No enthusiasm gap now
Twenty years after Ronald Reagan left office, Republicans who have long missed him may have found a future Margaret Thatcher. If John McCain wins, conservatives may find one of the most enduring accomplishments of his term will have been what he did before it started: helping to fill the Republican Party's future talent bench with such a fresh and compelling figure. Sarah Palin is a conviction politician, a naturally compelling speaker and someone who can relate to her audience on very human terms. America has just learned why Mrs. Palin enjoys the highest approval ratings of any governor in America.
Some hard-bitten political observers I know were uncharacteristically impressed with the Palin speech. Hal Stratton, a former Attorney General of New Mexico, wrote to me as follows: "That's what we out west call openin' a whole can of whip a- on your opponents."
Sarah Palin probably went down better in Warren, Michigan than she did in Washington, D.C. -- but that was the whole point of her speech and her candidacy. Indeed, while Mrs. Palin certainly won't swing any deeply blue states in John McCain's direction, she may have an impact in swaying independent voters as well as boosting GOP turnout in swing states such as Colorado, Nevada and Michigan.
One of the standard operating theories this Election Year is that Barack Obama and the Democrats are much more energized, excited and willing to work hard for victory in November. After Sarah Palin's remarkably effective speech, I don't think any pundits or politicians will be able to count on a decisive Democratic enthusiasm edge. Sarah Palin electrified the hall, and from what I can tell from my e-mail inbox that excitement is being replicated in living rooms across the country.
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH