It is obviously very hard for a true believer like Brad Schaeffer to stop believing in Mustang Sarah. As evidenced by this post, it has been a long journey for him from inspiration to disillusionment. That Schaeffer saw someone with more experience than Barack Obama mystifies me. That he felt sorry for Mrs. Palin and the gotcha questions, flummoxes me. That he only now feels that she is helping the opposition (i.e. President Obama) by destroying the GOP almost makes me laugh. Almost.
But for this fact: I saw through the woman the moment she stepped forward on that stage. Why couldn’t he?
It was three years ago this month, and I was on a Jet Blue flight across country. As luck would have it, I had a row of three seats to myself. That meant I had three TV screens. Not a big television watcher in general, this was a thrill for me at 36,000 feet.
The window screen was on something juicy, either HGTV or Bravo. The middle screen was the flight map. The aisle screen I had set to a news station because en route from the lavatory, I saw monitors all over the plane with the caption stating that McCain was about to announce his running mate.
And there she was. Huh? My first thoughts, honestly? Grandmother in a bun with a tacky black suit and granny glasses. Voice that could shatter glass. Cold kisses on the cheeks of her dazed children and grandchild. Cindy’s face frozen in horror.
And the shoes. Jesus, those shoes!
As my grandmother might have said, “God love her, she didn’t even know enough to put on stockings and close-toed pumps.” This Palin woman was so ignorant, I remember thinking, she didn’t even know how to show up for the party (still doesn't, as Regina points out so well here.) That was my initial impression without knowing a thing about Palin beyond minimal governing experience and dubious academic credentials.
And I never got beyond those feelings.
Next thing I remember, Palin was standing on a stage outdoors introducing her family to the crowd. “And Bristol is in the bus napping with her baby brother,” she said.
“Yeah, right,” I thought. Without knowing a thing about this woman or her family, I felt Palin was fibbing right then and there. Right out of the gate.
And that’s when it began for me, this spiral of silence and insanity. That Shaeffer now concludes that Palin is a side-show clinging to center state who might do his beloved party damage is such lunacy. That he now suggests someone from the GOP gently take Palin aside and suggest she shove off, is so insane. WTF has this man been these past three years?
Any time Palin's position on the public stage comes to an end, it will be all right with me. That moment can't come soon enough.
I would truly love it if this were the last thing I ever saw of Palin. A bookend to the red hooker shoes of August, 2008:
And I would truly love it if a true conservative would, for once, stop couching their doubt and regret in such careful terms and would own the embarrassment and travesty this woman and her clown car full of family have become.
Joe McGinnis, I’m begging you. I hope you gave it all you’ve got (though something tells me you did.) I ordered your book at my local independent book store. And I can hardly wait for September.