Bless her heart, Sarah "drill, baby, drill" Palin strove mightily to hit a gusher tonight against Joe Biden, but came up empty. No, her performance was not the disaster that some in the GOP have been fearing. She'll probably get extra credit, to use a term she employed, for just showing up. But cliche was piled upon cliche as Palin sought to paint Barack Obama, or "Barack," as she referred to him constantly in an attempt to diminish him, as a goofy radical, paired with a more sensible Lieberman, who would end up running America off the rails. As though it hasn't already run off them? The albatross around the neck of the McCain camp, doggone it, is the most unpopular president in American history, George W. Bush. Biden had it right: "past is prologue."
The great weakness that Palin could not overcome is a "reality-based" problem: the economy is tanking. On the one hand, Palin said she wants to get government out of daily life. On the other hand, we need more regulation to combat "greed" and "corruption." Excuse me, but something doesn't add up here.
Ditto for foreign policy. Palin wheeled out the boo words that the Bush administration has proliferated in the past eight years. They -- whoever "they" are -- "hate America." Obama's rush to coddle foreign despots is symptomatic of liberal squishiness --"that is beyond bad judgment, that is dangerous." North Korea's Kim Jong Il may be ill, but Palin sees threats everywhere. Freedom is one generation from extinction, but the polar bears aren't?
Even more than Obama on Friday night, Biden was crisp and -- dare one say it? -- articulate. In scant evidence was his famed verbosity. It was Palin who was chirpy and if the country's mood is gloomy, you'd never know it from Palin's tone.
Biden calmly countered Palin. Tonight, the Barracuda was at sea and McCain's electoral chances may be melting as fast as the polar ice cap. Palin was nothing more than the moose that roared into the wilderness. But was anyone really listening to her?