Palin is as masterly with language as Bush was not. She uses her unique way of speaking to devastating political effect. She has every confidence in her ability to reach her audience. Bush was reduced to half-apologizing for his stumbles. Palin owns them.
After “refudiate,” she sent a follow-up tweet. “English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!” With trademark confidence, she turned the tables on the pointy-heads who mock her. [...]
I was at Palin’s coming-out speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention. She may not have written her line about the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom (“lipstick”), but she delivered it perfectly. Watch it again. The crowd roared. She drew increased confidence and swagger as she went on. At the beginning she was an unknown. By the end, she was the Sarah Palin you know today. She now overshadows, in her ability to grab attention, the entire 2012 Republican field.
So on National Grammar Day, remember: Language is about communicating effectively, not just memorizing some highfalutin’ rules. Bo Diddley knows that. So does Palin. Democrats (and Republicans) “misunderestimate” her at their peril.