31 August 2008

Underestimating Palin's Potential

Joe Trippi is right: Democrats dismiss Sarah Palin at their own peril. See his post, "Don’t LOL. Palin Pick Is About Taking On Washington — Not About Gender," and note his argument well. Trippi predicts that McCain, having acquired a VP with a solidly reformist background, will employ rule number one from Karl Rove's playbook: turn your opponent's greatest strength into a weakness. In this case, Trippi asserts, McCain and Palin will zero in on Obama's role as "agent of change" and recast him as part and parcel of the political establishment:
The McCain/Palin duo will challenge Barack Obama’s claim of “a new kind of politics” and chastise Obama and Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee, Joe Biden, for their “silence” in taking on corruption in their own party in Illinois, Delaware and Washington, DC.
Think about it; the McCain camp didn't decide on Palin solely to pander to the distaff vote (and assuming as much underestimates women voters as well as the McCain campaign. Neither are stupid). Palin's record of cleaning up corruption, and her status as Washington "outsider," help reinvigorate McCain's "maverick" image; thus strengthened, he'll be equipped to go after Obama at full blast. And he will.

Democrats: don't laugh. Don't brush her off. Ignore her at your own risk.

Aside: Having said that, do read Maureen Dowd's column on Palin, "Vice in Go Go Boots." Fab.

Added: Bruce Reed at Slate,
"Why Democrats needn't rush to trash Sarah Palin."

Update: Is Palin as straight-up and golden as she seems, and is she so terribly anti-earmark as she suggests? Perhaps not. See USA Today, The Anchorage Daily News, and The LA Times, . If nothing else, her history seems mixed at best.

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