Pennsylvania used to be a battleground state. This was supposed to be a no-brainer for Palin. She wasn’t even supposed to speak. How bad could it go. All they wanted was for the best-known hockey mom in the country to drop a ceremonial puck before a hockey game in Philadelphia. After all it was in this very arena where President Bush’s speech was broadcast between periods in the wake of September 11th, and was turned off after the teams returned for the third period:
When that happened, the fans began to boo, prompting Ron Ryan, the chief operating officer of the Flyers, to order that the address be put back on the screen. For the next 33 minutes, the players and fans watched.
The third period was ultimately called, the teams shook hands and the game declared a 2-2 tie. This should have been a slam dunk. These people were God-fearing Americans who understood National Security and related to hockey-moms and average Joe candidates.
They were supposed to know how dangerous this world is and which candidates were going to keep America safe. So clearly the welcome must have shocked Ms. Palin as she and her two daughters walked onto the ice Saturday—even the Rangers received a warmer reception. 20,000 people were not supposed to boo Sarah Palin as she shook hands with fellow Alaskan Scott Gomez and Mike Richards. Her daughters were not supposed to see this. She was dropping a puck, not answering Charles Gibson; why were they booing her?
What this is making perfectly clear to anybody who without his head in the sand is that Americans are now almost entirely incapable of taking Sarah Palin seriously. She is becoming a caricature of herself and it is at the point where she doesn’t even have to open her mouth to do so anymore. Her pining for an appearance on SNL and this NHL hockey-mom stunt are being received as they should: political diversions and desperate photo-ops for somebody who really shouldn’t be one massive stroke removed from sitting at the Resolute Desk.
Undeterred by her recent inability to be taken seriously at mass gatherings, sources close to the Palin camp tell me she will be making an appearance at Atlanta Motor Speedway on the 26th of October. ExxonMobil is furnishing several luxury boxes for the event through the weekend and will allow Ms. Palin the opportunity to promote her energy platform at the Nextel Cup Chase race that weekend. Her husband Todd is also expected to address a large crowd of NASCAR-dads before delivering the pre-race invocation on Sunday.