Sunday, August 31, 2008

All Palin, All The Time

Didn't Obama just deliver a "historic" speech, a shining moment that should have brought a size able media afterglow? Palin may be a global warming denying, gun totting, anti-abortion, controversial woman, but apart from the policy debate, she has sure STOLEN the limelight, and don't expect it to stop in the coming weeks (good or bad, remains to be seen).

Who is Sarah Palin? What makes Palin tick, where are the ghosts, we need to know more? The media is falling over themselves, busily asking questions, trying to get a handle on McCain extraordinary selection. So out of RIGHT field, everyone taken by surprise, it is obvious that the fascination will now dominate the discourse moving forward. Add to that, the simple reality of superficial appeal (let's not kid ourselves) and you have a recipe for prolonged interest.

Is the pick a game changer? I've already expressed my opinion, that overall it's a bad selection, but in some ways that's irrelevant. McCain has stolen the focus, it is actually amazing to see Obama virtually ignored, as everyone tries to digest. Of note, the Obama convention bounce plateaued abruptly after the McCain announcement, in terms of seizing the agenda, mission accomplished, in spades. I don't buy into the arguments from some, that shifting focus for a couple days is reason enough to pick Palin, because in the grand scheme, it's a small window. That said, the lingering quality here is the interesting part politically. Conservatives are fawning, downright giddy, the base rallied, what remains to be seen is interest outside of the now devoted.

I included the above picture, because I think it representative of the curiosity. The maverick Governor, who hunts and fishes, loves a day at the shooting range, takes on vested interests, opinionated, by all appearances a strong character. McCain is a known quantity, to the point of boredom, which partially explains the media pre-occupation with all things Obama. I don't think any reasonable observer would dispute the fact, Palin has altered that dynamic. The "old as dirt" guy, with the bland speeches, now has added something "exciting", something to fill the celebrity void, and that could prove useful moving forward. The focus on Palin could well bury her, it will be interesting to watch how she holds up under the scrutiny, but the key word is interesting and that's all the media requires to keep their attention.

In terms of "buzz", McCain's selection is almost unprecedented. The normal two-day VP story is now set to become a weeks long examination, expect to see massive media interest following Palin everywhere she appears. If the goal was to mix up the presidential race, then McCain has done just that, irrespective of whether it helps or hurts. We shall see, but in the meantime it's all Palin, all the time.


Anonymous said...

McCain only met this woman her to other Vice Presidents and you will wonder..what in hell was he thinking?
With absolutely no experience, what use would she be, if McCain gets very sick or dies?

Steve V said...


I'm not commenting on suitability, just the stealing oxygen from the room factor.

Anonymous said...

The no experience lin eis pure sexism. She has exactly the same experience as both Jindal and Christ who were considered serious VP choices. She has 8 years executive experience, 2 as govenor of a state that has a border with Russia and Canada. She has visited the toops she cammands in both Iraq and Landstahl Germany. Did you get that, THE TROOPS SHE COMMANDS AS HEAD OF THE aLASKA NATIONAL RESERVE. She has more executive experience than all of the three other candidates combined. JFK was considered by many too inexperienced to be president and it can be efffectively argued he was and that is why he was killed, with 14 years in the senate, a war service record and a childhood growing up in the parliaments in Europe. Senators are not generally seen as qualified to be President, governors are.

AS far as it being a "surprise", I've been blogging for Palin to be the pick for two months, others have been since January. It's not that big a surprise. It was the logical choice.

She has more experience than Obama, so if dems want to bring on that line, perfect. Let them. The Republicans can bring out the phots of her visiting her wounded troops in Landstahl over a year ago and make him look like the self absorbed nyophite, poser that he is.

And yeah women will vote for her and all those small town people tha cling to their guns and religion. You've got to love the slam against samll towns and women by the Obama campaign after her nomination. Keep it up, just brilliant.

Her best quality is that she is genuine. Obama is completely calculated and contrived, ersatz, greek columns anyone, fake life story anyone, hidden past associatons anyone?

Go Sarah!

Anonymous said...

And before you go on about me being a former Clinton supporter Steve to discount my opinion, you bet I am. Suck it up Dems! Next time try treating a female candidate a little better. That goes for Liberals and Liberal bloggers too! We've had just about enough sexist garbage from so called liberals who claim to suuport women until they run for office against men. Sorry we want the women in office, and they are as qualified or more qualified than the men.

Steve V said...

Oh shoshana, so consistently bitter. Is it Obama's fault that he received more votes and delegates? Tell it too your shrink.

Scott Tribe said...

She definitely changed the focus for a few days.. but keep in mind Steve that 38 million viewers watched the Obama speech. That was more then the total which watched the Academy Awards or even the Superbowl, and apparently the most watched acceptance Convention speech in US history.

So maybe the media got distracted, but if the speech had resonance with the viewers, it may not matter.

Steve V said...


Yes, they watched the speech, but you will note no bounce in the aftermath. In fact, it looks like we are heading right back before the convention, Ras has it down to 3% today (yesterday Gallup said the last day wasn't as strong for Obama), and this interesting tidbit:

"Also, 64% of unaffiliated voters now give positive reviews to McCain, up ten points since naming his running mate."

It was a great speech, but it didn't have any staying power, because Palin bounced him off the frontpage.

Scott Tribe said...


Palin is anti-choice, anti-environment, a creationist who wants to teach that alongside evolution in science classes, and anti-stem cell research.

Explain to me how you square that to supporting her if you were (are) a Clinton supporter, when Palin's extreme right wing conservative stances go against everything Clinton stands for. Palin and McCain would appoint anti-abortion judges to the US Supreme Court if they have a chance, and possibly give the Conservatives a super-majority.

Obama's administration would be much friendlier and indeed are almost identical to Clinton's positions... yet you'd vote for him because of his VP pick?

Seems to me you're getting played here by McCain... or you're cutting your nose to spite your face.

RuralSandi said...

Good grief...imagine that living next door to Russia gives one foreign policy experience.

20 months as a governor - oh wowie - the state has approx 680,000 people - not as many a lot of the cities.

She was mayor of a small town...I live in a small town and believe me the major issues are sewars, taxes, street lights or not at an intersection. My friend is the mayor of my small town (now approx 16,000) and two friends are on council...and believe me they certainly wouldn't be PM material.

She was for Obama, didn't like McCain before this came up.

She voted FOR the bridge to nowhere many times before saying no.

She's in the middle of a scandal - abuse of power.

Biggest indication that she's not ready - judgment. She should have known she's not ready and turned it down.

This has absolutely nothing to do with sexism but pandering.

Oh, she was a sports caster prior to all this.

Obama - a constitutional lawyer, 8years in legislature, 2 plus in senate and extremely smart and made a good judgment with having an experience person for VP - you know you have to understand the inner workings of Washington to make change.

Politicing the fact that her son's going to Iraq....duh, so is Biden's son.

All the Alaska media say she's not nearly qualified, by way -and they know her best.

And, most of all, what an insult to Hillary supporters to think this woman could be anywhere near what they support.

Can the US be this stupid again?

Steve V said...

"She was for Obama, didn't like McCain before this came up."

Sandi, if you have a link for that, I'd like to see it.

Anonymous said...

Let me give you insight from a 44yr old female conservative in IL. I think she has the experience to to the job and do it well. But the the thing that got me really excited about this is a bunch of 18&19 yr old young men and women who showed up at my house on Friday evening all excited and happy. They finally had someone they could rally around. They absolutely love her pro life stance, and her moral values. I think John McCain and Sarah Palin may have just awakened the Youth of the Repulician Party. And that is something to smile about.

Steve V said...


There is no doubt, that the base seems energized, not just to turn out, but to now work for the McCain campaign. That could be a factor, because the Dem base will turnout in exceptional numbers. African Americans vote 90% Dem, but generally turnout is relatively low, that won't be the case this time, so McCain needs an impressive turnout from his core, the same enthusiasm or he's effectively toast.

Dame said...

The media loves her...

Go and see :

I gave up all HOPE


Antonio said...

was obama's speech even that good steve?

come on we have seen him deliver far better speeches.

He gave the standard Democratic speech with much much better delivery.

Barack Obama bet on the "history-making" effect of his speech.

The Republicans, benefitting from going second, knew in advance the spotlight was gonna go away, so they released the ad of McCain congratulating Obama.

Obama's campaign then came out so viciously at McCain's running mate, Obama had to backtrack on behalf of his press secretary.

That last anonymous' person's comment is pretty important too. McCain energized way more volunteers with Palin than he would have with Joe-mentum!

This decision, depending on how she does Wednesday with no real expectations (thank you democrats!) might make the gamble worthwhile after all

Anonymous said...

I agree with your basic thoughts, Steve.

To some degree, the diversion of attention would have been the case regardless. McCain was always going to announce his running mate on Friday morning, which would have dented the direct impact of Obama's speech. But I agree with buzz is bigger due to the unknown, shock factor.

The important point about nearly 45 million people watching his speech (the 38 million figure was what was directly countable - some news channels such as PBS, Cspan and other networks and internet live-streaming figures are not included so the figure is expected higher) is that people did get a full view of Obama so it was a very good thing long-term just to introduce him without the caricature.

Strangely not everyone pays that much attention, especially in the US ; ). So the impact benefit for Obama is good there in that it counters the caricature image directly for those folks. The general consensus is he made a good impression.

What I see happening is Obama has solidified / energized his base and with this selection so has McCain (much as it pains me to say that ;).

I think the dynamics of the race remain the same.

We will see what happens with the Republicans 'abbreviated' convention. I suspect they are privately relieved Bush and Cheney can't come now, and that they can turn it into a "service" moment. In my mind, they may benefit from the hurricane allowing the focus to shift rather than focus on republicans directly.

Longer term, I still think there are some issues with the selection - politically. There are some Republicans really who have come out rather directly opposed to this selection - those who thought the neo-cons would have less influence over McCain. And I imagine there are many more bruised relationships - poor Huckabee, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Pawlenty, and Romney - than a normal VP passing over. They have got to feel somewhat bruised. Word from Pawlenty and Romney aides earlier this week were they felt used, which is why we've heard only a smattering of statements from them.

If the novelty wears off - and it will - the internal Republican dynamics won't help.

And if the election turns into a cultural war battle again - which it may - I think it could actually harm the republicans overall this year.

Anonymous said...


I do agree with you - in a pure shake up the race aspect ;).

But I disagree on the speech comment. The speech was extremely well-received by all accounts except your own statement here and the typical far-right mouthpieces. Most conservatives acknowledged themselves that it was well-received.

And I still don't see how the Democrats could have given her a free-pass to allow pure fluff coverage and then come out a week later and say she was a bad choice. I think the mixed message 1) she is grossly unprepared to step in as President and 2) a call a few later Obama and Biden call to congratulate her directly was wise.

WISE because the first is an absolutely true statement - sorry I diverge from "strategy" there. And, secondly, because they should acknowledge her personally.

liberazzi said...

I think Gustav is stealing a bit of McCain's thunder at the moment.

Northern PoV said...

The anon who touts 8 years exec experience has to be a sarcastic post, right?

Winning a US national campaign in the current political/media climate and against the wishes of the Dem establishment and the Clintons has to be regarded as successful, meaningful exec experience.

Sarah may grab media attention and may even help McCain win in the absurd "deMOCKracy" to our south but pleaaaaase don''t feed us more crap about how experienced this small town ideologue is.
Thanks in advance.

Antonio said...

the republicans gave biden a free pass joseph

And as much as I think defining a new figure is important, so I see why the Dems needed to do "something", the surrogates alone would have been enough for a few days.

the Republicans used the biden pick to attack Obama, which is what the Democrats have started doign, questioning McCains judgement

I think McCain took the "monopoly of history" away from the Democrats. 40 million people watched the speech. (95 million people watched the superbowl btw scott.)

Within 12 hours, everybody and their friends were talking about Sarah Palin.

Now it's not just Obama making history. You guys are right the novelty will wear off. But Obama's novelty didnt. And now that there is another new prodigy (from the opposite ideological spectrum) all she has to do is take the spotlight for two months.

That prospect is what is making many democrats nervous right now.

Anonymous said...

If Palin takes the spotlight for two months, it won't be pretty (for Republicans). She is not the dynamic figure of a new generation.

Best to have her as fresh and enigma without too extensive dwelling.

Here's the bottom line - and it will be interesting. This will be a race of bases (again). An energized Democratic base and now an energized Republican base.

It will all boil down who gets them to the polls.

My own theory is the Republicans will get the folks they got in 2004 (I wasn't sure they would at first) and that was a spectacular year for them, with polling having actually underestimated their numbers. If you recall that was a story for a week or two after the election.

I am NOT sure they will gain much more than that. Not EVERY one of those voters remains thrilled - some are disgusted - so they'll have to bring in new voters.

The Democrats will bring out more voters than in 2004, perhaps substantially.

It will either be a close race with large numbers of new voters for both parties. Or people will be stunned by the fact that they underestimated the real underlying ground work Obama and the Democrats have been making all year, and Obama will win rather substantially.

That's how I see it at this point.

CKAinRedStateUSA said...

Even some of the posts here reinforce the obvious: The Obama campaign -- and, in general, the Demockacrats, liberals and leftists -- are scared of Gov. Palin and what she brings to the McCain ticket.

No only are they scared, they are confused and do not now how to deal with her.

So the standard blather issues until they arrive at some plan of attack they think will damage her and McCain.

As for her experience, the DLLs attack her? Now that's ballsy, given their standard bearer has no record of accomplishment that qualifies him to be, well, anything more than just part of the sewer called the Chicago Political Machine.

It's amusing to see how McCains' choice now compels the DLLs to fully expose themselves as not just the morally anchorless misanthropes and fascists they have become, but also the misogynists they've always been.

It'll also be amusing to see how they deal with their defeat this November--and the fact that former Gov. Palin, now Vice President Palin, establishes bona fides for being the first woman president.

RuralSandi said...

Sorry - don't know how to link but here's an excerpt:

Palin on Obama
by Philip Gourevitch
Palin, Sarah (Gov.); McCain, John (Sen.); 2008 Election; Vice-Presidents; Alaska; Politics; Republicans, Republican Party Before she was running against him, Sarah Palin—the governor of Alaska and now the Republican candidate for Vice-President of the United States—thought it was pretty neat that Barack Obama was edging ahead of John McCain in her usually solidly red state. After all, she said, Obama’s campaign was using the same sort of language that she had in her gubernatorial race. “The theme of our campaign was ‘new energy,’ ” she said recently. “It was no more status quo, no more politics as usual, it was all about change. So then to see that Obama—literally, part of his campaign uses those themes, even, new energy, change, all that, I think, O.K., well, we were a little bit ahead on that.” She also noted, “Something’s kind of changing here in Alaska, too, for being such a red state on the Presidential level. Obama’s doing just fine in polls up here, which is kind of wigging people out, because they’re saying, ‘This hasn’t happened for decades that in polls the D’ ”—the Democratic candidate—“ ‘is doing just fine.’

RuralSandi said...

CKAinRedStateUSA said...
Even some of the posts here reinforce the obvious: The Obama campaign -- and, in general, the Demockacrats, liberals and leftists -- are scared of Gov. Palin and what she brings to the McCain ticket.

...your darn right...because if McCain wins and God forbid anything should happen to him...she would be president - and that should scare the hell out of the whole world.

Anonymous said...

With absolutely no experience, what use would she be, if McCain gets very sick or dies?

up against Obama's experience, you're right, she's lacking.

RuralSandi said...

Well, again I apologize because I can't link, but this is an example of a warm and fuzzy woman:

Called "Bitch," "Cancer," Mocked For Her Weight August 31, 2008 12:00 PM

Early this year, an op-ed in the Anchorage Daily News ripped into Gov. Sarah Palin's appearance on a morning "shock jock" radio show as "plain and simple one of the most unprofessional, childish and inexcusable performances I've ever seen from a politician."

So what happened? Palin has repeatedly feuded with the state's Senate president, Lyda Green, over a wide range of legislation. Last January, Palin appeared on "The Bob and Mark Show," whose host Bob Lester despises Green. That's when the trouble started:

Early on in the conversation before Palin started to crack up, Lester referred to Sen. Green as a jealous woman and a cancer. Palin, who knows full well Lyda Green is a cancer survivor, didn't do what any decent person would do, say, "Bob, that's going too far."
But as the conversation moved on, Lester intensified his attack on Green.

Lester questioned Green's motherhood, asking Palin if the senator cares about her own kids. Palin laughs.

Then Lester clearly sets the stage for what he is about to say by warning his large audience and Palin. He says, "Governor you can't say this but I will, Lyda Green is a cancer and a b----." Palin laughs for the second time.

What were teenage boys thinking when they heard the governor laugh at someone being called a b----? How about the teenage girls who look up to Palin. What did they think when they heard her laugh?

But there is more. Lester then describes Green's chair as big and cushy. A clear reference to the senator's weight. Palin laughs a third time. She's just having a grand old time.

Palin was clearly enjoying every second of Lester's vicious attack on her political rival.

...there's a video of this - charming isn't she?

CKAinRedStateUSA said...

Up against Obama's experience, she's lacking?

Oh, please. Put feet back on planet.

She's had to make more important decisions in one day as governor than he's had to make yet. Anywhere.

As for Gov. Palin becoming POTUS should something happen to President McCain?

Three things I'm sure of: One, she'd know evil and who know how to deal with it, not talk it to death or negotiate with it without precondition.

Two, she would stand for America.

Three, while it may be only the Alaska National Guard, not the Regular Army, with which she deals -- and the NG is a crucial component to our national defense -- and actually commands, whatever her experience is, is better and more valuable than the zero experience Obama or Biden has.

Neither Obama nor Biden offer that comfort or experience.

Nor will they.

Steve V said...

Thanks sandi, those are interesting comments.

BTW, I stop reading as soon as I see Demockacrats, sort of like I do with our Libranos. It's a clear sign of "why bother".

Anonymous said...

This is the type of story that demonstrates that Palin "all the time" could prove risky . . .;_ylt=AsA3MZQ6zWKY6_sj.emYBaSs0NUE

I had seen this mentioned once or twice in general commentary over the weekend, but this is the first mainstream media article I saw pointing out her "stretching the truth" in her very first statements as his VP choice.

Despite the polls about her first impression being likable and the glowing reviews of conservatives, the polls are not all favorable on her ability to step in to the Presidency. One poll I saw today said a full 60% did NOT think she was ready to step in as President. The same poll said that women were less positive about Palin than men.

I still think what has really happened is that the bases are energized - the dems from their successful convention and the repubs from the selection of Palin (and what it "shows" them about McCain).

It does appear dems are beginning to point out (through surrogates) that the Palin selection is proof McCain is beholden to social conservatives and dependent on Rove. He is vulnerable on that, particularly since it had been widely circulated (even with some tacit messaging of his campaign) that McCain wanted someone like Ridge or Lieberman but knew their pro-choice views would cause issues. There is also some indication some sources like CBN had advance warning of the selection. They were the only ones who seemed to have talking points the morning of the announcement, while everyone else was fumbling about.

The more that comes out about the reaction to her selection in Alaska (not overwhelming and even downright negative despite her widely touted popularity - which has been slipping for the past several months), stories like her "trooper-gate" investigation, her lack of ANY opinion on Iraq just weeks ago (despite her son's deployment), creationism, desire to cancel polar bear protections, etc, the more I think the glow will fade rather quickly.

Perhaps the point all along was really to solidify the social conservatives and then hope to appeal to Hillary voters and independents.

The latter may happen to some degree, but it has also pushed some folks to Obama who might have been undecided. It did, after all, lead some (including me) to question McCain's judgment and true to desire to "put his country first."

The end result - fewer undecideds! For months pollsters have been talking about the fact that there were more undecideds this year - or voters who might change their minds.

I bet that has already changed.

It will be interesting to see where things stand after next week. I suspect it will be surprisingly more of the same - Obama with a consistent but slim lead.

Gallup tracking today still showed a bounce for Obama of 6 to 8 points, but CNN and Rasmussen are back to where they were prior to a week ago - very slim Obama lead (though it should be noted Rasmussen actually showed a dip through early into the convention with McCain up 1 point sometime about Monday or Tuesday).

And now back to Canada politics. I've seen 3 "Steve Harper is a stand-up guy" ads in the past hour. I'm feeling ill.

Can you actually have an ad that mentions voting prior to the writ dropping? I thought that was a no-no, not that it would stop the conservatives?

Anonymous said...

BREAKING: Palin was a member of the Alaska Independence Party. Woohoo!

If she were a Democrat, the Republicans would be calling her a traitor.