Sarah Palin’s Drafted Speech

Hendrik Hertzberg’s New Yorker piece, “Let It Rain,” points out the mean spirit in Palin’s speech:

According to Time, Palin’s acceptance address was drafted—by a former Bush White House speechwriter—before she was chosen and then retailored to fit her. Like almost every major speech at that Convention (Mike Huckabee’s being an exception), it substituted sarcasm for humor in its sneers at Obama. “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities,” she said. “Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America, and he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights,” she said, a little chillingly. “Listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or even a reform, not even in the state senate,” she said. This last was simply false; Obama’s legislative record, both in Illinois and (given its brevity) in Washington, is impressive. (Also, it’s McCain whose books have been “authored.” Obama wrote his.) But the speech was well crafted and more than competently delivered, with even its most mean-spirited lines accompanied by perky smiles and wrinklings of the nose.