September 04, 2008
No matter what your political leanings are, there can be no disputing that we were witnesses to history last night. The sort of paradigm-shifting moment that we'll be telling our grandchildren about.
The night when hockey was enthusiastically embraced by a national political party. Finally, after all these years of struggle, we've made 18 million cracks in the ice ceiling.
Hockey was mentioned more in last night's Republican vice presidential acceptance speech by Gov. Sarah Palin than the words "Afghanistan" or "terrorists" or "health care." She repurposed the hockey moms-as-pit bulls with lipstick line that played so well in the Weekly Standard. Signs like the one shown here dotted the Xcel Center in St. Paul, home of the Minnesota Wild. And the Michigan delegation took the hockey movement to its logical extreme, making quite the fashion statement. From the AP, on the RNC hockey jerseys:
That's what the Michigan delegation donned Wednesday night as a show of support for "hockey mom" Sarah Palin as the Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate addressed the convention. The delegates were easy to spot. They were close to the podium wearing red-and-white Detroit Red Wings jerseys and chanting, "Let's go, Palin." That's a variation on the "Let's go, Red Wings" chant heard during hockey season at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena.
That's not entirely accurate. They weren't Red Wings jerseys, but personalized Republican Convention jerseys given to each delegate by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox. Gordie Howe signed these jerseys at an RNC event earlier in the week. No sign of the octopus, though; seeing the way those Code Pink protesters were handled, mollusk tossing wasn't exactly an option at the RNC.
Like I said a few days ago: Hockey is now an irremovable facet of our national political discussion, as critical to Palin's biography as John McCain's military past and Barack Obama's multicultural ancestry are to theirs. On Frozen Blog writes this morning: "If you love hockey, how can you not like how hockey is being celebrated (associated with perseverance and toughness) in the rhetoric of 2008's political debates?"
That's a bit much, honestly, because the game itself hasn't been introduced to the nation yet. Right now, its kitsch: People magazine piffle about hockey moms and funny hats, and an occasional line from some cable news idiot about how Palin "hip checked" the Democrats. But clearly, the hockey thing plays for the candidate. So it's not all that unlikely that the virtues of hockey itself could be used to reinforce whatever it is she's selling in the slew of interviews she'll be giving down the line.
But I agree with OFB on this: Who the hell thought they'd hear the word "hockey" in a Republican vice presidential address 10 days ago? Unless Norm Coleman was named to the ticket.
And who the hell thought the Democrats would have to release a shirt like this?