geopolitical breadth to put the lie quite decisively to the "provincial hick" narrative so many have been so studiously trying to affix to her.
The fact that she has a son who will presently deploy to Iraq (and that her running mate already has offspring in-theater) may finally put to bed the pernicious "chickenhawk" meme. Hey, a guy can hope.
So, no tingles running up my leg or anything. I am still uncomfortable with Palin's social conservative stances on several issues (but, again, I judge her ability to do any real damage on that front to be minimal, given the likely composition of the Congress for at least the next four years). I await her performance in less carefully-scripted interview and debate formats, and the fleshing out of her foreign policy chops.
But tonight, the chances of the McCain campaign pulling an Eagleton on Governor Palin just became roughly equivalent to those of the Left embracing her as an exemplar of an empowered and inspiring female role model.
Life just became a whole lot more interesting for Obama and Biden...and for us all.