Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sarah Palin's Speech

I would guess that many of you watch Sarah Palin’s convention speech last night. Former mayor of New York City Ed Koch used to ask, “How Am I doin’”. Well, how did Sarah do last night?

I thought there were a number of positive things about her speech. The first thing the McCain-Palin ticket needs to do is sure up its base. If we accept Convention Delegates as being the base (and that point can be argued), certainly she was effective. She was on the national stage, the big stage last night and she did not falter. I did find it a little awkward when she talked about being the mother of “one of those troops,” since I have always consider the word ‘troop’ to be plural. The thought going through my brain at the time was, “The woman must have an awfully big uterus to be the mother of an entire troop”. I would have preferred her using the word ‘soldier,’ but really this is a minor point.

I also thought she spent a little too much time talking about her family and her family life. I do not feel that qualifies her to be Vice President and really does not tell us much about her. Yes, it is important to talk a little bit about family and upbringing in this day and age, yes she did indicate that parents of “special needs children” would have an advocate in the White House (which said something about policy) but the amount of time she spent talking about her family was overdone.

To my surprise, she did a nice job of talking about the issues. Did she only portray one side? Of course, but this is a campaign, this is the Republican Convention and that is to be expected. She let us know her position on drilling for oil and then mentioned other things that could be done to reduce the US reliance on oil (I thought Barack Obama said something similar at the Democratic Convention but still Palin told us something about her beliefs. She talked about line item vetoing and closely going through a budget, she talked about the need to cut rather than rely on the ‘tax and spend’ policies of Obama.

Given the fact that she has only been Governor of Alaska for two years, she did a nice job of combining attacks with telling you a little about her philosophy and approach. Did she tell you what she would do as Vice President? No, but let’s face it, other than advise the President, be a representative of the United States in some World Affairs and be ready to take over at a heartbeat should something happen to the President, the VP doesn’t do much. Personally, I think Sarah Palin would do great at the first two items mentioned but I have great and grave concerns about the third.

I did find it amusing how the Republicans criticized the Democrats for having no Executive experience at the VP or Presidential level. I did not know that was a prerequisite for the job and for years thought the belief of both parties was someone who had experience on the Federal level, with Federal issues, was better qualified than someone who had Executive experience on the State level. I still find it amusing that people are claiming that Sarah Palin is more qualified to lead than Barack Obama (maybe she would do a better job, I don’t know, but at this point to say she is more qualified is absurd). The claim, however, that he has never authored a piece of substantive legislation as either a state legislator or a Senator I thought was effective.

In viewing Palin’s speech as a speech, given the surroundings she had, I thought she did an excellent job with the speech. Should she win, I have no idea how good of a job she would do as VP (or President, should the need arise).

Stay tuned for reaction to Joe Lieberman coming up later today!