Wednesday, October 01, 2008

McCain's mistake with Palin

The McCain camp has made a major blunder regarding Sarah Palin. Her convention speech was amazing. The base was energized. There was buzz. And then something inexplicable happened. She vanished.

It’s like McCain’s people took her away and began a crash course of Washington politics. The press was denied access. Interview requests were turned down. They began to mold her into something she wasn’t and I think it has hurt her confidence. I cite some recent missteps in interviews as evidence of this. Somewhere along the line I believe the McCain camp became afraid to turn her loose and as a result she has lost some of her luster.

I am stunned at how McCain has sheltered his running mate in this campaign. I feel this is McCain’s biggest mistake. While Joe Biden is running around the campaign trail inserting his foot in his mouth on a daily basis, Palin has not been allowed to interact with the press at all. What is going on? What is McCain afraid of? I watched her interviews, and yes she stumbled a few times. So what. Stop pretending that she has foreign policy experience. She is a governor. She isn’t supposed to have foreign policy experience. Don’t try to sell us the bogus claim that sitting between Russia and Canada gives her foreign policy credentials. We know better than that and, frankly, it reflects poorly on Palin’s credibility. She doesn’t have Washington experience because she is not of Washington…THAT’S WHAT VOTERS LIKE ABOUT HER! Embrace that quality, highlight it, celebrate it. Turn her loose on the press, let her give interviews to anyone who asks and let her be herself without having to regurgitate the talking points that McCain feeds her. Trying to script her contradicts everything that makes her a great candidate. Let her make mistakes. It won’t hurt as much as they think. Stop the damage control and let her do what she does best, appeal to middle class voters and infuriate the extreme Left. Yes, she’ll have the occasional gaffe but that just adds to her profile as a Washington outsider and elevates her above her counterpart – the supposed foreign policy “expert” who is equally prone to embarrassing gaffes. It adds to her profile as someone who is not scripted and can deliver straight talk while making the same every day mistakes that we all make. Voters want to see a candidate who understands them and isn’t afraid to have flaws. Sarah Palin isn’t perfect and it does an injustice to portray her otherwise. Don’t sell her off as someone that she’s not. It ruins her appeal to common voters.

I hope the McCain camp will hear this advice, and I am certainly not alone in offering it. Many others have noticed how Palin’s spirit has been subdued a bit. It conjures the image of a wild mustang standing in a corral, head hanging low, broken. That’s just not right. Let her out, let her run wild. McCain took a gamble on Palin, now he needs to let that gamble play out. If he tries to subdue her, it’s no longer a gamble but instead is a bad decision. He picked her for her maverick credentials, not her foreign policy expertise. If he tries to pawn her off as a Washington expert he will fail.

Tomorrow night, I want to see the real Sarah Palin, not the rehearsed talking point playback machine. I want to see her tear into Biden like she did at the convention. McCain needs to be more like McCain and Palin needs to be Palin. If she does, she could once again turn this thing around. If not, Obama could win in a landslide. Palin behaving like Palin will beat Joe Biden hands down, but as a cookie-cutter, rehearsed running mate she will be decimated. It’s just that simple.

This interview with Hugh Hewitt is encouraging. For the first time since the convention I see Palin with some latitude. Hopefully that will carry into the debate.

The polls have shifted, but the shift isn’t toward Obama. The shift is away from McCain. People are moving from the McCain column to undecided and this is widening Obama’s lead. I think the Reagan democrats are moving away because Palin hasn’t been around to continue her mission. McCain is playing it too safe, and that’s not the John McCain that America knows. It will not result in a win for him. His choice of running mate was brilliant. His convention speech was inspirational. But since then he has lost his way, starting with his attempts to reign in Sarah Palin. There will be no excuse if voters reject him in November.


allison said...

Sarah Palin has not made minor blunders in her interviews. She has showed such incredible lack of knowledge on important subjects, and it is just baffling to me that conservatives continue to think that this selection by McCain was "brilliant." It is extremely frightening, to say the least. I've been watching parts of her interviews with Katie Couric, and I am continually in awe at what a ridiculous spectacle this is turning into. If it wasn't clear at the beginning that she is SEVERELY unqualified, it has become increasingly apparent since then.

Anonymous said...


I agree w/ you regarding McCain's strategy of isolating Palin. In fact, I agree w/ most of what you said although I also agree w/ allison.

Sarah Palin is in the unfortunate position of having to redeem herself tonight b/c at this point, most people cannot tell the difference between Sarah Palin and Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin on SNL.


Dan Trabue said...

What they said.


It's really too bad that this weblog prints the time of day, but not the date.

Isolating Sarah Palin would be a huge campaign mistake, and that was abundantly clear in tonight's Big Debate. Sarah Palin scored bigtime up against the master-debater Biden. Governor Sarah kept hammering Energy Independence and our Future, while Sen Joseph Biden looked back at our mistakes

Game, Set, Match...Sarah Palin!

Opinions are rock-solid here; no change in sight, and the donkeys need a Diaper-Change. Whew! Make haste, and saddle yonder braying ass!

Vote smart Nov 4th.

allison said...

I thought that she held her own fairly well i nthe debate, but that there was absolutely no way she met the detail and depth of Joe Biden's responses. She used too many talking points and key phrases, and he talked about specifics. Again, her performance was better than I expected but still no competition for Biden.

Dan Trabue said...

I agree that Palin performed admirably - that meaning that she didn't give any blatantly stupid answers as she had the last few days and that she successfully appeared folksy and likable.

However, showing up and not screwing up hardly qualifies as "winning."

Biden, on the other hand, was someone I had not liked until last night. He was eloquent and factual and did an overall excellent job.

The one thing I wish that Biden had done that he didn't was to call her on her role as "energy expert." She is well-informed, I suppose, about oil and gas drilling. But that was last century's solution. SHE is the one looking backwards in that regards, we need to move forward to living within our means and consuming appropriately and sustainably. Biden didn't call her on that and he should have.

Dan Trabue said...

Vote smart, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Again, I find myself agreeing w/ allison.

Snake Hunters, I repeat my previous comment about people seeing what they want to see.

I thought it quite vice presidenbtial of Sarah Palin to wink at the camera; to ask Sen. Biden if she could call him Joe and then try using "Joe" as part of a zinger.

I thought she was robotic. Every response was scripted and appeared to be scripted. One on one w/ Katie Couric, who is no twirler of hardballs, Sarah Palin looked hopeless and lost. But give the opportunity to respond w/ a script, like her speech at the RNC and at the debate, and she does better.

Oh yes. I especially liked in the beginning when she said, "I'm not going to anser that question but instead..."

Let's face it, everytime anyone thinks of Sarah Palin it is either a defense or justification or a headshake of stupifying wonderment. "What is she doing oin a national election?"

Unfortunately, SH, I have reached a dreadful conclusion. Either you are unable to view events dispassionately or you purposefully spin everything you see, w/ a complete disregard for the truth.




Ah, The Loop Garoo Kid Strikes Out In Angry Frustration, but your 'weapon of choice' is not "the truth".

It seems you have again reached a "dreadful conclusion" counselor.

I cannot help but to question your obvious timidity in not answering
Dr. Washburn's October 2nd Post.

Your ability as a "Spin-Master" is clearly obvious in attacking Governor Sarah Palin here on a friendly weblog, but nontheless demeans your standing as an eloquent and honored 'member of the bar'.

Suck up a little courage sir, and let's display some logic & reason on the October 2nd Post, O Loopie Garoopi, (methinks yer slipping a few notches, Laddie!)


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