PALIN TO MOCK OBAMA…. Some excerpts have been released in advance of Sarah Palin’s speech tonight, and it looks like we can expect a partisan, confrontational, almost angry kind of speech.

On her experience as a public servant:
“I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town. I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids’ public education better. When I ran for city council, I didn’t need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too. Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown. And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”

On why she is going to Washington, D.C.:
“I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion — I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.”

On John McCain:
“Here’s how I look at the choice Americans face in this election. In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.”

I’d add, by the way, that Republicans have lowered expectations for Palin, and a lot of Democrats have bought into it. That’s a mistake — Palin, I suspect, will be very good tonight.

Sarah Palin reminds me a great deal of George W. Bush — underwhelming qualifications, overwhelming confidence. It’s a combination that makes exceeding expectations pretty easy.

Look back to the event in Ohio last week, and notice how poised she was speaking to a national audience for the first time. Substantively, she lied blatantly about her opposition to the infamous “bridge to nowhere.” But stylistically, she was composed and charming. The same it true if you go back and look at the 2006 debates in Alaska. The substance is weak, but the rhetorical style is strong.

With that in mind, I expect tonight will be a success for her. If Dems in general are expecting a deer-in-the-headlights moment, it’s not going to happen. No one should underestimate her.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.