Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin demonstrated grit, spunk, strength and poise last night as she took stage at the Republican National Convention. She was comfortable in the spotlight, matter-of-fact and real. She did exactly what she needed to do as most Americans got their first dose of Gov. Palin since she was a relative unknown on the national political scene. She showed herself to be articulate, courageous and tenacious.

It was clear from both her speech and former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani’s speech that the goal last night was to highlight the fact that Barack Obama has not demonstrated himself to be a strong leader primarily because he has never had to really lead. While this is a good tactical strategy on the part of the McCain-Palin campaign it is imperative that they take things a step further. Obama’s running mate Joseph Biden is exactly right when he said that Palin’s speech, while impressively crafted, really didn’t say anything specific about the intended direction and policies of the Republican Presidential ticket. McCain was touted as a maverick American soldier who has sacrificed much personally for the sake of his country, and no one can dispute that. But what people need to hear is why McCain-Palin are more qualified to lead than Obama-Biden.

The strategies of the two competing national parties are coming into focus. McCain – Palin are going to focus on national security. Obama – Biden are going to focus on the economy. The more the dollar weakens internationally, gas and food prices rise, and foreclosures increase, the more likely it becomes that the Democratic focus will strengthen their chances of securing the White House. Actually, the worst thing that could happen to Obama’s chances would be a significant terrorist attack against American interests domestically or abroad. And here’s the thing: do you think that our enemies don’t know that?

I’m not suggesting that McCain shouldn’t focus on national security. But, tragically, 9/11 is a fading memory in people’s minds. People are frustrated with the Iraq war. We still live in relative safety in this country. McCain also needs to tell us his plan to reviving a sluggish economy. He needs to talk more about fiscal responsibility and how to reduce the deficit without overly taxing the common man in middle-America. Most American’s don’t care if they are taxed more as long as their wallets get fatter as they did during Bill Clinton’s term in office. Sarah Palin, for as well as she did last night, needed to speak more directly as to why John McCain’s goals as President better serve the interests of the average American than Barack Obama’s. Hopefully we will hear more along those lines in the coming days.

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