The Patriot has been observing the emergence of Sarah Palin the candidate with great interest. I believe that McCain’s pick, far from being a hasty ill-conceived mistake, was one of the most brilliant strategic moves by a presidential candidate in recent history. Let me be clear, Sarah Palin is not qualified for the job of vice-president. There is no one who can seriously argue that her limited experience in state government is enough to put her on par with Joe Biden, Al Gore or Dick Cheney. But who cares? What the Democrats and pundits fail to realize is that far from being a handicap, her lack of experience, mediocre educational credentials, wacky family and gun-toting Ms. Mooseburger shtick make her vastly appealing to the hicks in the flyover states. After all, THEY used to play on their high-school basketball teams and went to mediocre colleges. Sarah is JUST LIKE THEM. Plus, her good looks (for a politician) and Cinderella story of being plucked from her igloo and thrust into the national spotlight have guaranteed that her personal story has dominated the news during the convention. Instead of the major media outlets focusing on the fact that the Republicans have no actual plan for rescuing the faltering economy, we were treated to three days of the Sarah Palin show, complete with pregnant daughter, shotgun weddings, moose hunting and snowmobile racing.
The media shows no sign of letting up on this wall to wall Wassila coverage either. Today at around noon CNN interrupted its coverage of an Obama rally in Pennsylvania after about 45 seconds to cover a McCain rally where Palin was giving substantially the same speech she gave on the floor in Minneapolis two days earlier. McCain just stood next to her like a proud father for about 20 minutes while she denigrated community organizing, told a few lies about Barak Obama and bragged about being mayor of a small town. After she was done frothing he took the mike and pronounced her the greatest Vice-Presidential pick in the history of the country.” The crowd ate it up.
It appears to me that the Obama campaign has no idea what to do about Palin fever. Obama is even starting to look very tired while McCain is shedding years just by standing next to Sarah Barracuda. It wouldn’t surprise me if the McCain Palin father-daughter road show continued to barnstorm every small town in the swing states right up to the day of the election.
I have been reading the comment boards of the New York Times and Salon and the Daily Kos and I am getting the sinking feeling that Democrats are seriously underestimating this ticket. Too many times I have seen defeat snatched from the jaws of victory and it usually happens when Democrats overestimate the intellectual capacity of independent voters. Let’s face it, Americans who are still sitting on the fence in this election are not particularly smart. This group can easily be swayed by flag-waving and appeals to patriotism and have little patience for difficult policy arguments or words more complicated than “delicatessen”. Any “independent” voter who would return a Republican to the executive branch after the tragedy of the last eight years either isn’t doing their research or just doesn’t care that we are staring into the abyss of another great depression brought on by supply-side economic theory and unregulated financial markets. What Republicans have learned over the last two elections is that they can just get up in front of the American people and simply lie to their faces, and no one will question them. They learned that lesson after seeing the tepid response to the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004. The media doesn’t get it. The Democrats don’t. The only thing I agreed with in Palin’s speech is that Harry Reid is, in fact, a pussy. The Republicans do get it: "“This election is not about issues,” Rick Davis, John McCain’s campaign manager said this week. “This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates.”
If Obama wants to win this thing he has to get out there and go for the throat. If Kerry could be swift-boated, so can McCain. If not on his military record, than on the Keating S&L scandal, his adulterous affairs and his connections with the lobbyists he claims to disavow. I’m getting a sinking feeling that McCain's post-convention bounce is going to last a lot longer than a week or two.