Just Words, And They Aren’t Even Hers

Before you read the rest of this post, I want you to watch this:

That is Sen. Obama, speaking extemporaneously, without a teleprompter, discussing the “quiet storms” that we all face. The speech was so good that Jay Newton-Small, who has covered Obama for 20 months, called the speech as good as any she has ever seen.

Sen. Obama is the man the Republicans like to say is just good at speechifying. You heard Joe Lieberman last night dismiss Obama as “eloquent,” but nothing more. You heard Fred Thompson last night say that “we hear a lot of talk about hope.” They like to say they are just words, and that he has no record, and that a good speech does not make a good president.

And then, after months of snide comments like that, the Republicans are going to trot out Sarah Palin, someone they would like to pretend is “authentic” and “real” and who has a real “record of reform,” but who is actually just another right-wing ideologue following a long line of pre-made hacks. And what will this “authentic” and mavericky “reformer” have to say? Whatever they tell her to say:

There was a flutter of attention when McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told a group of Post reporters and editors yesterday that his team was having to rework the vice presidential acceptance speech because the original draft, prepared before Gov. Sarah Palin was chosen, was too “masculine.” While we all wondered to ourselves what might make a speech masculine or feminine, no one batted an eye at the underlying revelation: that the campaign was writing the nominee’s speech before knowing who the nominee would be.

***

So when you watch Sarah Palin tonight, expect to learn something about how well she handles a Teleprompter. Expect to learn something about the McCain campaign’s assessment of its political standing with women, or working families, or social conservatives. Whether you’re learning what Sarah Palin really thinks or feels is anybody’s guess.

How authentic. Fred Thompson won’t be the only phony just reading lines at the Republican convention in 2008.

*** Update ***

A preview of the zingers they wrote for her to recite. Should be quite the performance, and we will see she is a “fighter.” How authentic.

44 replies
  1. 1
    SamFromUtah says:

    While we all wondered to ourselves what might make a speech masculine or feminine…

    References to “my dick”?

  2. 2
    Dreggas says:

    They were commenting on this on MSNBC last night that all the speeches were written by the campaign and the campaign even gave out cues as to when to applaud stuff. I mean really it’s like lemmings being led over a cliff.

  3. 3
    Delia says:

    I’m waiting for the moment at the climax of McCain’s speech when all the faithful rise and shout as one, “We want to be Mavericky Mavericks, too!”

  4. 4
    Philbert says:

    Jay Newton-Small is a she, not a he. Otherwise good effin’ point.

  5. 5
    Graeme says:

    Between the MSNBC open mic and the TIME blog… WHAT A DAY!

    This is glorious!

  6. 6
    SGEW says:

    I step away, and Mr. Cole just pulls me right back in. Sigh. Now I missed my train (I blame Obama!).

    Can I just say: that was one hell of a speech. Again. Of course. Not just the “eloquence” (tho’ he is eloquent), not just the “rhetoric” (tho’ “quiet storms” is some pretty kick-ass rhetoric), but the actual substance – the meaning, the message, the point.

    This guy still makes me cry. In the best way possible.

    Shit. Can you imagine if this guy actually means what he says, and becomes the President of the United States of America? Has anything like this happened before? Am I hoping for too much?

    I like my cynicism! I’ve carefully honed my skepticism and my agnosticism about politics over many years (relatively speaking, of course, for all y’all old-timers here). And now some guy with big ears and a funny name (not that I should talk about “funny names,” natch) comes along and makes me weep with idealistic joy.

    Hope. It’s a funny thing, huh?

    [Also: “Lives of quiet desperation” shout out, yo!]

  7. 7
    maxbaer (not the original) says:

    Great speech. Thanks John. That reminds me, time to give another couple of bucks.

  8. 8
    Svensker says:

    and the TIME blog… WHAT A DAY!

    What TIME blog?

  9. 9
  10. 10
    gbear says:

    THANKS for posting that video. I’ve been wanting to see it since it was mentioned in the comments here a while ago. John, this is such a great site.

  11. 11
    LiberalTarian says:

    Interesting how Obama’s defensive posture of the week before the DNC have simply melted away in one brilliantly stupid move from the McCain campaign. By naming Sarah Palin as his running mate, all his criticisms of Obama went right down the memory hole. As information dribbles in about his by-now-notoriously bad pick of a running mate, Obama can be free to go out and look serious.

    It’s great. Unbelievable. But, I still think we ought to make sure we GOTV–gotta overcome electioneering still (unfortunately).

  12. 12
    dr. bloor says:

    Who wrote that piece, and where have they taken the real Fred Hiatt?

  13. 13
  14. 14
    SGEW says:

    Final* thought:

    I’ve been comin’ to Balloon Juice for about . . . what . . . five years now? Originally, it was to see what a frothing crazy right-winger was saying, then to check out a (relatively) sane justification for Bush (and to be a big ol’ liberal troll . . . good times**), then to gape at Mr. Cole’s transformation from Republican mouth-breather to anti-Bush fire-breather . . . and now?

    Now, my crazy far-left leanings don’t even raise any eyebrows here (full disclosure: I’m a crypto-socialist, wealth redistributionist, pro-choice, LGBT supporting, anti-theist, pacifist, crazy left-wing environmental activist who thought that Gore was way too moderate in 2000).

    That MUP-juice sure has a kick, don’t it?

    *honest! maybe.
    ** Original handle redacted, to protect the innocent

  15. 15
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    I can listen to Obama over and over and never get tired of it. He connects to people when he talks, and he comes across as sincere in that connection.

    Just words? After listening to the chimp puppet and his puppetmaster spew their shit for the last eight years I find that listening to Obama is uplifting. We are not going to get a chance to hear Palin ad-lib if her handlers have their way about it. They are going to do everything in their power to minimize access yet crow about her ‘assets’. We will not hear the real Sarah Palin because McCain and the right want to make sure that we only get the version that they want us to see.

    They will not let her openly talk to the press until they feel that she can stay on message and not get knocked off of it. They are afraid that if she wanders off of her script then she will blow it for McCain. The longer they deny open press access to her can be used as an indicator as to how she is progressing under the tutelage of “The Master” and his minions.

    I have a strong feeling that Sarah is not going to measure up unless she has the McCain machine pulling her strings. She is not her own woman, she has given herself over to “The Master” and she will comply with the dictates in order to keep her spot on the ticket. She will do what the menon the right tell her to. What a woman! If you are a right winger who believes women have their place in the world of the right.

    Republicans. The shill party with the shill candidate and his shill running mate who are pumped up by the shill press. The only reason that we are hearing about all of the Palin shit is because they have no control over her past and the lack of vetting is coming back to bite them in the ass.

    I bet popcorn sales are off the chart.

  16. 16
    w vincentz says:

    I don’t think it will play that well in front of the RNC audience. After last night, it looked to me like most of ’em had just gotten back from their trip to the taxidermist, complete with their internal robotic parts.
    I sure hope they added Glen Miller or Lawrence Welk to the “playlist”.

  17. 17
    aarrgghh says:

    the republicans aren’t running a campaign. they’re running an experiment for their alien overlords, who want to find out how much stinking steaming-hot 100% unadulterated flyblown bullshit can be mainlined directly into the barely-pumping heart of the american electorate. they have instructions to keep going, like a mosquito trapped at the injection site, until either the gop or the country explodes first.

  18. 18
    PC says:

    The complete Sarah Palin

    10 pages of oppo research per year as mayor. Fan-fucking-tastic.

  19. 19
    zzyzx says:

    It’ll play well. She’s one of them.

    As for not speaking to the press, think about it. What’s the point of a VP candidate during an election? Being the attack dog. Good job doing that if you can’t go on the Sunday talk shows.

  20. 20

    While the Republicans make another attempt at political 3-Card Monte, Barack Obama continues his march to the White House.

    Yea, yea, yaa. I know all about the Big Bad Republican Smear Machine. Fuck them. Obama is building an organization that’s going to crush these simpletons. Most of them still don’t get it. The few that do are not being heard over the Poltical Masturbation going on in Minneapolis.

  21. 21
    gbear says:

    Wow Dreggas,
    2006 Democratic research document on Sarah Palin

  22. 22
    HyperIon says:

    OT but…
    So, Mr. Cole, when may we expect to see YOU on PJTV. The ads on the left are getting to me, especially the one with Thompson’s wife’s cleavage. How about you and Tunch doing something together?

  23. 23
    grandpajohn says:

    As I listened to the speech the one thought that constantly was in mind, Can anyone even in their wildest thoughts imagine John McCain even approaching such an outpouring of love and respect for his fellow man or woman,Can anyone imagine McCain expressing care or concern for anyone other than himself and family?
    How in Gods name can any sane true believer of the teachings of Jesus or of the philosopy of being your brothers keeper ,contemplate voting for McSame

  24. 24
    PC says:

    How about you and Tunch doing something together?

    You want to see Tunch’s cleavage!? That’s not how we roll around here…well, at least most of us.

  25. 25
    Tiparillo says:

    Better watch out John or Ross Douthat will call you a sexist for destroying Palin’s transformative candidacy in the crib.

  26. 26
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Okay, I am such a girl, I cried. I want everyone on the planet to see this speech, no teleprompter, no script, just Barack, being Barack, lawd knows why can’t we have more of Barack just being Barack I am seriously concerned that any person on this planet would actually vote for McCain as opposed to Barrack. It scares me.

  27. 27
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    I think whatever speech she gives should be run against this, from just three months ago:

    Sarah unscripted

    And then compare it to Obama speaking off the cuff.

  28. 28

    […] Whatever Sarah Palin says tonight… Just remember, tonight is about nothing more than finding out how good Sarah Palin is at reading a teleprompter. Whyzat? Well: There was a flutter of attention when McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told a group of Post reporters and editors yesterday that his team was having to rework the vice presidential acceptance speech because the original draft, prepared before Gov. Sarah Palin was chosen, was too “masculine.” While we all wondered to ourselves what might make a speech masculine or feminine, no one batted an eye at the underlying revelation: that the campaign was writing the nominee’s speech before knowing who the nominee would be. […]

  29. 29
    Paul L. says:

    IMPORTANT ACTION ALERT!!!!
    New Talking Point:
    If Sarah Palin does a good speech, it is because it was written by KARL ROVE and the preserved brain of Leni Riefenstahl and presented on a Teleprompter.
    Of course no speech can surpass Obama’s great and accurate bitter and clingy speech that he did not need a Teleprompter for.
    We live for the One. We die for the One.

  30. 30
    OriGuy says:

    The Barry & Joe Show stops at a restaurant in northern Indiana. This is not typical Democratic territory, but people seem happy to seem him.

  31. 31
    KRK says:

    Great speech, from “even if you’ve never been in a union” to “quiet lives of desperation.”

    I did chuckle at the reflexive “call me” hand motion when he said “make phone calls with me.”

  32. 32
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Thanks origuy, I couldn’t get my link to work and feared the wrath of Cole. I loved that video.

  33. 33
    John S. says:

    IMPORTANT ACTION ALERT

    I am a bowel movement conservative that has been shit out the asshole of America.

    We know, Paul.

  34. 34

    […] 9:29: It begins. Huckabee’s speaking right now. Via the inestimable John Cole, it turns out that the McCain camp started writing the VP acceptance speech before they had a candidate. [Candidate] for VP! […]

  35. 35
    Tom M. says:

    nobody else heard the Eugene Debs remix at the end there?

  36. 36
    RH Potfry says:

    Ah, the rhythmic cadence of Obama. thank god it’s so hypnotic, otherwise we might all realize there’s no content.

  37. 37
    TenguPhule says:

    We live for the One. We die for the One.

    It is important to remember, this side also ended up kicking the shit out of the facist government.

  38. 38
    oh really says:

    Extemporaneous? It sure looks to me like he repeatedly looks at notes.

  39. 39
    Douglas Stambler says:

    Sarah Palin is a person who believes that God has put her on the national stage to take America into the last days of the End Times. Scratch beneath the surface of this speech, and you will hear the faint drumbeat of the current administration suspending the election in November and simply staying in power. WAKE UP!!!

    USA, WE ARE SCREWED! AND HERE’S THE PROOF:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSTZe1ousMI

  40. 40
    Sav says:

    Wow, how the mighty have fallen. And when I say “mighty” I mean you, John.

    You’re the petty jerk you proclaim to despise.

    To me, someone who really used to enjoy reading you, that’s quite a shame.

  41. 41
    Casper says:

    I think it’s so funny to see the democrats cringe when Sarah landed the speech tonight – Obama should worry i changed my mind tonight – I’m voting McCain/Palin for one reason only – Barack obama is not qualified tp be our president – John McCain is… God help us all if Obama who cannot insult a terrorist for fear of hurting their feelings – we are not going to befriend those who would destroy us all if they could – you can’t deny it. Save our country – vote for experience – vote for McCain. John McCain is NOT George Bush – he is very different – give the man a chance – he deserves it more than the new upstart Obama who can only “organize a community” and campaign for president as his resume – the country does not need someone who has to be trained in office – we need the real thing we need John McCain and Sarah Palin.

  42. 42
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Shorter Sav: John quit drinking the koolaid and now I am all alone.

    Awwwww, so sad.

  43. 43
    Sav says:

    Clever.

    Obviously, the content in the comments section hasn’t improved either.

  44. 44
    Cartman says:

    No executive experience

    Obama seems to have left out this job from his resume ..

    Recently [1995] he [Obama] was appointed president of the board of the Annenberg Challenge Grant, which will distribute some $50 million in grants to public-school reform efforts.”

    … I wonder why … this would be an excellent comeback for Obama to all those complaints that he never had executive experience or handled a payroll.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] 9:29: It begins. Huckabee’s speaking right now. Via the inestimable John Cole, it turns out that the McCain camp started writing the VP acceptance speech before they had a candidate. [Candidate] for VP! […]

  2. […] Whatever Sarah Palin says tonight… Just remember, tonight is about nothing more than finding out how good Sarah Palin is at reading a teleprompter. Whyzat? Well: There was a flutter of attention when McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told a group of Post reporters and editors yesterday that his team was having to rework the vice presidential acceptance speech because the original draft, prepared before Gov. Sarah Palin was chosen, was too “masculine.” While we all wondered to ourselves what might make a speech masculine or feminine, no one batted an eye at the underlying revelation: that the campaign was writing the nominee’s speech before knowing who the nominee would be. […]

Comments are closed.