Last night, I went to see a neighbor’s cabaret show. You know, one of those things where you rent out the space, hire the band, and then invite all your friends to pay a cover charge, drink the two drink minimum and come to hear you sing. And all I could think about, the whole time I sat there, was Sarah Palin. Because – and this is just between you and me — my neighbor can’t sing. I mean, he can carry a tune and all. But that’s about it. The thing is, though, he was good. Neighbor Man is a great performer. He was charming. He was funny. He was warm. He was, quite clearly, having the time of his life. And so I didn’t (much) care that when he held a note for more than a beat or so it started to go flat. I didn’t care that his voice was, shall we say, less than fabulous. He was truly entertaining. I liked him.
I think that that’s how people feel about Sarah Palin. Maybe she doesn’t know her stuff. Maybe she doesn’t have enough experience, maybe she can’t really sing, but gosh darnit, isn’t she just the greatest?
Last night in her exclusive interview on CBS news, Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin to give her even “one example of John McCain pressing for more regulation” on Wall Street.
“He’s a Maverick.” Palin answered, non-sequitorally.
Couric pressed again, asking for a specific example.
“Well, we need to really be behind new regulations.”
Couric, promising that she wouldn’t beat this to the ground, asked one last time for specific examples.
“I’ll try to find you some and I’ll bring ’em to ya.” answered Palin. Her folksy smile and phony eyeglasses gleaming for the cameras.
So there you have it: she can’t sing, but she’s entertaining.
On the Cabaret stage, when your friends are in the house, that’s a good thing. But on the international stage, when the country and the world are depending on you — well, you’d better have your facts straight.. or at least your script; you’d better be able to belt it out like Bette or Barbara.
Because out there in the real world, where everyone isn’t your friend, charm and likability just aren’t enough. And even a really big cover charge won’t cover that up.