There was a flutter of attention when McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told a group of Post reporters and editors yesterday that his team was having to rework the vice presidential acceptance speech because the original draft, prepared before Gov. Sarah Palin was chosen, was too "masculine." While we all wondered to ourselves what might make a speech masculine or feminine, no one batted an eye at the underlying revelation: that the campaign was writing the nominee's speech before knowing who the nominee would be.Since political speeches used to be written to reflect the thoughts, dreams, aspirations, and plans of a candidate, even if the candidate did not write the actual words, one has to stop and wonder what these speeches are intended to do now--now that they are written before a candidate even emerges. Whose thoughts, dreams, aspirations, and plans are being reflected here? The RNC's (and if so, as interpreted by whom)? John McCain (and if so, how is this speech supposed to be different from the one they're writing for him)? The speechwriter himself? Or some cabal of handlers and spinmeisters, whose job it is to decide which ideas will "sell" out there among the base?
I guess the nice thing is that, if various scandals and skeletons render Governor Palin unpalatable, they can simply dump her and replace her with some other right-wing puppet. Then all they'll have to do is change the pronouns again.
Now that's what I call discipline: the message is all that matters; the actual humans are irrelvant.