Stills from a Training Montage

Cue the Survivor, people. Sarah Palin is training on grass.

Expectations game? Well, I don't know if it's a game this time. Is it a game if you can't win? If success or failure normally exists in the shorthand of a one-dimensional scale in zero-sum, her failure will contain multitudes: chaotic fractals of non-linear and infinite ratfucking not seen since the screensaver you had for a short time when you first got Windows 95.

But it's true: maybe she can make up a little bit of the difference by only being quite awful rather than the disastrously awful we all expect. This overachievement in and of itself maybe gets her all the way to moderately awful in the final calculus, sort of like that kid whose been getting Ds all semester and then writes a B- paper and you give him a A- for it because... oh wait. That kid hasn't come to class in three weeks? He's failed the course with 8 absences? Nevermind. Don't tell him, though. I just saw him and he's planning BIG things for that paper.

But my point is actually this: step out of the microcosm of the moment and the expectations not only of HER but also what we are all supposed to have to say about it afterward, step out of that, and you see that that moderately awful is still pretty awful. Maybe even pretty damn awful, because consider this: if the McCain camp is pushing hard for superlow expectations, then let's not allow it to go unnoticed that they are conceding the larger point: that she will be shitfacedly awful. And that larger point, on which we all agree, apparently, is the most salient one.

My spread: somewhere between very awful and fuckyermother awful. There's a Biden wild card here-- some possibility that he says one thing half as stupid as twelve things she says, and the coverage of this one thing eclipses all else-- but in the long run I don't think that really matters. People are going to see this one for themselves.

$40 on 10/9.


cj said...

Clever strategic move. Biden could take her easily on clay, but grass is another story. At the very least she might have a chance to regroup, and get some coaching, during one of the inevitable rain delays.

Pete said...

I think "very awful" was the right prediction- she answered transparently and almost exclusively in memorized platitudes that often weren't even salient to the question at hand. She tried to be cute a few too many times, too. That sort of stuff probably only works with people who already like her-- and there are fewer and fewer of those.

That "white flag of surrender line" seems like it has the potential to turn off a lot of people but i haven't seen mention of it yet. That's sort of surprising, considering that the fearmongers have generally been careful to avoid such artless accusations, especially ones that implicate a majority of Americans like that.

The line about teachers was also a bad moment, as was her Israel section, which did an unusually bare rendition of the usual pander. She just didn't have the necessary gravitas to make it sound earnest. It didn't compare well with Biden's obvious expertise and trustworthiness on the issue.

But yeah, she didn't have any single moment of disaster, and so probably cleared the bar she needed to clear to avoid a media pile on. So fucking what, I say. That's only "good enough" if you're willing to entirely discount the fact that expectations were so low in the first place. I don't know why voters would be so willing, even if some journalists will be