I was going to give my in depth analysis of Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech Wednesday night, but wouldn’t you all rather read what Michael Barone had to say about it? She had a very strong debut, but she does have more work to do. The McCain campaign is doing a smart thing by keeping her away from the Sunday shows for now, but eventually she’s going to have to do some interviews and finish off Joe Biden to show that she can handle herself without a script. I feel more confident about this than I did before her speech on Wednesday, and I am cautiously optimistic that she can survive whatever the media decides to throw at her. The McCain campaign should be wary of casting Palin as a victim, because it’s quite clear that she can take the punches.
About McCain’s acceptance speech — he got through it ok, no thanks to the Code Pink morons who interrupted him at the beginning. Obama will always have the edge in speechmaking ability, but John McCain’s life story is compelling, and McCain told that story as well as he could. The McCain campaign does need to be more judicious with the use of McCain’s military service and former POW status in speeches and rallies, because he runs the risk of trivializing that service. Take John Kerry for example — the running gag is that, by the way, did you know he served in Vietnam? McCain’s military service is a wonderful example of service to our country above and beyond the call of duty. I respect it, but he can’t win an election without talking about kitchen table issues in addition to his bio.