Governor Sarah Pailin's performance last night was a tour de force. She has lifted the clouds of uncertainty for Republicans and given them new hope. But will she be a shooting star, or will she become a permanent light on the national stage?
Republicans had a very good night Wednesday, culminating with the official nomination of Senator John McCain. Speaker after speaker landed tough punches against their opponents and lauded praise on McCain's service to his country. There was more red meat served up last night in the St. Paul Convention Center than in the Oklahoma Stockyards.
Republicans have launched their own surge in an effort to put the focus back on Obama's lack of service because it is their best chance of winning. The Democrats have responded by putting the spotlight on the economic failings of the past eight years and tying it squarely to President Bush and, by association, John McCain.
Last night's convention was truly energizing and exciting. But some of the so-called "facts" presented by Republican speakers about the Democrats were inaccurate, most distasteful and reflective of mean-spirited partisan politics at its worst. Also, right out of the Karl Rove/Richard Nixon political playbook, Republicans deployed the old blame the "liberal" media gambit.
Governor Sarah Palin's selection was huge! She was a surprise pick and few Americans had even heard her name before last Friday. Of course, the media went into overdrive to fill the information vacuum. She had not been intensely vetted by the McCain campaign until just before the announcement of her selection. There are still legitimate questions to be pursued about whether she abused her power as Governor, about her use of lobbyists and earmarks, whether she was for the "bridge to nowhere" before she was against it, did she reform government, or even if she truly qualified to be one heartbeat away from the presidency.
Sadly, a handful of blogs raised vicious and inaccurate rumors. And the National Enquirer, which sunk John Edwards, is now hot after a story involving Governor Palin’s personal life. The Internet has changed the landscape and users must be cautious about what they read on the web. I would argue that the “established” or “mainstream media” actually provides the country a great service by thoroughly investigating information and killing the smears.
Now Senator McCain, in the spirit of bipartisan unity, will your campaign end its silence and unequivocally denounce all the vicious and inaccurate rumors constantly being spread by bloggers about Obama? Or is that a bridge to nowhere?