Saturday, September 13, 2008


Is the bloom coming off the rose?

Kos' poll released today indicates that the "Palin bump," if it ever existed, is receding, and that her favorables are below 50%. There's only so much "tightly controlled" Palin you can do in the next two months to mitigate against the inevitable national realization that she's a gimmick, another incurious empty suit, a bad choice for VP. To me, she's no dumber than Bush, but she's a FAR more problematic candidate in that:

* She has ZERO national spotlight experience compared to GWB, who at least had a full primary campaign, a family steeped in politics, time spent as his daddy's henchman, the whole "owner" of the Rangers business, and a full term plus reelection as governor of a huge state with plenty of Democrats and lots and lots and lots of media. So this bears repeating - Palin makes Bush look smart and experienced! Her "In what respect, Charlie?" quote in the ABC interview was a harbinger of worse things to come.

* She's not running for president, but could overshadow the actual candidate. One reason Barack didn't really consider running with Clinton is that it would have taken the focus off the candidate, which would have been interpreted as weakness. McCain has been hiding behind "Palinmania" for a couple of weeks and in doing so, lost control of his message (whatever the hell that was) and his campaign. Bad idea. But of course, he was in danger of getting blown out anyway, so I can't say it was a bad move.

There are dummies like Ruben Navarette at, who wrote the most humiliatingly awful article saying he wanted an Obama/Palin "dream" ticket and was as yet undecided. Well, you can't have it (thank the Lord). You can have Obama - who has been in the spotlight four years and who is extremely well educated and who has written memoirs and who withstood the rigors of the most highly publicized primary in history; OR you can have Palin, who will have been in the spotlight for two months; who is currently under investigation in her remote, small state; whose term as mayor of a small town looks increasingly spotty (loyalty tests to the librarian?!), and whose own campaign is afraid to let her do a PRESS CONFERENCE.

The worst part about the Palin pick is that it was clearly a reactionary move by McCain. It was a move made of desperation, not one of inspiration. Yes, it's driven a lot of liberals/Democrats crazy, which as Atrios has pointed out is the only thing that gives conservatives/Republicans pleasure these days. My guess is that given the state of the country, in the next two months we'll see that the country realizes that it was an ill-considered pick and that, though the election will still be close, thanks to McCain's continuing gutter campaign, the enthusiasm of the GOP base, Obama's steady drama-free campaign causing conniptions on the left, and the country's uncertainty about pulling the lever for a black politician (particularly one so new to the scene, although not as new as Palin!). But in the end, I see Obama winning out in both the popular vote and the electoral college.

So thanks, John McCain and Sarah Palin, for making this stretch run far more interesting than it otherwise would have been. Best of luck in your future endeavors. I just don't think it's gonna happen this time around.

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