Sunday, September 7, 2008

An asterik is born...

Legions of GOP faithful pronounced Sarah Palin the rising star of conservatism after her speech at the RNC. To be sure Team McCain provided her with some of their best materiel, and she delivered it well. She displayed a stage presence and sense of timing that reveal that she will be an effective campaigner.

But now the balloons are gone and the applause has stopped and the rush of excitement has died away. How many Republicans are having "morning-after" regrets?

It is plain now that Palin was not thoroughly vetted. Perhaps McCain would have reached no different decision, but the failure to adequately screen their pick resulted in the research being done in public by the media, which is NOT the scenario the Republicans wanted.

Since then, the steady drip-drip-drip of allegations about Gov. Palin continues to erode her credibility as a potential Vice President--and calls into question the decision-making process used by McCain to make the selection. There are some accounts that McCain wanted to select Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge, but was cowed from doing so by a threatened evangelical revolt. Given the favorable media buzz following the DNC in Denver, they were desperate to do something to alter the momentum of the campaign. Unable to choose a Democrat like Lieberman or a moderate Republican like Ridge, McCain was forced to throw the hail-Mary pass with the Palin pick.

His choice has had the effect of energizing his moribund campaign and firming up his support with the "values voters" of Christian Right. They have advanced their agenda by dispatching their surrogates to blame the media for criticism of their new star while keeping her sequestered from the press--thereby avoiding unscripted moments.

Meanwhile--the doubts about Sarah Palin continue to mount:

You could no doubt assemble a similar bullet-point list about Barack Obama, but those issues have been out there for 19 months (or longer) and voters have had plenty of time to look him over. With Palin the hits-just-keep-on coming, and there are only 59 shopping days until election day.

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