Film critic, Roger Ebert, discusses the vice presidential debate as theater in today’s Chicago Sun Times. His is one of the more relevant approaches, given that TV has totally altered how politicians get elected in this nation.
I get the feeling that the powers that be in the Republican Party saw what happened to Nixon in 1960, and collectively agreed to never let that happen again. And for the most part they’ve been wildly successful at selling their mythical version of a much slimier reality. But I digress.
Here’s some of what Ebert saw in Governor Palin last night:
When she was on familiar ground, she perked up, winked at the audience two of three times, and settled with relief into the folksiness that reminds me strangely of the characters in “Fargo.”
Palin is best in that persona. You want to smile with her and wink back. But who did she resemble more? Marge Gunderson, whose peppy pleasantries masked a remorseless policewoman’s logic? Or Jerry Lundegaard, who knew he didn’t have the car on his lot, but smiled when he said, “M’am, I been cooperatin’ with ya here.” Palin was persuasive. But I felt a brightness that was not always convincing.
I think Palin is clearly Marge, not Jerry. A comment on Ebert’s post by “Citizen Spain” says it best:
What annoys me most is that Palin’s disarming Marge Gunderson quaintness has transformed a significant portion of our population into drooling, blathering Mike Yanagitas. Such a super lady!