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Not Br'er Rabbit

Damn it, I agree with Krauthammer. That always worries me. The Master of Unearned Arrogance says:

The Palin selection completely undercuts the argument about Obama's inexperience and readiness to lead -- on the theory that because Palin is a maverick and a corruption fighter, she bolsters McCain's claim to be the reformer in this campaign. In her rollout today, Palin spoke a lot about change. McCain is now trying to steal "change" from Obama, a contest McCain will lose in an overwhelmingly Democratic year with an overwhelmingly unpopular incumbent Republican administration. At the same time, he's weakening his strong suit -- readiness vs. unreadiness.

The McCain campaign is reveling in the fact that Palin is a game changer. But why a game changer when you’ve been gaining? To gratuitously undercut the remarkably successful "Is he ready to lead" line of attack seems near suicidal.
For the last however many hours I've been experiencing that giddy sensation you feel when an opponent does something really stupid. Your first reaction is: they can't be doing this, can they? There's got to be some subtle trap they're laying for me. Some devious stratagem I'm just not seeing.

It has to be a Br'er Rabbit moment. Right?

Here's why Sarah Palin is such a bad choice: we had doubts about both Barack Obama and John McCain.

We doubted Obama because he's inexperienced. So he reassured us by picking a deeply experienced Veep.

We had doubts about McCain because he's 72 and sometimes shows it. So he picked a former beauty queen with 18 months experience running a province of Canada? Doubts not assuaged. Doubts magnified.

Bad move. My guess is that if McCain loses this will be a major chapter in the inevitable post-campaign blame-the-other-strategists books.

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“Not Br'er Rabbit”

  1. Blogger Bob Says:

    Partisans see what they want to see. Biden was seen as a bad pick from conservatives because the man is the exact opposite of change a complete Washington insider. Has that changed Obama's message one bit? Nope. And Palin has more experience because even being a governor for a "province" is better than a senator for a 18 months.

    It was a wild card pick and unlike Obama wasn't safe. But McCain needed to go for a non safe pick. It may backfire but it's a least gutsy.

  2. OpenID Howlin' Hobbit Says:

    There's already a slice (don't know how large, but they're vocal) of women who were (and are) huge Hillary supporters who're now saying they're going to "cross the aisle" and vote for McCain just because of Palin.

    Enough of them to win the election? *shrug*

    But I'm pretty sure that was part of the strategy.

  3. Blogger Michael Reynolds Says:

    Bob:
    I don't actually think it was gutsy. I think it was petulant and impulsive.

    McCain wanted Leiberman. That would have been gutsy. His people warned him it would mean a party revolt. (They were right.) This was a cave to the far right.

  4. Blogger Michael Reynolds Says:

    HH:
    I've never bought the so-called PUMAs. I think it's largely a media creation. They'll mouth off so long as they have cameras pointed at them. And then they'll vote their usual party line.

  5. Blogger amba Says:

    Alaska is a province of Canada?? LOL.

  6. Anonymous Dave Schuler Says:

    Your conclusion is exactly right, Michael. If McCain loses (as looks more than likely), picking Palin as a running mate will be considered a major blunder. On the other hand if by some quirk of fate he wins, McCain will be the political equivalent of U. S. Grant.

    And that brings me to the point I've been making for a while now: I continue to believe that the outcome of the election is in the hands of the Fates, outside the control of the campaigns.