Ross Mackenzie

What'd you think about the debate?

McCain-Obama II?

Actually, that one and Palin-Biden. Both.

Let's start with Palin-Biden. She had him for lunch - blew him away. It wasn't even close.

But he was so smooth, uptown, on top of his facts. She was so - you know - provincial, down-home, just-folks.

Exactly - you make my point. Despite the press fencing him as a "lunch-bucket Democrat," he came across less as "smooth" than as too slick by half. Yet again he fuzzed his bio facts, saying he had been shot at in Baghdad - as Hillary did when she claimed she and Chelsea had been targets on the tarmac in Tuzla. He also said FDR went on television during the Depression - an impossibility, of course, because television was still being invented.

He waxed leftie-extreme by terming Dick Cheney "the most dangerous (vice-president) we've had in history." He said, incredibly, John McCain "is not a maverick" - seeking to cast him as Tweedledum to George Bush's Tweedledee. He boasted he was the first - in the Robert Bork hearings, then in the Clarence Thomas hearings - to elevate ideology over intellect, temperament, accomplishment, and character in weighing nominees for the Supreme Court.

Whoa. The vice-presidential debate was supposed to be all about Palin - did she have the moxie, could she hack it in prime-time?

That was the double-standard line from the pro-Obama/Biden media, but it turned out not to be true. The debate proved to be about both of them. She's the one who resonated, related. She was feisty and focused, informal and upbeat, electric even, congenitally optimistic, and winningly winsome. On the issues she knew her stuff. Rhetorically, she was direct - and proved unafraid, for instance, to say (a la Ronald Reagan), "Joe, there you go again," or to nail the Obama-Biden ticket for wanting, in Iraq, to "wave the white flag of surrender."

So what explains the smug, supercilious condescension toward Sarah Palin - your supposed "Killa from Wasilla"?

It emanates principally from phonies, the press, and the left. They can't stand her because she so demonstrably connects, is obviously bright and capable, yet fails to meet their twisted definition of what an achieving "feminist" should be.

Can we move on to the second presidential debate?

It wasn't up to the first one, which McCain clearly won. This was a closer call. Still, despite their hype presidential debates rarely change campaign dynamics, and this one didn't either.

Obama certainly held his own.

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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