Last night's national debut by AK Governor Sarah Palin at the RNC Convention served notice to Democrats on a couple of points, the most obvious being she intends to fill the role of John McCain's attack dog with backwoods zeal.
Her frequent attacks on Obama—which often bordered on obnoxious—and the Republicans' favorite target, the media, gave the convention crowd exactly what it wanted: buckets and buckets of bloody, raw meat – first doled out as an appetizer by Rudy Guliani who happily mocked Obama, and then laid out as a main course by Palin.
The result was a floor packed with white folks—and a smattering of minorities—utterly unified in their devotion for a McCain/Palin ticket.
So what did we learn last night?
We learned that Palin can rehearse and deliver a good speech—written by McCain's own Matthew Scully—but how she performs in less structured venues will be another matter. We also found that Palin's gaping lack of experience may (disturbingly) not matter in November if her campaign role is to play McCain's muscle taking on one straw man after another while making her boss look as sympathetic as possible.
And finally, above all, we learned that Sarah Palin is an inspiring figure. In fact, this morning she inspired me to make a donation to Planned Parenthood in her honor.
Either way, the Obama-Biden ticket had better find a way to defuse Palin, and yesterday.