By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The Republicans’ Palin problem

Strip away all the side issues (and there are many, and they are important), and the essence of Sarah Palin is this: She is an extraordinarily gifted political performer. And she knows nothing — zippo — about the national and international issues with which any national political figure needs to be conversant.

Which brings me to the latest on the increasingly public mud-slinging between the Palin and McCain camps, written up in loving detail by the Politico’s Ben Smith. Given her freakish and unwarranted self-confidence, it’s not surprising that she believes she could talk her way out of the mess she’s in if only her handlers would let her. And given her long string of boneheaded (and worse) statements, it’s not surprising that the McCainiacs just want her to shut up.

It is nothing short of astounding that Palin’s supporters, according to Smith, point to the Katie Couric interview as something that was mishandled by the McCain forces. We all saw Palin babble about how Alaska’s proximity to Russia has given her foreign-policy experience — a softball do-over from Couric, given that Palin had had time to think about it after answering Charlie Gibson’s identical question the same idiotic way. We all saw that she couldn’t even say what she reads, leading to the not-unreasonable conclusion that she doesn’t.

If Barack Obama wins on Nov. 4, it’s going to be a long winter for the Republican Party. Among the party’s many problems is that Palin has signaled she intends to be a player. Given that she has what’s left of the Republican base in her thrall, and that she is a huge negative among everyone else, Palin, for Democrats, may be the gift that keeps on giving.


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50 Comments

  1. Stella

    The essence of Palin is that her selection by McCain was to spit in the face of the citizens, and showed why his judgment is beyond poor.

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Stella: I think we’re learning it was much worse than that — McCain had no idea what he was doing when he made his first presidential-level decision. And now he is blaming others. Ugh.

  3. Don, American

    I would rather have Sarah Palin, the mother, than Barack Obama the mutha running the country.

  4. Stella

    Indeed! The womb is your primary criteria? Remarkable. And more remarkable that you would advertise this fact.

  5. Bill H.

    Don, whatever else you are, not not “the American.” Grow up.

  6. Dan Kennedy

    Don: Ah, it all comes spilling out in the last days, doesn’t it? Very revealing.

  7. Ani

    That quotation in the Politico piece of Palin responding to the idea of a second economic stimulus package — wow. Poor Paulson, on bended knee to Pelosi, and Palin doesn’t even give him any credit!And I’m curious to know the GOP position on more government funding for more private schooling for special needs students (which I am neither criticizing nor endorsing, merely curious how Palin’s position squares with her party’s).

  8. Don, American

    I tried to be sensitive by leaving out the rest of the word. I’m sorry, but I’m really scared of the coming of socialism and Biden’s terrorists, and the rioting in the streets if he loses, or wins.

  9. jvwalt

    Don: It’s people like you who make “American” a pejorative term. C’mon — Socialism? Biden’s terrorists? What Kool-Aid have you been drinking? I’m sorry, I usually try to be rational with my comments, but that’s just plain disgraceful.

  10. Prospecticus

    Palin’s appearance on the Rev. Dobson talk show was interesting (I saw part of the transcript). You really can’t tell if she understood what he meant by “the platform” and just forgot the specifics. Or, did she just not know what the hell he was talking about when he was referring to “party planks.” Either way she was clearly bluffing her way through what was a friendly interview. It had a 7th grade feel to it. This is the person who’s ready to go from day one? Palin needs a great chief of staff and not Elisabeth from The View, who she put out a call for this weekend.

  11. Dan Kennedy

    Don: You have revealed for all of us to see what you’re scared of, and it ain’t socialism or Joe Biden.Interesting, too, that we’ve just gone through the most dramatic lurch toward socialism since FDR’s Hundred Days, and it’s Obama who’s accused of being a socialist.

  12. Ani

    Maybe Palin will form her own party.

  13. Monk

    To: Don, American.First, any American who has to say they’re an American as part of their ‘name’ is being a bit dense.It also implies you think other American’s aren’t, well, American. Does that sound right to you? Yea, thought so.It also sounds like you’re part of that small minority of people that want a female version of George Bush (which is what Palin is). If you think the last 8 years where great, man, have I got a bridge in Brooklyn I would just LOVE to sell you.

  14. Peter Porcupine

    DK – an entirely different perspective here.Reading the article, a light went on in my head. Sarah Palin is Jim Rappaport.Back in 2002, When I supported Healey, the Rappaport people would tell me that he was more vibrant, more committed, etc. and that Mitt should pick him. I alsways asked – knowing Jim as you do, can you see him standing quietly behind Mitt, nodding, while the new Gov. announces a policy or idea he deosn’t agree with? The answer was alwasy, no. Then I would reply, if he can’t do that, then he has no business being Lt. Governor.I like Sarah Palin, despite disagreeing with her on many issues. It remains to be seen if she can handle being a team member – and NOT the Captain.

  15. jvwalt

    There are bigger problems with Palin. For one, she has little appeal beyond the hardcore GOP base — and this election is likely to show that the Rovian strategery can no longer deliver a majority. Indeed, it’s likely to fracture, with social and economic conservatives falling into mutual recriminations if not open warfare. Palin appeals only to the social conservatives. For two, she is showing herself to be not only ignorant of national/world issues, but utterly incurious about same. Supposedly she underwent a crash course after the nomination; as far as I can tell from her very rare public interactions, she hasn’t learned a damn thing. She still careens from one prepackaged talking point to the next. And if Politico’s report is accurate, she believes she is ready to take off the training wheels and go her own way. She is, in short, a prettier but dumber George W. Bush. The country isn’t likely to go for that act again anytime soon. I think Palin will be a star within the social conservative movement, but that’s her upper limit. Her lower limit is Dan Quayle. Well, actually, the absolute bottom would be eventual indictment and political disgrace for one or more of her Gubernatorial excesses.

  16. mike_b1

    Well, as McCain proved in 2000, you can’t be a player in the GOP if the GOP doesn’t want you to be.The shocking thing about the 2008 election is, Is McCain the best the Republican party had to offer? Yikes.(Dan: One nit: McCain’s first presidential level decision was putting together his organization. Obama is clearly as skilled as any politician in the last 40 years at this. McCain, not so much.)

  17. Daniels Schoolboy

    Mr American is unnecessarily alarmed, but it’s not an unusual place to be, in this or any other election with starkly contrasting points of view. Those of us old enough may remember the predictions of nuclear doom if Reagan were to win the 1980 election which he, uh, did. (I have a retrospectively funny memory of a kid standing in the middle of Harvard Square on election night, wailing at the top of his lungs, “We’re all going to die.” I often wondered if he wound up gratified or disappointed by his lack of prescience.) I’m also old enough to remember David Brinkley, who would often opine that the kind of people who rise to the top of their primaries and get to the big show almost by definition can’t be scary. “There are no monsters here,” he said of presidential elections. Mr American – and I say this as a Bush voter – please do relax; Reagan didn’t melt the world and Obama won’t steal your piggybank. Electoral hysteria may have a long history, but it at base betrays an essential lack of faith in your fellow Americans. At the very least, that’s kind of rude to say out loud.

  18. Tony

    This is the problem when you allow handlers to have too much control over the campaigns. I think it points out a problem over campaign mechanics rather than a Palin problem. The way politics is played these days often puts the handlers above the candidate and then allows them to destroy things behind the candidate’s back because they aren’t getting their way. In other words, they are acting like friggin’ middleschoolers when they should be keeping their mouths shut. They can bitch all they want but they need to understand that they aren’t the candidate. She is. If she doesn’t want to be handled at this point by McCain flacks who don’t seem to have the candidate’s best interests at heart, why should she be? I love this point as an example of how off-point and rogue she is: Moments that Palin’s allies see as triumphs of instinct and authenticity – the Wright suggestion, her objection to the campaign’s pulling out of Michigan – they dismiss as Palin’s “slips and miscommunications,” that is, her own incompetence and evidence of the need for tight scripting.This is where McCain’s folks are totally clueless and out of touch. Giving up on Michigan so early was a mistake. It was also a mistake to announce that you were pulling out of the state [I saw it in the Concord Monitor, Manchester Union Leader, WSJ, Boston Globe, and Boston Herald. I just Googled it and 994,000 hits came up. In other words, it was everywhere. Why not just broadcast that you are losing to the entire world?]. When McCain and the RNC are sitting on $84 million two weeks out and have 150 solid Electoral College votes, what the hell are you doing pulling out of a state that was within striking distance [Independent polling two weeks before the pullout show that McCain was leading in two of 11 polls. Only a few of those polls showed major Obama leads. In other words, Michigan was in play]? She was right about this. The other day I was having a discussion with someone about other VP picks McCain could have made. This person started ranting that Mitt Romney should have been on the ticket. I told this person, If you think the media is in the tank for Obama with these relentless attacks against Palin, do you want to know what they would have done to Romney in the wake of the Wall Street disaster? They wouldn’t be talking about hairdressers and accessories, they’d be talking about AmPad, layoffs, and Wall Street crap via Bain, etc. They would be clocking McCain-Romney with substance, not folly. It would be worse. In the end, it is looking like everyone is getting ready to blame Palin for everything. It is the easy thing to do and pundits and politicos always do the easy thing. They will blame her even though she has energized the base. The crowds prove this. Example? There were four times as many people seeing Palin at a recent stop here in New Hampshire than saw Cheney at a similarly-styled campaign stop in October 2000. Same dynamics – middle of the day, a few days prep, etc. The rally in Maine had 6,500 people, a lot of them white middle class women – i.e., the people who flocked to Hillary. One could say she is a novelty factor but the base seems energized here. In the wake of an Obama landslide, Palin will be blamed. But what it is becoming clear is that the blame can be placed squarely on the following facts: 1) That every facet of the media beyond talk radio has been totally in the tank and should be listed as an in-kind donation for the Obama-Biden campaign; 2) That the voters are not interested in bad Republican policies [which are often bad Democrat policies];3) That the American people can be sold just about anything if the marketing and message are right, just as they have throughout history.

  19. The Arranger

    I can’t blame the McCain campaign for being upset with Sarah Palin. How were they to know she was a “MAVERICK”! That’s the last thing anyone wants in a running mate.Bob in Peabody

  20. jvwalt

    Ah, Tony brings us the emerging Republican explanation for Why They Blew The Election: It’s the media’s fault, it’s the handlers’ fault, the voters are mindless sheep. Palin’s crowds: Yes, she has a strong appeal to the GOP base. However, she has absolutely no appeal beyond that. Can you say “Mike Huckabee”? The media: If anything, they were in the tank for McCain until his campaign started imploding. Before that, the coverage was either even-handed or startlingly favorable to the McCain argument. Then, when the polls clearly showed that the voters weren’t buying what McCain was selling, the coverage shifted to “what’s wrong with the McCain campaign.” The media followed the voters!And Tony, if you actually believe that voters are sheep, why the hell do we allow them to vote? Should we reinstitute literacy testing, restrict the vote to property owners, or bar women and minorities, just like the good old days? Or maybe we should just have a nice Neocon dictatorship. Let Dick Cheney decide what’s good for us. Why are the Republicans losing this election? It’s simple. They made an absolute hash of running the government for eight years, and squandered all their credibility. They lost their Congressional majority for the same reason: ineffective, corrupt leadership. They are losing BECAUSE THEY DESERVE TO. Not because of the evil media or the dumb voters.

  21. Dan Kennedy

    Tony: Who are we going to believe? You? Or our own lying eyes and ears?Totally aside from ideology, Sarah Palin cannot answer simple questions or discuss policy. We’ve all seen and heard it.Palin may well be on her way to becoming the first running mate ever to cause significant harm to a presidential candidate’s chances.And spare me the talk about McCain’s “handlers.” He hired them. As I have grown fond of saying, there is no such thing as a candidate who’s better than his campaign.

  22. lolagets

    something surely puzzles me :Designer clothes donated to charity ?what would People do with designerclothes who need charity?

  23. Peter Porcupine

    Lolagets – Maybe wear then on job interviews?Or do you view the unfortunate as perpetual tuggers of the forelock to the local Democrat establishment as they vote how much they deserve to be given by the many-breasted State?

  24. Doug Shugarts

    Don: Please make up your mind. Is it ‘messiah,’ ‘socialist’ or ‘mutha?’ Or are all the same to you?

  25. lolagets

    Wow wow wow, Mr. porcupine, what a highflying languageThe funny thing is, that when frequently I have clothing to give away I give it to our needy people(there are lots of them in South Florida) they never choose the “better clothing” always the practical. Thing they can wear daily and not be ridiculed by their peers. Got It? !!!

  26. acf

    Regarding poll numbers, maybe the smaller numbers spread in Michigan was more set and less open to change than a larger spread in PA which was seen as more fluid and open to possible change. I know the end result isn’t reflecting that thought, and I’m glad, but it may be a conclusion the McCain campaign drew from their own poll internals.As for media bias toward Obama and against McCain is concerned. Where was all the complaining when the media was on the Republicans’ bandwagon ridiculing Al Gore for this, that, and the other thing, in 2000, and wind surfer John Kerry in ’04? More positive reporting, less carrying water for the opposing party’s campaign and providing a negative drumbeat, and the results might have been very different. Likely in 2000, quite possibly in 2004. The complaint depends on whose ox is being gored.

  27. Stella

    October 26, 2008ANCHORAGE, Alaska –The Anchorage Daily News, Alaska’s largest newspaper, has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president.The newspaper said Sunday the Democrat “brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand.”The Daily News said since the economic crisis has emerged, Republican presidential candidate John McCain has “stumbled and fumbled badly” in dealing with it.”Of the two candidates, Sen. Obama better understands the mortgage meltdown’s root causes and has the judgment and intelligence to shape a solution, as well as the leadership to rally the country behind it,” the paper said.The Daily News said Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has shown the country why she is a success as governor. But the paper said few would argue that Palin is truly ready to step into the job of being president despite her passion, charisma and strong work ethic.”Gov. Palin’s nomination clearly alters the landscape for Alaskans as we survey this race for the presidency — but it does not overwhelm all other judgment. The election, after all is said and down, is not about Sarah Palin, and our sober view is that her running mate, Sen. John McCain, is the wrong choice for president at this critical time for our nation,” the paper said.”Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time,” the paper concluded. Show me the way to go home…

  28. lolagets

    darn it, where is home ?

  29. LFNeilson

    Nome is a whole lot closer to Russia than Wasilla. Or did you mean Homer?zzzzzzz

  30. Aaron Read

    And spare me the talk about McCain’s “handlers.” He hired them. As I have grown fond of saying, there is no such thing as a candidate who’s better than his campaign.Dan, I agree 100%, but I find this phrase too easy to dismiss as personal opinion. Let’s bring this closer to home: if someone claims that McCain is “better than his campaign”, then that someone is claiming that McCain cannot even manage his own campaign…how then can that someone POSSIBLY claim that McCain is prepared to manage the country? Or Congress? Or even just the White House staff?That’s the question, and of course the answer is: he couldn’t. So there you go, either you have to accept that McCain is no better than his campaign…or you accept that he’s a bumbling moron who couldn’t lead a two year old to the crapper.Personally, I suspect both are true…but that’s just me.(standard disclaimer: just because I dislike McCain does not mean I like Obama)

  31. O-FISH-L

    Dan, your umpteenth post about Palin and a rare 30 comments to boot. Keep running after her while Obama keeps running after Bush. Palin has been terrific. Meanwhile AUDIO found of Obama talking about the “fundamentally flawed” Constitution. Please save the analysis for AFTER the election and leave the weather (long winter?) predictions to Dylan Dreier.By the way, will Dan Rea be invited back with his AUDIO on? To see him put Kara Miller in her place was terrific, now if only we could have heard him in the opening segment.

  32. O-FISH-L

    BTW Dan, historically you’ve posted a bit each week to tell us you’d be on Beat the Press, but you glaringly didn’t do that this week. I wondered why, then made sure I was front and center before the Hi-Def plasma to see what you wanted me to miss. Is it because Friday, esteemed TV and talk veteran Dan Rea joined the panel, albeit with his audio intentionally turned down by the staff, and shook things up? Even ultra liberal host Emily Rooney was agreeing with Rea’s specific and deadly diagnosis of media bias. Yet Media Nation goes on about a repackaged Globe and a post about Palin that has to soon rival Middleborough casinos for the Cal Ripken award here.Will you follow past practice and allow BTP viewers a place to comment on last week’s shopw now that conservatism has been given a voice?Dan Rea is a breath of fresh air and should be invited back, whether or not you want to talk about it.

  33. Dan Kennedy

    Fish: Historically I have not posted when I’ll be on “Beat the Press.” I’ve been a regular for eight or 10 years. Within the past six months or so I’ve tried to post on it after receiving a few requests, but I’ve forgotten several times. Since I’m on just about every week now, I should probably stop.I am a big admirer of Dan Rea’s work, which, if you had done any research, you would know. Here is a profile I wrote about him earlier this year for CommonWealth Magazine.Didn’t realize Rea’s mic wasn’t working from the beginning, since we certainly all heard him on the set. The important thing is that he didn’t interrupt Kara Miller when she called me a “genius” for suggesting that the Globe give away it’s new “g” tabloid. 😉

  34. O-FISH-L

    Point taken on the consistency of BTP posts.Rea’s mic was “on” but when he was making a conservative point to Kara Miller in the beginning, it seemed low. For us conservatives who rarely have representation on the program, it seemed like an opportunity lost.Of course, one of the libs at ch. 2 probably turned Rea’s mic down. Grassy knoll and all, right?

  35. Tunder

    Dan, you MISSED THE POINT!! There is a left-wing CONSPIRACY going on even at “Beat The Press.”!!!!Dan Rea’s microphone was INTENTIONALLY lowered so that his voice would not be heard!!!If you have ANY respect for the democratic process, you must DEMAND an apology on Dan’s behalf and not appear again on the show until all of the LEFT-WING staffers are FIRED!!!Unfortunately, I’m sure that Emily Rooney will NOT invite Dan back because we all know that she is a LIBERAL HACK JOURNALIST with no integrity!!! She has been IN THE TANK for Obama from the start!!!As my personal statement on the FIASCO that was last Friday night, I will instead be watching my Tivo’d copy of “Sean Hanity’s America” at the appointed hour!!!Sign me,Bitter, angry and a paranoid former viewer of BTP!!!!

  36. Tony

    Ouch. Lying eyes and ears? Sorry. You are all motivated by your own political biases and positions. You all despise her because she is a Christian conservative … yeah, like Mike Huckabee .. but that doesn’t mean there isn’t media bias. I don’t have a horse either way. I don’t have a stake in any of the campaigns. I’m not a conservative but in fact, quite liberal on most issues. And yet it seems like I’m the only one who is even looking at this with any objectivity at all.The simple fact is that she has been raked over the coals far more than Hillary Clinton [allowing for time frame here, Hillary campaigned for years; Palin for months] and far more than any other man in the 2008 race or maybe even history at this point. Come on Dan. You haven’t been in academia that long to not realize this. If you move beyond your own hatred of her political positions and looked at this situation you would see it for what it is. I mean, articles about her hair and makeup expenses [16,900 Google hits] and the clothes [161,000 Google hits]? And not a single critical investigation about Obama or Biden?The bias and selective investigating are overwhelming in this campaign. Obama-Biden are getting a total pass. My biggest fear at this point is that because the media hasn’t done its job, Obama will be Deval Patrick 2.0 even with a Democratically-controlled House and Senate. He will probably bring on much worse in 2010 than Clinton did in 1994. And we know how well that worked out for working folks don’t we?

  37. Ani

    0-fish-l: I actually thought Rea had missed Miller’s point, and then later put his foot in his mouth about Brokaw, Powell, Obama, and racism — I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

  38. Tony

    To “jvwalt”: I think I said that bad Republican policies – which are also bad Democrat policies – are one of the three reasons why McCain and Republicans are losing. I mean, do we need to go through them? The invasion, the bailout, the bankruptcy bill, the trade bills, the Patriot Act and anti-terrorism bill under Clinton, media consolidation bills … John McCain votes? Yup … but also Joe Biden votes and many other Democrat votes. But the fact that people have been sold a bill of goods and have no specifics from Obama and the media being in the tank are also factors of a potential McCain and other Republican losses, assuming they lose and that is a safe bet. Does anyone really know any of Obama’s specific positions? I mean, 57 states anyone? He said he would visit 57 states even though we only have 50 states. Tax breaks for the lower 95 percent? He said that, even though only 67 percent of Americans pay income taxes? Hello? Is this mic on? You can cite Palin gaffes until you’re blue in the face but Obama has them too. The difference? Palin isn’t at the top of the ticket. If Hillary Clinton or John Edwards made the kind of gaffes Obama has, it would be all over the place. But Obama is the messiah and he can do no wrong. Good speaker? Sure. Hillary said it best when she noted that her and McCain had done a lot of work stabilizing Iraq and Obama gave a speech. That kinda says it all. Real change? Doubtful. Obama isn’t real change. Obama is go along to get along.

  39. mike_b1

    hi, i’m tony..blah blah blah,..no Obama socialism … blah blah blah…more Bush! blah blah blah…

  40. Dan Kennedy

    Tony: Actually, I’m willing to say right out loud that I find Palin’s religious views disqualifying even if I knew nothing else about her.She is not a Christian conservative. She is a religious radical. That’s why she’s the first Republican national politician since Gerald Ford not to go rattling on about Jesus — the McCainiacs don’t dare let her get started.How do you suppose the “end of days” crap is going to play with the “Purpose Driven Life” crowd? Not too well, I’d say.I must say, given what I know about your politics, I’m not surprised that you think Obama isn’t left enough on economics, but I’m very surprised at the level of animus you seem to have toward him.

  41. Doug Shugarts

    o-fish-l said: Palin has been terrific.She certainly has. Her nomination and performance on the trail have alienated a great majority of moderates and have rightly appalled the thinking element of the Republican party.Well done. She’s managed to stoke the embers of bigotry and ignorance one final time in the hope of convincing the electorate that cultural conservatives still preach a message that resonates with mainstream thought and values.She, and her programmers, have failed.

  42. Ani

    I see a lot of Palin’s difficulties as coming out of her apparent lack of a feedback loop/”her freakish and unwarranted self-confidence” — two sides to the same coin, the way I see it.

  43. MeTheSheeple

    Tony, a search of Obama cocaine turns up 106,000 hits just on nytimes.com sites. (Some are repetitive, such as the Web and printer-ready versions of stories.) There’s been plenty of investigative stories out there. Can you honestly say you can’t find them, as you seem to be claiming? Obama and Biden have been investigated — certainly more than the zero times you suggest. Google is your friend, unless it’s part of a vast left-wing conspiracy.

  44. Dot Lane

    “You all despise her because she is a Christian conservative”I don’t despise anyone. That’s the *Christian* side of me. I think she is fundamentally unqualified to be Vice President or President of the United States. So let’s try not to play the Jesus card, okay?”Tax breaks for the lower 95 percent? He said that, even though only 67 percent of Americans pay income taxes?”A tax break for the lower 95% of taxpayers is not the same thing as a tax break for 95% of all Americans. How dumb do you think we are?”I don’t have a horse either way. I don’t have a stake in any of the campaigns. I’m not a conservative but in fact, quite liberal on most issues. And yet it seems like I’m the only one who is even looking at this with any objectivity at all.”That’s right. You’re the guy who says we need a little of McCain, a little of Obama, and lot of Nader. You’re hardly objective, what with your right-wing talking points about Obama being the Messiah and complaints about the left-wing media bias. Objectivity is a myth, and your claim of objectivity is a self-aggrandizing myth.

  45. Doug Shugarts

    Christopher Hitchens has a brilliant, blistering column today about Palin and the GOP’s anti-science agenda. The closing graph:This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just “people of faith” but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.

  46. bostonmediawatch

    Why do people feel like they have to temper their criticism of Palin by pretending she’s “an extraordinarily gifted political performer” ???If that’s true, why are her unfavorables so high?It’s baloney.

  47. Mark

    Dan, I completely agree with you.Sarah Palin would be devastating to the Republican party.I think it’s almost inevitable that she will consolidate all of Huckabee’s support immediately – and with that base from the start, along with 98 percent name ID nationwide, she will unstoppable.There is a sensible wing of the Republican party standing athwart, but Huckabee’s base has proven they are strong enough to hold off a reasonable challenger.

  48. O-FISH-L

    “If that’s true, why are her unfavorables so high?”I’ll be the first to dance on the grave of the soon to die media, but I will also salute them for doing Yeomans work on destroying Palin. Coming out of the RNC, it was clear Palin was going to be a major force in the campaign, but in attacks worthy of Marlin Perkins’ old program sponsored by Mutual of Omaha, the media lions did what was necessary to tear her down. Whether Palin has been destroyed is another story, but when the epitaph of the media is soon written, the assault on Palin will be among the last, “great” achievements.

  49. jvwalt

    Palin has done herself in by being completely unable to do anything beyond delivering a stump speech. The media hasn’t even tried that hard — hasn’t gone after her nearly as much as they’ve gone after others — because she was far too easy a target. There was far more media scrutiny of Obama during the primary than there has been of Palin, and there has NEVER been as much scrutiny of ANY political figure as there has been of Bill and Hillary Clinton. If Palin is such a star, why has she been completely insulated from the media? Why no live press conferences or interviews (except with the apologists at Fox News)? But please, conservatives, go ahead and believe that Palin is the savior of the GOP. Because she has proven that she has absolutely no appeal beyond the social conservative and neocon base. And that’s a losing combination.

  50. Dan Kennedy

    Not even the neocons, JV — witness David Brooks and Ken Adelman, as well as normal conservatives who have more in common with the neocons than they do with the social conservatives, such as Colin Powell, Peggy Noonan, Christopher Buckley and on and on.

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