Time to Fight Back

Peggy Noonan, in today’s Wall Street Journal:

Because she jumbles up so many cultural categories, because she is a feminist not in the Yale Gender Studies sense but the How Do I Reload This Thang way, because she is a woman who in style, history, moxie and femininity is exactly like a normal American feminist and not an Abstract Theory feminist; because she wears makeup and heels and eats mooseburgers and is Alaska Tough, as Time magazine put it; because she is conservative, and pro-2nd Amendment and pro-life; and because conservatives can smell this sort of thing — who is really one of them and who is not — and will fight to the death for one of their beleaguered own; because of all of this she is a real and present danger to the American left, and to the Obama candidacy.

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She could become a transformative political presence.

So they are going to have to kill her, and kill her quick.

And it’s going to be brutal. It’s already getting there.

All true. But, to paraphrase John Paul Jones, Palin has not yet begun to fight back. Tonight will be her moment. The American people want to see her and to judge for themselves whether she has what it takes to be Vice President. My guess is that ratings for tonight’s broadcast will be through the roof.

Palin’s assignment is not an easy one. She needs to fight back, to be tough and to show she can take the heat. At the same time, she can’t come off as defensive or as stung by the unfair criticism she has received or the intrusion on her family’s privacy. A little humor would go a long way toward positioning her where she needs to be: above her critics.

Tonight, will we see history being made, or history being footnoted? It’s always a mistake to overestimate the political importance of a Vice Presidential nominee. Still, under this year’s unique circumstances, how Palin performs will have something to do with how that question is ultimately answered.

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