John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


The Natural

Posted on September 4, 2008



            Watching Sarah Palin address the Republican National Convention last night reminded me of a movie starring Robert Redford.  In The Natural, Redford played Roy Hobbs, an obscure baseball player who had so much talent, he took the nation by storm, became an international celebrity, and engendered jealousy from powerfully corrupt forces. 


            Sarah Palin is the Roy Hobbs of politics.  She is the natural.  And she has woken up the powerfully corrupt forces of the liberal left.


            She is so good, her speech was so powerful, her humor was so cutting, that she represents a real threat to Barack Obama.  Get ready for an onslaught from Obama and his allies.  They can’t let Palin stand.


            It was amusing, and depressing, to hear the media spin this speech.  Keith Olberman, the symbol of the decline and fall of journalistic integrity, said something along the lines of people who like this kind of speech will like this kind of speech, a backhanded compliment of a liberal who knows he has been beat.  The rest of the media spin was similarly backhanded in their praise.


            The Obama campaign was initially flummoxed.  They came up with the pathetic attack that the Palin speech was written by a Bush speechwriter.  Give me a break.  That speech was all Sarah Palin.  I doubt a Bush speechwriter would pen the line about the difference between a hockey mom and pit bull.


            Palin also represents a clear threat to the established Washington elite.  She is not among that elite.  She didn’t go to Harvard.  She didn’t serve in Washington.  She doesn’t know Washington.  And like the rest of America, she doesn’t like Washington very much.  Her outsider status is completely believable and extraordinarily important as a campaign theme.


            Washington doesn’t know Palin, but America does.  Palin represents every working mother who is doing her best to balance her professional and personal lives.  She represents every American who is tired of Washington parlor games.  She represents all Americans who are struggling to put food on the table, to pay for the mortgage, and to keep their heads above water.  She is real, and her authenticity came through last night.


            Palin’s speech will not appeal to partisan Democrats.  They will complain it was too sarcastic, too mean, too tough on community organizers and too hard on Barack Obama.  But to those who are not sold on Obama, her speech was a revelation.  It revealed the true character of working mother who wants the best for her family and her country.  Palin’s appeal to working mothers (and fathers) is undeniable. 


            Obama and his campaign team are right to be concerned.  Palin is a real threat to their plans for the White House.


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