Monday, September 22, 2008

Defining Palin

She's considered dumb. A hardcore conservative. Inexperienced.

While no one would have thought Republicans could ride the wave of Palin popularity into Nov4, it does seem like we've hit one hell of a beachhead. What's to blame?

1) Democrats/Axelrod have mounted one helluva 'grassroots' campaign to defraud the GOP VP nominee.
2) Shitty mortgages made the economy go plop.
3) The McCain campaign was too scared/too dumb to let Palin out of her cage.

Plenty of time has been spent on other blogs and in the MSM on the first my frustration will be focused on #3. We'll run with the assumption that, other than Oprah, McCain could have booked Sarah Palin on any major media medium they so choosed. She was the story of the campaign for two weeks after her selection and the national media was there for the taking. Instead, what have we seen? One interview with ABC news, one with an 'ally', Fox News...and a number of speeches on the campaign trail. The McCain campaign may say they aren't hiding her from anything, but I would strongly disagree. Considering her celebrity, what we've seen has been only the bare minimum of what I expected and hoped to see after the balloons came down in Minneapolis.

Instead, the opposition has had an opportunity to define her personality before Sarah had a chance to do it herself.

There are two possible reasons we've seen so little of Palin. One, the McCain campaign is stupid. Two, she just wasn't ready to take on the tough questions by seasoned interviewers. Since I don't think the McCain camp is dumb, let's run with option two. There has been some criticism that Palin didn't handle the Charlie Gibson as well as many in the GOP had hoped. Some of that may be valid, some may be unfair based on Gibson's questioning...but none of that matters. Clearly, Palin's first interview had to be a 'legit' interview with a respected member of the mainstream media. But a large part of Palin's attractiveness, other than her legs, is her charisma and newfound cult of personality that follows her everywhere she goes.

So, with that being said, a spot on Leno's couch would have done her a world of good. The questions would have been much more manageable and it would have given her an opportunity to let her hair down and show her affable personality. Would some in the MSM have judged her for doing a show lacking substance? Sure. But that interview could have easily been followed up with the Hannity interview. And then the McCain camp books her on The View(a show McCain and Obama have been seen on themselves) before doing an interview with Katie Couric.

By this point Palin would have been able to define herself and been able to tell her story from her point of view, rather than that of People magazine.

Unfortunately, many a campaign is lost based on missed opportunities. Let's hope this isn't one.

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