Palinmania

I don’t have it yet.

Don’t get me wrong. I like her a lot for the job. I think at this point she’s got a bright future no matter how this election goes. She makes me want to “pull the lever.” And I’m inclined to vote now too. But I haven’t got the fever.

Here’s why:

Simply put, she’s a socially conservative/libertarian leaning Republican’s wet dream of a politician. Never, under any circumstances, underestimate the power of the GOP to fuck up a wet dream. Especially with the baggage she has – namely one John McCain.

In 1996 we had an incumbent president that more than half the voters hadn’t put in office. He was widely seen as a corrupt politician and worse. He should have been easy to pick off. So who did the Republicans put up against him? Senator Dole who, with all due respect, was the old guy whose turn it was. He ran a “campaign about nothing” and lost. This year, we have a candidate who’s running a campaign, not about nothing, but about himself. We shall see if the powerful narrative of his life is enough. Given that the Democratic nominee is doing the same, it’s possible.

When I say the GOP can fuck up a wet dream, consider this: There is an issue that rallys about 70% support right now and it’s growing. It is the notion that illegal immigration must be controlled. Look, people of goodwill can disagree on whether we need more or fewer immigrants allowed in. But that’s putting the cart before the proverbial horse. It makes no sense whatsoever that we should have no say in WHICH immigrants enter and which may not. But we cannot do that right now since we don’t have control over the border. Two out of three Americans, across party lines, agree with that. And we’ve selected the one candidate from the GOP field who cannot run on that issue without sounding disingenous because, frankly, he doesn’t believe it. This could have been a major selling point in this election and what did the Republicans do? Completely overlooked it and voted on whether timetables were a codeword for this or that. Fucking. Up. The. Wet. Dream.  

But it’s a long way to November from right now. Obama is still leading the Electoral votes. It’s still his race to lose. So given the intensity that McCain and Palin will have to display in the coming weeks, you can expect some hands to be overplayed and some critical errors to be made on the part of the candidates or the party itself. Already they are on the verge of overplaying the Lipstick On A Pig thing.   

The other concern is that of a catastrophic success. Say McCain wins in November and let’s just say the economy tanks. Let’s say he’s defeated in 2012. Where would that leave our girl? She’d be our Mondale/Ferraro all rolled up in one, that’s where. That would be the perception the media would quite ably be able to sell.

That said, I do think that Sarah Palin has a bright future in national politics. I think with either the vice-presidency or some more time as governor she that she’ll gain whatever further experience she would need to be an excellent Chief Executive. She may already be ready – certainly she’s as qualified as anyone running this year. Should McCain lose this November, I’d be sorely disappointed to see her fade away and never make a run for the top spot.

Some have intimated that she reminds them of Reagan. She needs to loosen up a bit in interviews – I just watched some of the Nightline clips – but on the whole I think she is a natural and genuinely believes in the things she says she stands for. She has certainly got the base excited. Reaganesque? I say give her some time before we call her Ronnie in a Dress.  

But that’s just me. I could be wrong.

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2 Responses

  1. If the Obama campaign were intelligent, which with the Biden pick, their running of the DNC convention, and recently the “Still” ad, is yet to be seen I’d be scared. They should be running ads on McCain’s stance on immigration that pissed off Conservatives and maybe peel off some of those just climbing the fence even with the Palin pick. One problem. An ad like that would emphasize Senator McCain’s “maverick-ness” from GW, endearing him to independents. Nullifying their “more of the same” argument. Obama’s camp has put themselves in a Catch-22 on the issue. Not to mention he’d have to hem and haw his stance on it. Plus, I believe the electorate isn’t too darn concerned with immigration right now, despite the 70% support for the issue. Those hard on immigration acknowledge were going to lose the point to McCain, but again, other issues take precedent. Right now, there’s bigger fish to fry – like the economy. People vote their pocketbook.

    I think the GOP is playing this right. I think it’s simply going to get worse for the junior senator, the republican attack machine is a well oiled machine. It’s greased it treads with guts from the Gore and Kerry campaigns. Plus, McCain’s narrative is giving him a second and third look by independents, which seem to be swinging towards him.

    I want to believe that somewhere in the corner of John McCain’s mind, is the embedded belief that he’s going to be a one term president. And what he’s handed his party – even though he disagrees with at times – is a bright future in Sarah Palin.

  2. Dude, in what parallel universe is GWB opposed to McCain on immigration? ‘Cause I wanna jump into that machine with Jerry O’Donnell and the chick from Sports Night and go there.

    It isn’t that the electorate doesn’t care; it’s that those who care about it as an issue have already lost this election. But I only point it out as a missed opportunity for us. And actually, running that ad would hurt Obama because, he and McCain aren’t all that different on the subject.

    As always, unless something spectacular happens in the debates, this one will come down to turnout in a few purple counties in a few purple states. And those people will be deciding who to vote for on the basis of who they like better.

    Speaking of immigration, it will be interesting to see what the electoral map looks like after the 2010 census. Lotta people moving south for the jobs and the lower cost of living.

    Maybe they’re leaving the states bluer and maybe not, and maybe they’re bringing some electoral votes with them. Be interesting to see.

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