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.
Posted by Steve V at 9:11 AM