I know it’s strange but, yes, that’s my left hand. If you look closely, you’ll see a faded “INV” written in ink. You would have seen the same three letters two weeks ago, and you’ll see them again two weeks from now.
Those three letters, folks, is to remind me to send an invoice to my company. If I were to forget, I would forego a paycheck and would have to wait for another two weeks for the next shot at invoicing. Living paycheck-to-paycheck as we are, it simply isn’t an option.
So, when my phone prompts me that indeed today is invoice day, I write on my hand. Conspicuously. That’s the only way I can be certain not to forget. My phone and its intricate calendaring can be slipped into a coat pocket. Slips of paper in my wallet can fall out. And my memory? Forget it — I’m riddled with ADD. One thing, however, is for certain, and that’s my habit of brushing my teeth before bed (a good one to have, really), and if I’m brushing my teeth without having invoiced my company, that “INV” will slap me upside the head and make me remember.
My family depends on me remembering. My mortgage payment depends on me remembering. Sure, it might not be the most professional looking of organizational devices. And sure, if I had a team of assistants and interns and other flunkies, I might be able to write the letters on one of their hands or something. But when it comes to matters of vital importance, I find it’s best to stick with what works.
That doesn’t make me an idiot, does it? Of course not. (I establish that notion by other means.)
Apparently, however, writing on my hand automatically disqualifies me when it comes to seeking the presidency.
That’s MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, mocking former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for having a few notes written on her hand for a question and answer session over the weekend at the Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. It was a close-up look at an Associated Press photograph which had the usual suspects on the American left out in force to bash Palin, including this, for example, from the Huffington Post:
Just to be clear: The notes most likely weren’t for her speech, for which she used prepared remarks, but for the Q&A session that followed, during which she glanced at the hand in question.
But in my opinion that’s even worse.
There were no specifics on there, just general concepts and things she supports.
The takeaway is that this presidential contender apparently can’t remember her supposed core principles and needs a cheat-sheet when simply asked about her beliefs.
First of all, that she looked at her hand by no means suggests that Palin somehow forgot the basic concepts of “TAX” and “LIFT AMERICAN SPIRITS” and “ENERGY,” it means that she’s still a bit self-conscious when it comes to interviews, and given the left’s propensity for doing and asking everything and anything to knock her off message, it comes as no surprise. But the presence of those basic ideas on her palm should by no means indicate that she is devoid of core principles, as the blogger at HuffPo insists.
For example, in the few situations I’ve had in which I need to conduct oral argument in a courtroom setting, I generally do not need notes. If I know the case at hand from top to bottom and through and through, I can usually speak persuasively and better answer questions off the cuff. When I do bring notes, however, such as on a rebuttal when I’ve put together a list of bullet points to hammer my opposing counsel on, even if I know those points from top to bottom, the very fact that the notes are there for me to look at draws my eyes to them.
The act of writing something on her hand, however, might in itself be an aid in keeping on topic for Sarah Palin. In other words, it might help her remember what she wants to return to, so as not to be led astray. In high school, for example, I remember a Latin teacher who allowed us to prepare and bring to the test one side of a 3″ x 5″ card with conjugated words and the like — well, I grabbed a fine-point drafting pen and painstakingly jammed an entire semester onto that card … and the very act of doing so made it so I didn’t even need the card in the exam.
Regardless of Palin’s reasoning for scribbling a few bullet points on her hand–and she’s right, by the way, that optimism is exactly what Americans want to see and hear right now–I find it amazing that, in criticizing Palin’s use of a speaking aid, the left somehow forgot about this:
That, of course, would be Barack Obama, esteemed intellectual and constitutional law professor and president of the United States, employing the use of a big, bulky TelePrompTer while speaking to a classroom full of seated, knee-high sixth graders. Look at the president, looking through the panes of reflective plexiglass, his eyeline skimming the hairlines of the restless kids who likely deliver book reports on a weekly basis without the need for such techological help.
Perhaps, in criticizing Palin’s use of the palm of her hand, the left forgot about their own liberal Messiah, hooked on TOTUS like a junkie with a heroin habit.
You know, I’m quite honestly getting tired of the Palin-is-stupid theme. Because it’s nothing new. It’s boring. It’s the same tired argument the left employed when criticizing George W. Bush, who had a better GPA at Yale than his counterpart in the 2004 presidential election, Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry. It’s the same tired argument the left used when poking fun of Dubya’s father, or Dan Quayle, or Ronald Reagan, or Gerald Ford.
It’s just boring. Republicans are dumb, they say, while liberal Democrats are heralded as the second coming of Albert Einstein. It doesn’t matter that Barack Obama once talked about visiting 57 states. It doesn’t matter only a few weeks ago, at a rare question-and-answer session with Republicans, he repeatedly referred to Texas Congressman Jeb Hensarling as “Jim.” Nor does it matter that he mispronounced “corpsman” four different times on two separate occasions separated by almost a year. Barack Obama is the smartest president ever. Gosh, don’t even doubt it for a moment.
And as vice presidents go, poor Dan Quayle cannot appear on Fox News Channel for thirty seconds without the left rehashing his “POTATOE” moment from almost two decades ago. Yet far be it for the left to criticize or poke fun of Joe Biden for saying that his favorite three letter word is “J-O-B-S,” or for not knowing the “Internet number” for a government oversight Web site, or for looking right at a disabled, wheelchair-bound state lawmaker and asking him to stand up and be recognized.
And then there’s Bill Clinton who, when it comes to slightly portly young ladies, apparently fails to understand the difference between a handshake and a pap smear.
I’m no Sarah Palin apologist. I’ve acknowledged before that, despite all of her folksy charm and everything else, I still feel as though something is missing. Still, I’m a fan of equitability. I’m a fan of politicians and public officials on both sides of the traditional political spectrum standing up on and standing out for their accomplishments. And facing the reality of a budget shortfall because of dropping oil prices during her time as Alaska’s chief executive, Palin cut spending and cut down on the amount being put into savings. (Savings — imagine that!) Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., where Barack Obama faces a budget deficit which he doubled during his first year as America’s chief executive, he is looking to increase spending, and increase taxes across the board as well.
Let’s compare records, not just with Palin and with Obama, but with everyone. Let’s look at who has successfully run a business. Let’s look at who has a base of life experiences beyond the dank hallways and smoky faculty lounges of academia. Let’s look at who has a knack of surrounding themselves with decent and competent people.
Of course, schadenfreude is fun. But when it comes to poking fun at people who take themselves far too seriously, let’s be equal opportunity offenders. If Nancy Pelosi were to get her high heels caught and tangled in her low morals and tripped and fell while walking to the House floor, I’d laugh for sure — just like I laughed when former President Bush tried to leave a press conference by walking out a locked door. When John Kerry showed how out-of-touch he was with the common folk by eating a Pat’s King of Steaks cheesesteak replete with lettuce, tomato and a pinky dangling up in the air, I laughed at him — but I also laughed at Mitt Romney, when he approached a group of inner city black teenagers and awkwardly blurted out: “Hey guys, how you doing? Who let the dogs out, huh? Woof woof!”
So, if Andrea Mitchell at MSNBC wants to embarrass herself and cause Ed Murrow to roll over in his grave, that’s her right. If mindless liberals have nothing substantive to say and therefore have to point out superficial shortcomings of varying degrees, so be it. But let’s be fair and apply that scrutiny to both sides.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go invoice my company before I wash my hands and leave myself unable to pay our utility bills for another two weeks.
Front page hand photo by the Associated Press.