Wednesday, September 03, 2008

You really, really like me!

It's time to stop thinking politics. If you think McCain's pick of Sarah Palin was about politics, you're wrong. It's about personality....more precisely, the cult of personality.

Last night's RNC looked something like a George Romero movie--lots of zombies and red meat. Unfortunately, it had none of the entertainment value. And that's a shame.

Fred Thompson's speech reads well, but the reality? Though some say he's a powerful speaker, all I saw was the dull, predictable delivery characteristic of his candidacy, a candidacy that couldn't hold even his own attention and garnered a whole eight delegates.

Joe Lieberman managed an impressive two delegates in his bid for the Democratic nomination in 2004, and his 2000 Vice Presidential bid best remembered for....well, I forget. This year, Republicans almost revolted at the idea his name might appear on the ticket with McCain. They were right. Last night he transcended boring.

Bush? The fact that he appeared from his exile in Elba (or wherever that was) speaks for itself.

Rudy Giuliani? He couldn't beat Clinton for the Senate, and didn't win a single delegate this year. The only people watching his speech tonight will be those with money on the over-under on how many times he says "9/11."

These just aren't interesting, or likable, people.

By contrast, Barack Obama is interesting. He is likable. He draws a crowd not only because of what he has to say, but how he says it, and, yes, because of who he is. And the McCain crowd gets it. They don't hate Obama because he is a celebrity, but because their guy isn't, and never will be. What he has to say isn't interesting, how he says it isn't interesting, and--for at least a decade--he hasn't been interesting.

These are boring, unlikable people, but it's the best they have. They may decry celebrity, but that's only because they don't have one.

Until now. Sarah Palin. Is she famous for anything she's done? How many people can name one actual thing she has done? Before McCain pulled her from obscurity, how man people had ever heard the name? But now, her name is on everyone's lips. It's a top search on Google. And why? She's kinda hot (if you buy into the "life begins at conception" thing, she's a GMILF). She wears a bikini and holds a gun! She had a baby. Her kid is having a baby. The tabloids clamor for the details of her life.

Right now, Sarah Palin isn't famous for anything she's done, but who she is. She's famous for being famous....just like Paris, Kim Kardashian, Kato Kaelin, and Kevin Federline. She is what the Republicans always accuse Obama of being--a celebrity. Because of that, when she speaks tonight, people will tune in. Not for what she has to say, but because of who she is. Because she is a celebrity.

No matter what she says tonight, the real message, for and from all of the Republican Party, will be a repeat of Sally Fields' 1985 acceptance speech for Places in the Heart: "I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!"

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