In her weekly column in tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan joins the list of conservative writers who argue for Obama. She doesn’t explicitly endorse him. She simply lays out the case. It’s well worth reading. Here is the opening passage:
He has within him the possibility to change the direction and tone of American foreign policy, which need changing; his rise will serve as a practical rebuke to the past five years, which need rebuking; his victory would provide a fresh start in a nation in which a fresh start would come as a national relief. He climbed steep stairs, born off the continent with no father to guide, a dreamy, abandoning mother, mixed race, no connections. He rose with guts and gifts. He is steady, calm, and, in terms of the execution of his political ascent, still the primary and almost only area in which his executive abilities can be discerned, he shows good judgment in terms of whom to hire and consult, what steps to take and moves to make. We witnessed from him this year something unique in American politics: He took down a political machine without raising his voice.
A great moment: When the press was hitting hard on the pregnancy of Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter, he did not respond with a politically shrewd “I have no comment,” or “We shouldn’t judge.” Instead he said, “My mother had me when she was 18,” which shamed the press and others into silence. He showed grace when he didn’t have to.
Yesterday, in Erie, Pennsylvania, Sarah Palin told the crowd, “I am thrilled to be here in the home state of the world-champion Philadelphia Phillies.” This is, of course, incredibly tone-deaf, if not outright stupid, given Erie’s greater proximity to Pittsburgh, and to Cleveland for that matter. Had the Dodgers won, would she speak enthusiastically in San Francisco about their victory? (Yes, I know, she would never find herself campaigning in San Francisco.)
But the real puzzle isn’t her thoughtlessness or lack of geographical-baseball knowledge. It’s how her campaign team could possibly insert that in a script for her. In that regard, Chris Mottram’s post at the Sporting News blog strikes me as overly harsh. Still, you gotta wonder. And what was she thinking as she smiled through all the boos?