That’s Just Nitpicking, Isn’t It?

palin.jpgI find it baffling to read even marginally positive reviews of Sarah Palin’s performance in last night’s debate:

“The 90-second format, with little time for follow-up, favored Palin. She has one answer. She doesn’t appear to have a second one, and she never had to give one. To the television audience, she no doubt looked in command.”

I saw it the same way noted political commentator Roger Ebert did:

“Listening to her voice, you could also sense when she felt she’d survived the deep waters of improvisation and was climbing onto the shore of talking points. When she was on familiar ground, she perked up, winked at the audience two of three times, and settled with relief into the folksiness that reminds me strangely of the characters in Fargo.”

My movie comparison was to a bit in This Is Spinal Tap when Nigel is propped up by a roadie after a solo left him flat on his back. Upright once again, there’s something giddy in his expression suggesting that he’d instantly forgotten how foolish he’d looked just a few seconds earlier.

Palin’s struggle was evident, leading to a visible release of tension mixed with unearned, self-satisfied triumph.

It’s no surprise; she’s basically a local politician thrust on a national stage.

As Ebert wrote:

“If that had been me facing Joe Biden with the same preparation, I don’t know if I could even have walked onto the stage.”

Also, here’s a joke I bet you’ll hear in the coming days, most likely from Jay Leno:

“Sarah Palin said she favors a two-state solution for Israel: New York and Florida.”

More film comparisons:

It’s funny how some films (“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Head of State”) are about local politicians being thrust into bigger spotlights, with trials, tribulations, and the ultimate warm and fuzzy ending.

However, when that happens in real life, as in Palin’s case, it’s more often than not scary as hell. But, I should keep my political views quiet, since this is a film blog.

Jamie, your politics are welcome.

One thing to note about popular political movies (those you cite, with Dave as another example) is that they’re fantasies. This is how we wish politics worked, that common sense will rule the day.

I don’t think political fantasy is that different from other types of fantasy. Removed from the cinema and transplanted into real life, most romantic comedies would be scary as hell, too.

Okay, so this is way after the debate but you make good points here. The fact that anyone could have said she did a good job is preposterous and calls into question their judgment - and that includes about half of the CNN analysts and Joe “turncoat” Lieberman who stopped just short of calling her a genius (that guy has his nose so far up McCain’s ass I can’t believe it).

The fact that Palin got praised for in effect not coming off like an idiot shows the depths to which politics have shrunk and reveals just how low we’ve set the bar for our candidates. It’s sad. Very, very sad. One can only hope that in a couple of weeks, we never hear of her or from her again.

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