Ok. Let’s set the politics aside for the moment. Many Americans thought and hoped this might be “The Year of the Woman” in American politics. Most people entertaining that possibility envisioned Hillary Clinton as the next President of The United States.
This evening the country was introduced to the woman who still has a shot to wind up in the White House this year.
She is Alaska’s little-known Governor Sarah Palin. This evening Mrs. Palin burst onto the American political scene with a fiery speech full of partisan hooks sure to please the Republican faithful and a fresh style certain to worry political opponents. John McCain’s running mate made a clear statement that she is a force to be reckoned with in this campaign.
Her optimistic tone is inviting and infectious. She displayed an ability to draw the viewer in – agree or not. Her irreverence and humor adds a new dimension to this campaign. Joe Biden will have his hands full in their debate.
Tonight was only a speech. A long campaign lies ahead. It’s impossible to predict at this moment whether Sarah Palin will be the first female Vice-President of the United States or join Geraldine Ferraro as an interesting historical footnote.
As with Barack Obama, Sarah Palin represents the appearance of change. However, we cannot be satisfied with the same old messages being delivered by new messengers. Coca-Cola can change its packaging, but it is still Coca-Cola.
This country, I believe, is thirsting for a change in direction. It has demonstrated a willingness to listen to Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. It hopes that their talk of reform and change are more than just talk. Time will tell if they are truly new products or simply a repackaging of the same old products.
Three things are certain. After tonight, Sarah Palin has earned the right to stand on the stage and take her shot alongside Barack Obama. The Year of the Woman in American politics is alive and well. And, the inauguration ceremony in January 2009 is going to be historic – one way or the other.