There was nothing unexpected nor new in her speech. She spoke in favor of drilling in Alaska. Criticized “big government” and claimed to be against it (she took inflated funding for several projects in Alaska, see WP for article). She presented herself as an average, every day, PTA mom who is tough and resilient, which she is. And she spent a considerable amount of time praising McCain’s consistency, experience, and pro-war stance. He is not consistent but he does have Senate experience and he is pro-war. She talked about pride in the nation and implied critique of the Obamas while actively praising McCain, erasing the fact McCain has oft been quoted saying he was “not proud of America” until he got back from Vietnam. She also described her ethics reform work, staunchly avoiding an explanation for her own ethical violations (firings, lobbyists, padding project budgets). And she took the expected shots at the media, who deserve it for taking shots at her kid.
It was a completely expected speech, a party line speech, and I don’t think I know anything more about her than I did last week. Since everybody keeps calling her a Maverick, I expected something fresh and new all though still in keeping with Republican values. It was neither fresh nor new and her gender talk stayed right at the level of:
You know what they say is the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull? lipstick.
Those are her words, not mine.
One thing I did not expect: she was clearly heavily coached on foreign affairs and flubbed a couple of talking points. Because she is a solid speaker her mistakes were obvious and made her seem even less qualified to handle foreign policy. I don’t think that is going to impact most people’s votes.
Another: She said she would be an advocate for the differently-abled in the White House. Given the number of abusive incidents involving the differently-abled and the willful disregard for the ADA all over the nation, that is an important promise. My only concern is the way she mobilizes the image of her own differently-abled child in every speech to craft herself as super mom and score conservative points on abortion and motherhood.
At the end of the day, as we theorists tend to say “there was no there, there.”
(see fact checker weigh in on some of her talking points)