The Democrat convention was a hoot, starring Bill and Hillary and that other one guy, the nice, well-spoken African-American gentleman with the unusual name who, apparently, would also like to be in government work. The choice of Joe Biden as the VP candidate caught me completely off-guard. He's one of those politicians that always surprises, occasionally amuses, but seldom leaves behind the feeling of competence, intelligence, or integrity. But he did seem clean and articulate, so he's got that going for him.
The floundering McCain campaign's selection of Sarah Palin as his VP running mate was also a big surprise, obviously, but one that seems to be serendipitously inspired. She is turning out to the secret weapon of the Republican party; one that nobody even knew they possessed, least of all the Republicans. If McCain wins the election, then he will owe it to whoever championed that crazy idea. Like most of America, I had never heard of her, but I found her immediately likeable and, for a politician, reasonably credible. And it is great fun to see the liberal left and the feminists so completely unwound by it all.
I doubt that any other VP nomination has generated as much national discussion as that of Sara Palin. Watching Charles Gibson's interview on ABC cemented in my mind how smart, focused, and unflinching she is. It also revealed what a pompous, arrogant, and unpleasant man Gibson seems to be. I wondered as I watched if he would have borne the same combative demeanor, the same sneering rudeness if he had been interviewing an African-American woman, or if he would have grilled Hillary with such surly disrespect. I wondered what he was thinking inside, if he thought he was appearing professional?
Being professional means, among other things, that you are polite to people, regardless of whether you think they deserve it or not. You can be direct, even insistent, without being impolite. Being a gentleman means, among other things, that you show a respectful deference to women, regardless of whether you think they deserve it or not. It is the opposite of being an asshole.
Sarah Palin showed that she is fully capable of answering difficult, direct questions in a personal, heartfelt way. Whether you agree with her politics or not, it is undeniable that she communicates sincerity. I will be voting for John McCain with considerable less reluctance now. Charlie Gibson communicated something, too, but I doubt that it would make his mother proud.