Saturday, October 4, 2008


I thought that Sarah Palin did one hell of a job in the debate with Joe Biden. Did she win or so dramatically influence the Independents or undecideds on both the Republican and Democratic side so as to prompt a reversal of the current sentiments? I think not… Alaskan Governor “Can I call you Joe?” Sara Palin recovered a lot of dignity for herself and the Republicans though at times her responses seemed canned and the product of the intensive tutelage that she received in the last several weeks. That’s OK too as she is obviously a quick study… Bottom line is that she didn’t change or redirect sentiment to the Republicans because of her performance. The sigh of relief by the Republicans is that despite her lack of experience and fact that she has never been tested in national/international politics, she probably didn’t cause a mass exodus of Republicans. Her supporters will stay firmly in place as Joe Biden’s will.

Biden also had inestimable pre-debate counseling to eliminate some of his verbosity (What’s wrong with that?) and his God given talent to fully stuff both his feet well beyond his tonsil and adenoids. He did not appear condescending to Sarah and was, indeed, deferential to her persona and position. A couple of times he could have gone for her jugular and didn’t. He showed a class that I didn’t think he possessed and suspect that he won a lot of confidence in the process.

I thought (along with many Republican strategists) that Biden was articulate without being haughty, maudlin or extra-political or nearly as predictable as Sarah was in her responses. Biden seemed willing to go anywhere or talk about any issue while Sarah did not wander far from her comfort zone. Again, to her credit Sarah demonstrated that she wasn’t the one dimensional Saturday Night Live character played by the very talented Tina Fey in her recent most extraordinary virtuoso performance as Palin. Frankly, I can’t tell them apart and I wondered later with Friends who was satirizing who? One thing’s for sure - Palin now has no control over her own image.

Fey wasn’t kind to Palin and that was OK by me though Fey’s career (if she persists with her characterization of Palin) may be so remarkable as to throw her in the company of George Reeves the ultimately tragic actor who was typecast as Superman, the role he played for many years. Yes, her characterization was that good…

I was drawn back to the Canadian (CBC) Red Green Show or even Fargo to capture what many feel – that Palin is a caricature of the archetypical Alaskan and Northwood’s culture that is seemingly out of touch with world politics. Palin’s earlier attempt to reinforce her foreign policy credentials by invoking Alaska’s proximity to Russia was incredibly na├»ve and inappropriate.

As a former Amazing Maize Maze, Maze Master for the Catawba Valley Scottish Society in Huntersville, NC I was chagrined when Duke Wheeler of Whitehouse, Ohio recently created a 16 acre corn maze that features the likeness of Governor Palin replete in her 60’s hairstyle and distinctive eyeglasses. Gads there go the corn mazes!

Frankly, I don’t want a self-styled “Hockey Mom” as my president, rather someone who has the dimension, experience and erudition to relate to all the challenging foreign and domestic issues we will surely face in the next few years. I want someone who can make the tough and sometimes unpopular decisions about these incredibly sophisticated and complex challenges. I honestly don’t feel that she has a clue about our current banking and finance crisis though that puts her squarely in the company of the greater majority of those in government and many of our citizenry.

I do think that she is very attractive, has a lot on the ball and probably much more than she’s letting on. Doggone it, I would like to be her Friend, share a moose or caribou burger (no pork re. pig with lipstick reference) and an Alaskan Amber in Wasilla and celebrate all that is right with our country and that great state from which she hails. Maybe we could watch a hockey game or two and talk about icing, two line passes or even some goaltending moves.


Ned Buxton

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