George Graham

Is Sarah Palin a Real person or Somebody’s Idea of a Joke?

No, she didn’t crash and burn. No, she wasn’t at a loss for words. No, she wasn’t intimidated. And she wasn’t quite as incoherent as she was in those ABC-TV interviews. Some clever coach (or army of coaches) had taught Sarah Palin a series of responses, which she remembered almost verbatim and delivered by rote (even when they had nothing to do with the question she was supposed to be answering). Chalk up one point in her favor: Sarah Palin seems to have a good memory.palen-biden

(But she didn’t quite get the name right for the U.S. commanding officer in Afghanistan. His name is Lt. Gen David McKiernan, sweetie, not McClelland. And he did so say the “surge” the U.S. used in Iraq would not work in Afghanistan!)

One thing her coaches forgot to do was to program Sarah Palin to be a credible human being. The woman was a living caricature. As the debate with Joe Biden progressed last night she became increasingly folksy. I kept waiting for someone from The Beverly Hills Hillbillies to show up.

Her speech was peppered with “hecks” and “betchas.” I don’t think she said “shucks,” but she would have if she had thought of it. At one point, she actually said something like, “Say it ain’t so, Joe. Thar ya go agin, doggone it. Always lookin’ back!”

She mugged and made cutesie-pie faces, winked and blinked, and grinned incessantly (even at the most inappropriate times).  At any moment, I expected her to roll over or sit up and beg. Woof!

This is the picture of American womanhood that we want the world to see? I don’t betcha.  To paraphrase Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, I know Hillary Clinton, and she is no Hillary Clinton.

As for the substance of the debate… Come on, guys! How dumb do you think American voters are? From her babbling, the only clear message was that she thinks she is a wonderful mayor and governor, and an expert in energy (really???), and John McCain is a reformer who will end corruption in Washington and create jobs by cutting taxes. Oh, he is also going to reduce government spending while rebuilding the country’s infrastructure. That must be McCain math: two negatives make a positive, or minus from minus equals plus.

You don’t have to be an economist to figure how deep the Recession (Depression?) will get if McCain becomes President. But back to Palin. Don’t believe her. She was a disaster as mayor of Wasilla. When she took the job, the town was debt free. When she left, the town was mired in debt from a hockey rink complex she had insisted on building (with heated seats). The town is still fighting a court case because she didn’t think to get clear title to the site before building the rink.

She has been governor of Alaska for a very short time, so I doubt that she did all the tax cutting she claims to have done, but I’ll leave that to to figure out. I am sure you can figure out that she is no expert on energy. Her energy policy, as she took pains to point out, boils down to: “Drill, baby, drill.” Drill offshore, drill in the national parks… to heck with the polar bears and death to wolves! She wouldn’t know a windmill or a solar panel if she stumbled over one. And I doubt that she can spell biofuel.

Joe Biden did well to plod on through the debate, trying to be an adult, keeping his cool while Palin kissed up to him with one breath and lied about him with the next. (For a look at the way facts were mangled in last night’s debate, you can refer to this Yahoo story:

I don’t know what the McCain camp thinks Palin achieved last night, but I am sure American voters were not fooled. Trouble is: the world was watching. I hope those viewers will not think too badly of America because of the charade.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for