From Kathleen Parker's piece "Call Off the PitBull":
"Palin's performance, notwithstanding her adorable dodges of questions she didn't like, was essentially a cri de coeur to America's non-elite.
Democrats and other critics distracted by her winks may have missed the message, but Palin's target audience heard it loud and clear. She is like the high-pitched whistle only dogs can hear. While Democrats heard non-answers, superfluous segues and cartoon words -- shout-out, I'll betcha, doggone, extra credit -- Republicans heard God, patriotism, courage, victory.
It's called code, and Republicans are fluent.
It isn't just the "maverick" word, which we now may consign to the Cliche Crematorium. Sprinkled throughout Palin's remarks were phrases that set the free associative mind in motion.
"Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again" was Ronald Reagan all over again.
"I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and God bless her. Her reward is in heaven, right?" Every evangelical Christian heard her rallying cry -- Onward, Soldiers!
"Because here you voted for the war and now you oppose the war." Did anybody hear flip-flop?
A television audience won't remember facts -- and most won't race to FactCheck.org -- but they'll remember impressions. Palin successfully conveyed to those she was targeting that she is a Ronald Reagan-ish outsider who puts God and country first. And The Other is just like that elitist, flip-flopping John Kerry.
That's a plateful of imagery and a buffet of touchstones familiar to those who distrust "elitists" and who recognize in Palin a kindred regularness. "