The Palin Effect

Some unsolicited advice for Sarah Palin. And not of the Rovian concern troll variety. Ignore the handlers. Do not worry about the details of your general answers. Do not try to be a wonk.

Palin's strength is her personality and personna. She is not the person in the room with all the knowledge obviously. She will never convince anyone of that. Heck, she might want to expressly avow that.

The politician she most reminds me of is not Dan Quayle, it is Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was the most ignorant person I can remember to have ever held high public office. He was wrong on the facts almost every time. But he was confident in his beliefs. He was incredibly wrong about them, but as a politician, he projected a confidence and disregard for the pointy heads that had great appeal. Trying to stuff her with facts, which is what the McCain people seem to have done, was a great mistake. The Joe Sixpack line she delivered the other day may have been a signal that the McCain camp has woken up to this fact.

More . . .

Palinpaloozers are relishing this debate tonight. I fear it. For the past two weeks, the political discussion has been dominated by the economy and the failure of Republicanism. Tonight it could be overshadowed by a successful Palin performance.

Of course Palin could implode tonight and maybe that will be that. But I fear she could succeed, as she did in her first appearance and in her convention speech. And then she will have changed the political conversation.

The timing of this debate is extremely fortuitous for McCain. Palin can change the conversation and then just 5 days from now, McCain debates Obama again. And McCain might keep the change of conversation going.

Every day for 2 weeks has been a win for Obama, big wins. Right now the trajectory of the election is a big Obama win. Starting tonight, the McCain camp probably has its last chance to change that. And I do not like that.

The best result for Democrats tonight would of course be a complete Palin failure. The second best result would be a completely forgettable night that is forgotten by the weekend.

The worst result is a good Palin night discussed through the weekend and thus opening the door for McCain to really rechange the game on October 7.

I wish Sarah Palin to remain an afterthought (the way Joe Biden is) in this election now. She may not be after tonight, for better or worse. And that is a risk for the Obama campaign, because right now the election is in the bag for him.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    I'll say the race with get very close again (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by Saul on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:50:42 AM EST
    unless there is a major gaffe by McCain or Palin.  The real hardcore ads by the 527's will start to come out toward the end.

    We should not be in this situation and will I will say it again.  Obama knew if he picked Hilary it was a slam dunk all the way to Nov 4, however he decided to risk the election becasue he could not swallow his pride and pick Hilary.

    That is why I am angry at Obama.  How dare he risk the chances of a democrat being in the white house in 08 when it was so unnecessary.  At his convention speech he said,

    This election is all about you.
     O yeah.  By not picking Hilary it was all about him.  This election is his to lose and there is a good posibility that it could happen when it should have been a rout for the democrats.

    2 jobs for VP (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Howard Zinn on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:45:28 AM EST
    Help get candidate elected and help candidate govern.

    I don't think it's selfish to pick the candidate that you know will help you govern.  Who knows the depth of the dislike between Hillary and Obama?  What if he just knew that it wouldn't work between them as P and VP, due to how they've interacted in the past?

    I really don't see how people claim to know the result of hypotheticals like if Hillary had been chosen.  If she had been chosen, we'd be seeing rehashes of NAFTA, Whitewater, and presidential pardons.  Thing is, no one knows what would have happened.

    Everyone said a couple weeks ago that if Obama had chosen Hillary then McCain couldn't have chosen Palin.  Now it looks like VP candidate Palin was just what Obama needed ...


    Respectfully disagree (5.00 / 7) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:57:42 AM EST
    I think we know exactly the depth of CDS and most of that CDS would have been dissipated  with a joint ticket.  I really can't fathom a Clinton supporter not voting for the ticket and voting instead for McCain when their candidate could be VP. I really can't fathom an Obama supporter voting for McCain for President instead of Obama for President because he chose Hillary as his VP.  It would have strengthened the party base as well, it would have been insurmountable.

    It's not CDS among Democrats (none / 0) (#75)
    by Maggie on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 01:27:48 PM EST
    that's the problem.  It's CDS on the right and among Independents.  A Clinton pick would have mobilized all the non-Democratic Hillary haters.

    Worse, it would have sucked a huge amount of oxygen away from Obama -- who needs to establish himself as presidential with the electorate.  The press would have been awash in stories about Clinton's past, questions about Bill Clinton's financial arrangements, and especially questions about whether the Clintons would overshadow Obama and/or undermine him if they got into the White House.  Fair or not, it would have been a circus that would have distracted attention away from the issues.  

    I do see that such a pick would have had the positive effect of appealing to Hillary supporters.  But you can't just look at that and ignore the downsides which I've just pointed to.

    Obama might still have won with Hillary.  But I think it would have been a rocky path.  Not nearly the slam dunk people who overlook all the very real complications and distractions that come along with a Clinton pick imagine.

    I should say, by the way, as an Obama supporter who didn't much like Clinton that I really appreciate how much the Clintons are doing for Obama.  Bill Clinton especially has gotten a bad wrap for some of his remarks -- but I think people tend to miss the voters he's addressing and the appeal his arguments might have to them.  And both of them gave bang-on speeches at the convention.  I really hope (and expect) that Obama and Clinton can establish a good working relationship going forward.  My view of her has swung sharply to the positive for the way she has handled her very narrow defeat with grace.  I began this cycle with an "anyone but Hillary mentality".  In 2016, I would start with a pro-Hillary mentality.  That's how big a shift there has been in my attitude.  And I'll be rooting to see her take an active leadership role in the senate on health care and other important issues.


    Not so hypothetical (5.00 / 5) (#25)
    by Saul on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:01:00 AM EST
    If Hilary would have been nominated you can bet she would have picked Obama. That's a fact. It would be political sucicide if she did not.  When Palin came into the picture Obama was ahead. By Picking Palin McCain made the race razor thin close.  Why becasue it open a sore wound for the Hilary supporters that was just setting down.  None of the nominees Hilary and Obama were elected by the people in the primary and cacuss.  It was basicly a tie.  It was the Supers that came end to choose the nominee. Hilary knew she needed Obama as VP to win the GE.  Obama also knew he would have a slam dunk if he picked Hilary.  Obama's biggest complaint agains the Clintons was they represented the old school.  So what does Obama do.  He picks Biden which represented the epitomy of the old school.  If you werent going to stick to the old school mentality then why in the heck didn't you pick Hilary.  Hilary and Biden come from the old school.  In fact Biden has been there longer than Hilary.  Just does not make sense.  You don't worry about how you will get along until after you win.  Kennedy and Johnson were mortal enemies.  Yet Kennedy took a deep swallow and picked Johnson for VP.  Why because it was a sure bet he would win if he did. That IMO is thinking of the people first and not how you will get along.

    And though it is almost impossible to fathom (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:11:03 AM EST
    at this moment, Lieberman was Gore's running mate.

    Wrong, Saul, on a point of fact. (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Don in Seattle on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:54:59 AM EST
    Kennedy and Johnson were mortal enemies.  Yet Kennedy took a deep swallow and picked Johnson for VP.  Why?  Because it was a sure bet he would win if he did.

    Johnson may have been Kennedy's most electable running mate, as Hillary may have been Obama's. But Kennedy/Johnson was by no means an unstoppable juggernaut -- they beat Nixon/Lodge by just 113,000 votes out of some 65 million votes cast. Kennedy won Illinois by a mere 9,000 votes, even though Nixon won 92 of the state's 101 counties.

    Once it happens, history has a way of seeming more inevitable than it really was.


    Kennedy would have not won without Johnson (none / 0) (#76)
    by Saul on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 01:29:02 PM EST
    In this election, too many pros have said that if Obama would have picked Hilary, McCain and Palin would have been a foot note a long time ago.

    What's Happened Happened (none / 0) (#38)
    by WS on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:43:26 AM EST
    We have to win this election as Democrats.  Hillary will be there in the Senate and will hopefully run for President after Obama gets his turn.  Right now, its Obama's time to shine as the leader of the party.  

    Well, he's certainly been "shining" ... (none / 0) (#67)
    by lambert on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 12:48:06 PM EST
    ... as our leader by getting the Bush + Reid + Pelosi + Frank + McCain + Paulson trillion dollar giveaway passed!

    Maybe time in the Spotlight (none / 0) (#86)
    by WS on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:26:08 PM EST
    would be more apt.  There shouldn't be blind devotion to Obama like what the Republicans did with Bush.  He needs to be criticized and praised when appropriate.  I hope there's lots of praiseworthy moments from Obama if he becomes President.  

    as opposed to ... (none / 0) (#89)
    by Howard Zinn on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 10:27:45 PM EST
    being framed by McCain as the one who supported a stock market crash?

    Surely not THE... (none / 0) (#90)
    by lambert on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 12:00:16 PM EST
    ... Howard Zinn?

    yes, the same Howard Zinn (none / 0) (#91)
    by Howard Zinn on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 12:11:08 PM EST
    that my avatar is named after :-)

    Get Over It (none / 0) (#48)
    by MTSINAIMAMA on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 10:41:37 AM EST
    I'm glad Obama didn't pick Hilary. She's my Senator, and honestly, I didn't vote for her the second time around. I did the first. If he had, she would have overshadowed the ticket.

    You mean like (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Faust on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 10:52:31 AM EST
    Palin overshadowed McCain at his convention. Yeah that worked out terribly for him. There is nothing inherently wrong with being overshadowed politically. It can be fine from a votes perspective. If nothing else Palin has proved that a VP can rally the base to a very high degree.

    has it been officially confirmed (none / 0) (#78)
    by of1000Kings on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 02:14:03 PM EST
    that Obama didn't offer Hillary the Veep job?

    The Reagan comparision (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by kmblue on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:51:32 AM EST
    is apt.  People just like Palin, and criticism of Palin is brushed aside.

    Only SOME (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:19:36 AM EST
    people like Palin.  Many abhor her as potential VP.  Seems people either voe or hate her as a VP candidate.  

    the Reagan comparison holds up ... (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by sj on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:56:20 AM EST
    ... that regard as well.

    Srsly. (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by liminal on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:18:47 AM EST
    I hated Reagan.  I convinced my entire fifth grade class to vote for Harold Stassen in our mock Republican primary in 1984.  

    Ha-ha! (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:41:55 AM EST
    Very funny.  Good for you.  I was the same kind of fierce little political kid at that same age.  We didn't have a mock election, but a mock debate.  I led the Kennedy side, and we pasted the Nixon kids!

    (Of course, since I was a little kid in Massachusetts public school...)


    As does W. (none / 0) (#30)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:15:16 AM EST
    I agree that Reagan is the modern prototype ignorant president  wrong on the facts but confident in  beliefs projecting confidence and disregard for the pointy heads. You'ld have to reach back to Harding to find another.

    W just as easily fits this mould. Reagan, like Bush will soon, left office with a low approval rating. His problems were not of Bush's magnitude and by comparison looks good. That is a rather low bar, however.

    I suspect whether anyone likes it or not, this could be the first VP to make a difference one way or another since LBJ.


    Yep, and Ronnie was a journalist, too (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Cream City on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:55:47 AM EST
    in college and in his first job -- when his radio persona was "Duke," as I recall.  I was thinking of this parallel with Palin yesterday, and now I see this post today.

    And Ronnie "Duke" Reagan didn't go to an Ivy League campus, either.  Eureka College is far less known than Palin's almae mater.  (And again, about her being a transfer student -- so was Obama, but the lawyers' email making the rounds about him being a Columbia grad conveniently omits that he went there for only two years.)


    Obviously he did (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by samtaylor2 on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:37:00 AM EST
    Well enough at Occidental college (which is a top liberal arts school) and Columbia to get into Harvard Law.  The transfer thing in this case, says that he did VERY well, at a hard school to begin with.  They are not equivalent.

    Are you sure... (none / 0) (#46)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 10:29:04 AM EST
    ...you don't mean Ronald "Dutch" Reagan?  That's the nickname given to him by his Father. Also what my Grandmother called him and she dated him for a period.  John Wayne was the Duke.

    He wasn't a journalist in the traditional sense either--rather a sportscaster.  He did play-by-play of Iowa football games and then for the Cubs (at times recreating the game by reading the wire reports)at WHO.  It was while traveling with the Cubs in CA that he took his screen test and got "discovered".


    Yes, she is like Reagan (none / 0) (#68)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 12:50:40 PM EST
    for good or ill.  I couldn't stand Reagan, but the country couldn't get enough of his hokie, folksie, ways.  Palin is like him in so many ways.  

    Interesting WaPo article on her manner of dressing.  Even that is like Reagan in his brown suits, although the Post didn't make that comparison.

    I must confess to loving Palin's cute shoes, even if I am too old to wear them, they are cute.


    I think she is toast (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by BernieO on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:57:53 AM EST
    because the media has turned on her the way the did Gore. They have their storyline in place now and it would take tons of dynamite to blast it out of their heads. (This is not a comment on whether she is qualified, just that the media is not objective.)

    Remember when Bush lied his head off in one debate, saying he had supported a strong patients' bill of rights in Texas when, in fact, he had fought tooth and nail to defeat the bill and refused to sign it when it did pass by huge margins? I came out of my seat when I heard that and fully expected the media to crucify him for lyhing. Imagine my surprise when they instead obsessed about Gore's "lie" about going to a disaster sight with the head of FEMA. (He had actually gone that time with the 2nd in charge.) Gore's statement was clearly just a misstatement, not an intentional lie, whereas Bush was deliberately misleading the public about an issue that many cared about, but our media was having so much fun trashing Gore that they could not be bothered informing the public.

    Just the other day I heard Tom Brokaw say that politics is just like high school. He was not complaining either! He then said how much he missed being able to call Tim Russert to get the latest gossip.  

    Perhaps so, but it helps that (none / 0) (#45)
    by Don in Seattle on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 10:23:34 AM EST
    Palin really is not qualified to be President.

    I would argue that few people are qualified to be President -- that we can safely assume that an average "Joe Sixpack" is not so qualified. Does that make me an elitist? I don't think so, but you can think that if it makes you happy.

    The burden of proof is entirely on McCain, and on Palin herself, to show that she could make a decent President. So far she has demonstrated no political skills even at Dan Quayle levels, to judge by a standard that was really sub-minimal to begin with. She is doing worse even than Admiral James ("Who am I? Why am I here?") Stockdale. Among the electoral-vote-getting candidates in my lifetime, only Curtis LeMay was a scarier prospect as a possible President.


    While I agree that LeMay (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by oldpro on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:16:27 AM EST
    was the scariest candidate ever (and that's going some given the Perot, George Wallace, David Duke appeal to large numbers of voters) but I do not agree that Palin can't compare in political skills even to Dan Quayle.

    Both won statewide races - she, governor and he, senator.  The difference is that he was the Republican Party darling with all the skids greased for him while she had to fight her own party and overcome an incumbent...and did...achieving an 80 per cent! approval rating in her state.

    Credit where it's due.  Few politicians have ever come close to that achievement on Palin's part.

    The national stage, however, takes a different set of skills than a state race demands and Palin is out of her league from all appearances.


    I'm pretty sure by Friday she will be (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by tigercourse on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:03:41 AM EST
    an afterthought (or still the target of jokes). This country has better things to do then watch two idiots like Biden and Palin debate. The House vote is today (if it doesn't go through, the debates might as well not happen) new economic data is coming out and we are heading into a weekend (which often interupts news cycles).

    Also, no one really cares about VP debates.

    On the contrary (none / 0) (#22)
    by ricosuave on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:58:57 AM EST
    The press loves to suck the substance out of everything and make it a beauty contest.  Who do you put your money on in this VP beauty contest?

    BTD is a genuis, but... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by pluege on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:06:08 AM EST
    I disagree on palin.

    The cat is out of the bag on her (because she was investigated against the advice of some) and charming ah-shuckism is not going to cut it this year. In addition to her embarrassing herself big time over the last 2 weeks and becoming the butt of night-time comedy, the nation is in no mood for charming and "she's one of us". Most know we are in crisis on many fronts and they are looking for real leaders. bush aw-shuckism worked in 2000 because the nation was in euphoria compared to what we have today.

    And the reagan analogy for palin is also wrong because reagan was going against Cater who in addition to being relatively stiff, was wonkish and suffered from 2 catastrophes: the hostage crisis and the late seventies inflation and gas crises. No matter that these castrophes were out of his control and he did as well as possible to manage them, they were PR nightmares. In 1980 it didn't matter if reagan was dumb as a stump, he was not Carter - reagan was the change candidate. Palin has the opposite condition, she is part of the more of the same team.

    You neglected to mention (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by oldpro on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:28:16 AM EST
    the 3rd catastrophe that Carter suffered from...the quixotic, ill-fated primary challenge by the 'somehow-entitled last Kennedy brother.'

    Funny how Democrats prefer the fairy tale to the reality...makes it hard to learn from mistakes.


    talk about learning from mistakes (none / 0) (#79)
    by of1000Kings on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 02:21:31 PM EST
    Palin is Bush...

    hard-headed, fundamentalist, ahh-shucks anti-elitism..

    and yet people still go for that even with the huge disaster this presidency has been...

    man, when will people learn from their mistakes


    no, not neglected (none / 0) (#85)
    by pluege on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:15:04 PM EST
    I rationalize the 3rd Carter catastrophe you correctly cite was the result of the 2 I do cite. Without the first 2, the Kennedy challenge never happens or at least goes no where fast instead of mortally wounding Carter.

    O.K. (none / 0) (#87)
    by oldpro on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:45:50 PM EST
    "Real leaders" indeed... (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by lambert on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 12:51:07 PM EST
    All of whom have signed onto the taxpayers picking up the tab for a trillion or so in toxic derivatives. Leadership, my sweet Aunt Fanny.

    I said "looking for" (none / 0) (#84)
    by pluege on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:12:14 PM EST
    doesn't mean we found any. But, compared to palin Obama and even mccain look like leaders.

    I disagree (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by kmblue on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:07:11 AM EST
    The more the media and bloggers pile on Palin, the more sympathy she gets from large swaths of the public.

    I'm not saying this is fair or reasonable.  In my opinion, a lot of women identify with Palin and see media criticism of her as picking on her.

    Again, I'm not saying this is sane.  It's just what I see.

    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:47:23 AM EST
    Couric's open and blatant hostility and contempt for this sunny (yes, very, very Reagan-like in that respect) person is visible in the CBS clips being shown all over the dial every night.  I'd never vote for Palin, but the contrast in the dynamic between the utterly upbeat Palin and the sour, clenched-teeth Couric makes me cringe.

    What has happened to Couric? (none / 0) (#73)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 12:59:01 PM EST
    Didn't she used to be nice? Perky and cute?  Now she is not any of those things.  She seems so bitter, or something like that.  Her interviews with Palin made me cringe.  Even though I agree with her liberal bias, she was much to obvious in her dislike of Palin and her constantly trying to make her look bad.  I am afraid it will only serve to make the public more sympathic to Palin.

    What happened? (none / 0) (#88)
    by oldpro on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:49:46 PM EST
    A personal tragedy.  Her husband died.

    Re piling on.... (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by oldpro on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:44:28 AM EST
    I agree on several counts.  There are real reasons the public reacts poorly to the treatment of Palin by MSM and bloggervile Obama boosters.

    Americans traditionally lean to the underdog in a fight...most particularly when they think it might not be a fair fight.  And when the fight is tinged with class war overtones, it's not the favored 'fat cat' they rally to...it's the alley cat who gets the cheers.

    Women are not alone in feeling for Palin.  Few of us enjoy watching the relish with which some engage in publicly stoning this woman who suddenly finds herself in the political coliseum.


    It isn't so much identifying with as (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by hairspray on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:57:39 AM EST
    feeling a kinship with someone who has really pulled herself up by her bootstraps.  She had no real help.  No one greased her skids like was done in Chicago for our candidate and she did it all on her own with a family.  I don't know a lot of men who have done that. She deserves respect for that and for governing in Alaska in what appears to be a reasonable manner. The bloggerboys and girls just can't see that.  That she isn't knowledgeable about Supreme Court cases is understandable if you have ever been to Alaska or know people who live there. It really is a frontier. I recall on this site people castigating Obama for positions that called into question his understanding of the law.

    Based on what? (none / 0) (#66)
    by indiependy on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 12:45:10 PM EST
    "The more the media and bloggers pile on Palin, the more sympathy she gets from large swaths of the public."

    If that's the case then why are her numbers tanking? There's a better case to be made that people are embarrassed about her being thrown into a situation where she's in way over her head.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#72)
    by kmblue on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 12:53:36 PM EST
    From today's Washington Post:

    Overall, 51 percent of voters view Palin favorably; for Biden, that number is a bit higher at 57 percent.

    The vice presidential hopefuls run about evenly among all voters and among independents on the question of whether they "understand the problems of people like you." That is an important factor for the GOP ticket, as McCain continues to trail Obama as the candidate more in tune with the financial problems Americans face.



    "Skepticism of Palin Growing,Poll Finds" (none / 0) (#83)
    by daring grace on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 04:49:45 PM EST
    THIS is the article you're quoting from?

    It also states:

    "...public assessments of Sarah Palin's readiness have plummeted, and she may now be a drag on the Republican ticket among key voter groups, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll."


    "Though she initially transformed the race with her energizing presence and a fiery convention speech, Palin is now a much less positive force: Six in 10 voters see her as lacking the experience to be an effective president, and a third are now less likely to vote for McCain because of her."


    "The 60 percent who now see Palin as insufficiently experienced to step into the presidency is steeply higher than in a Post-ABC poll after her nomination early last month. Democrats and Republicans alike are now more apt to doubt her qualifications, but the biggest shift has come among independents.

    "In early September, independents offered a divided verdict on Palin's experience; now they take the negative view by about 2 to 1. Nearly two-thirds of both independent men and women in the new poll said Palin has insufficient experience to run the White House."

    There are so many more unhappy numbers for McCain/Palin in this poll, including:

    "Palin now repels more independents than she attracts to McCain. The share of independent women less apt to support McCain because of the Palin pick has more than doubled to 34 percent, while the percentage more inclined to support him is down eight points."


    IMHO (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by kmblue on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:01:34 AM EST
    Another factor for the debate tonight.

    Biden wants to be loved, but Palin KNOWS she is.

    I'm thinking Biden will reach for some love and make a mistake.

    so Palin is (none / 0) (#80)
    by of1000Kings on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 02:24:23 PM EST

    ya, she is Bush/Reagan...


    when will people learn from their mistakes...


    This is my fear as well with this debate (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:08:40 AM EST
    and Palin. I don't remember Reagan as clearly as I would like to.  I had just turned 18 when he was first elected.  I was so tired of hearing the Democrat spiel that I had to grow up around that I said I was voting for Reagan and my grandfather tossed me out of his house that day :)  I was happy with that too because I was trying to find my place separate from my family members.  Then Reagan became my president and I struggled to go to school and make ends meet.  I struggled so hard I didn't have time to get a good concept of who he was but I did come to grasp firmly why my family were Democrats.  My mother died when was young.  I received Soc Sec due to her loss and  it would have also been there for my college. I really needed it because my dad can be volatile where empolyment and funds are concerned due to a severe brain injury.  He can get very impulsive and it really isn't his fault.  Thanks to Ronald Reagan though that very slim sum of $400 a month back then disappeared for me, and that help disappeared for all of us who lost parents but wanted to go to college.

    Wow... this is eerie... (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by jeffhas on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 10:34:19 AM EST
    Same circumstance for me - exactly the reason for my hostility toward Reagan - the cutting of my parents social security benefits that they worked all their lives for.... and I think they thought their child would benefit from...

    That benefit cut hurt me personally, and I still harbor ill will.  Today however, I realize that I cannot rely on any government handouts, if I want something, I will have to work my butt off on my own... a lot of us I guess fell through the cracks back then, and what a shame it was, but it provided a very tough lesson to be learned as well.

    In the end, the canonization of Reagan has never set well with me because of this.  I suppose I have to grudgingly give him credit for the Soviet fall (I mean - I would give credit to a Dem President if the same circumstances had taken place).... but I'm no fan because of his social policies... even though in some twisted way, I may be better because of it.  You know, you just can't get back into a time machine and wonder what could have been if those benefits had been available to go through college at that time.


    Soviet fall (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:20:46 AM EST
    You don't have to give Reagan credit for this because he doesn't deserve it.  It just happened when he was president.  The Soviet system was imploding anyway, and Gorbachev was working to give it a soft landing, so to speak.  The idea that a couple years of additional arms build-up brought down the Soviet Union is absurd, and one of those right-wing myths.  IMHO, of course.

    Boy do you speak the truth (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:29:14 AM EST
    As far as our investments go, I never thought I could trust Wall Street or the 401k concept so I didn't after it started getting sketchy out there. It's just a concept like Soc Sec at truth is.  You and I both learned that things in life can change drastically where government policy is concerned and we have lived our lives thereafter accordingly.  I don't give Ronald Reagan any credit though in teaching me that.  Ever notice how some people keep setting themselves up time and time again to experience over and over again that there is no universal babysitter?  You and I learned something from surviving Ronald Reagan and that was your choice and my choice, we did that......he didn't.  Both of us could have given up and become panhandlers on street corners too, but that wasn't what we chose to do with ourselves and our circumstances.

    thank you for this post (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:11:22 AM EST
    if gives me some hope rationality may return to the world.

    Quoting Keysdan (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by kmblue on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 10:12:47 AM EST
    "Reagan was the teflon man and his ignorance was overlooked because he seemed so nice."

    Sounds like Madame Palin to me.

    I remember the press constantly pointing out Reagan's exaggerations and downright falsehoods.
    To much of the public, it just didn't matter.
    They liked Ronnie.  End of story.

    You think Palin seems nice? Hmmm... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Don in Seattle on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 10:50:58 AM EST
    I disagree that the general public likes her. Some right-wingers still do, yes. But middle America has by now seen the interviews, and is properly appalled.

    Doesn't mean she'll necessarily lose -- nobody particularly liked Dan Quayle either -- and 97% of voters choose based on the top of the ticket.

    But Reagan is an entirely different case. Reagan had 30+ years successful experience projecting a generally likable persona as a Hollywood star. Before he even entered politics (as governor of California, not Alaska), his personality was familiar and, in Willy Loman's phrase, "well liked".


    I heard that Reagon while (none / 0) (#65)
    by Natal on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 12:41:33 PM EST
    in the WH greeted anyone in the morning he came in contact with a friendly smile and kind word -- whether he/she was a senator, doorman, janitor or secretary. It seems to me that this is much more endearing to people than intellectual knowledge and not easily forgotten.

    If either candidate (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by kmblue on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 12:36:27 PM EST
    wins the debate on substance,
    I'll be shocked, shocked I tell you.  ;)

    Ronald Reagan (none / 0) (#1)
    by Steve M on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:34:51 AM EST
    was the king of anecdotal evidence.  Many of those anecdotes were just made up, but it didn't matter.  A catch anecdote beats a dry statistic any day.

    Palin has plenty of debate experience and if Biden's plan is to aggressively portray her as clueless, I think he'll hit a brick wall.  I think he does better to showcase his own experience and competence and hope the contrast speaks for itself.

    Reagan seemed to have a more gentle persona (none / 0) (#33)
    by byteb on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:32:54 AM EST
    than Palin. Palin shares Reagan's sunny, perky personality but RR seemed to hand out an insult without being offensive while Palin comes off (to many) mean spirited. Even though the Repbln  base loves her digs, Palin is more polarizing to the general electorate than RR ever was

    I anticipate that she'll do well tonight. She'll be rehearsed with responses to predictable questions, armed with barbed one liners and I think she'll try to get Biden to screw up.


    "The worst result is a good P night " (none / 0) (#2)
    by Finis Terrae on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:45:34 AM EST
    I am preparing for the worst then. I am afraid we are going to see a more relaxed Palin.

    I hope I am wrong.

    Kagro's analysis (none / 0) (#3)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:47:45 AM EST
    For myself, I neither fear nor relish this debate tonight. Like you, I think there's very little opening for a Democratic advantage from this. But neither do I think Palin is ready to engage the American electorate in the way that Reagan did.

    I especially enjoyed Kagro's three-part analysis yesterday:

    Part I

    Part II

    Part III

    ... there's only so much you can do once your questioners realize that you have only one set play for when you get in trouble: 1) repeat back some of the words in the question to establish that you're "answering" it; 2) parry by steering the frame of your answer toward a talking point that bears some relation to the subect of the question; 3) spray some transitional buzzwords that help you segue from what you were asked to what you have prepared to say, and; 4) deliver the focus group-tested answer you originally planned, even if it's kind of a non-sequitur.

    Welcome to politics (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:51:58 AM EST
    This is hardly limited to Sarah Palin.

    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:57:53 AM EST
    That was the point of his analysis. More:
    And what is she doing? Nothing different than most GOPAC-trained Republicans do. At least not on paper. She's rhetorically shifting the ground underneath so that the discussion ends up being about the talking points she's been trained to deliver, rather than what the question was actually about. Gingrich himself could do it so seamlessly that most people never noticed, unless or until they went back and read a transcript, and noticed that the question he answered bore hardly any relation to the one asked.

    True enough, but (none / 0) (#35)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:37:20 AM EST
    I don't see anything in this that doesn't also apply to every Democratic politician out there, too.

    Once upon a time before he ran for president the first time, John McCain notably didn't do this and it was a huge relief to listen to him, even if I disagreed with him on almost everything, because he really did "talk straight."


    Respectfully disagree (none / 0) (#40)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:48:25 AM EST
    Certainly all politicians are skilled at turning the subject, not least Obama himself. But the Democrats are very bad at talking-point discipline. And what Kagro is talking about is, IMO, a step beyond this, which is the reduction of all political discourse to a very narrow set of stereotyped catchphrases.

    You mean... and this is just too obvious... (none / 0) (#71)
    by lambert on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 12:53:26 PM EST
    like "hope" and "change"?

    With the way the deck has been stacked..... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Kefa on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:50:35 AM EST
    the election should be a slam dunk.

    Palin (none / 0) (#13)
    by WS on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:10:21 AM EST
    will try to be the change agent and mock Biden's umpteen years in Washington.  Biden should parry and highlight that McCain/Palin's policies are a continuation of Bush's policies.  

    what's worse (none / 0) (#81)
    by of1000Kings on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 02:29:55 PM EST
    to have a VP that has been in Washington for years, or to have a Pres that has been in Washington for years...

    that would be a losing battle for Palin, unless America lacks logic...(and I know the answer to that)


    What if Biden decides to talk, mainly, about the (none / 0) (#15)
    by LatinoDC on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:45:22 AM EST
    economy and doesn't try to fight Palin?do you think that would work? we know she will stick to talking points, how about Biden doing the same thing?

    He's got to engage her to some degree.... (none / 0) (#24)
    by prose on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:00:21 AM EST
    or else he'll run the risk of doing the no-eye-contact thing that McCain did.  Palin also does that.  I was watching the governor's debate and she looked at the camera the entire time.  She would be directly addressing her debating partner but would be looking at the camera.

    My hope is that she is flip and sarcastic.  That doesn't play well.  I think if anything goes wrong for her it will be that - a majority of America think you are underqualified so you don't get to be sarcastic.  That will trip her up tonight, I imagine.


    Palin = Reagan? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Howard Zinn on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:51:57 AM EST
    Maybe if Palin had Reagan's depth of wisdom and experience -- if we were looking at a 65 y/o Palin.

    I suspect Reagan would have been able to name one political magazine or newspaper or a SC case he disagreed with.

    The comparison might be apt on some levels, but when it comes to basic political knowledge, Palin pales in comparison IMO.

    Sure, Ronnie could have named (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Cream City on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:57:47 AM EST
    something he read -- but I recall his style well, and I think he also would have evaded giving an answer to the question, and for the same reason.

    Reagan's facts came from (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by robrecht on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:38:03 AM EST
    Reader's Digest and Parade Magazine.  

    I agree with BTD (none / 0) (#23)
    by votermom on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:59:13 AM EST
    Palin's advantage is that she, of the 4 of them running, has the greatest ability to seem like she will be one of the regular folks, looking out for regular folks, in the White House. And making sure those gosh-darned fat-cat crooks and insiders don't steal from us.
    My guess is she'll do her best to make Biden seem like part of the problem. All those crazy tax-cuts in the current Senate bill will be ammo.

    Ummm whaaaa? (none / 0) (#69)
    by indiependy on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 12:50:54 PM EST
    You think she's going to attack Biden for tax cuts? There's a good chance she comes off better than people expect, but there's a better chance of someone winning the lottery four straight weeks and then getting hit by lightening than there is of a Republican attacking someone in a debate for cutting taxes.

    Palin will do fine. . . (none / 0) (#32)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:31:40 AM EST
    but it's too late for "fine".  We lose only if Biden blows it.  If Palin does fine and Biden does fine then the debate will get a little press, but it won't affect the numbers.

    Biden ought to play a defensive game -- just be good enough, ignore Palin, answer the questions, maybe attack McCain some, but not too much.  The debate should be as much of a non-event as possible.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#42)
    by andgarden on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:56:49 AM EST
    I think we're at the point where "fine" makes Palin look brilliant.

    Ridicule is a strong antidote (none / 0) (#43)
    by KeysDan on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:58:24 AM EST
    for an ignorant politician, but, to be effective, the dosage needs to be incremental and sustained.  Importantly, the ignorance has to be revealed and, then, widely recognized.   The initial criticisms, and, indeed, ridicule,  of Governor Palin  bypassed her ignorance for the personal and became counterproductive. She was new to the scene and fairness seemed to dictate that she needed to be given a chance.  Her convention speech was  better than predicted, but she showed a sharp edge and was comfortable in ridiculing her opponents.  A mistake, in my view, in that she should have keep up the facade of the sweet citizen called to national duty. The comedy routines and water cooler jokes have now had a cumulative effect which will be difficult to reverse.  Reagan was the teflon man and his ignorance was overlooked because he seemed so nice. Chevy Chase's pratfall  imagery of President Ford stuck, even though Ford was a natural athlete.  Biden's challenge will be to contrast his  knowledge with Palin's ignorance without making her seem sympathetic and him condescending.

    I wish (none / 0) (#49)
    by MTSINAIMAMA on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 10:46:10 AM EST
    Biden would ask her, "Govenor Palin, what grade were you in when you listened to Senator McCain's speeches?"

    I also hope he comes up with a great sound bite like the one he had describing Rudy's ill-fated campaign: "a noun, a verb, and a 9/11".

    Palin could say what Reagan said to Mondale (none / 0) (#63)
    by hairspray on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 12:12:55 PM EST
    "I won't hold your ...age,years in Washington...against you." Something like that could draw a laugh.

    Good post BTD (none / 0) (#52)
    by Faust on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 10:54:10 AM EST
    Lets hope she doesn't take your advice.

    My only consolation is that I have a gut feeling that the media elites have decided they like the ratings Palin gives them, but are not inclined to be forgiving otherwise. But I could be wrong.

    The Reagan analogy (none / 0) (#55)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:23:13 AM EST
    I don't but the Reagan comparison.  Reagan was ignorant but, come on, he was an actor, a real one.  He could perform.  Palin has proven so far that she can only perform for the already converted.  Going beyond that would require both a sharper intellect and much more well-honed performance chops.

    But if we expect nothing, then she needs to do nothing more than avoid drooling.

    Let Biden be Biden (none / 0) (#59)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:33:24 AM EST
    Don't take away his head or personality....Biden is very likable....There's a natural and poignant humility to him, most likely borne of his teenage stuttering and financial reverses of his father....

    Biden probably needs to be pumped up a little....He knows Palin will be telegenic and have one-liners at the ready.  And, Biden seemed a bit nervous when he gave his convention speech....There has been so much effort publicly to muzzle Biden--I think that is a bad idea....Don't try to inflict a personality transplant on Biden...He can be funny....

    If Biden comes out muzzled, he will sound flat and make Palin seem even more like a personality superstar.....He doesn't need to outshine her--just be himself...The risk of a couple of minor missteps outweighs the risk of a flat, stale performance....

    I have seen major lawfirms try to program witnesses at trial.  It never works.  The witness comes off looking rehearsed and boring and sometimes evasive--especially if they hesitate, struggling to remember their lines....


    Biden is likable? (none / 0) (#74)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 01:03:42 PM EST
    Many people think he's a blowhard who is love with the sound of his own voice.

    A couple of differences from Reagan though. (none / 0) (#60)
    by Same As It Ever Was on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 11:35:16 AM EST
    1. Reagan was perceived as experieced. He had been in the public arena for quite a long time and was the governor of a huge state.

    2.  Palin's negatives are high right now.  Her interview performances have made it apparent that she is uncomfortable with substantive discussions and lacks depth.  She has appeared tentative and not a little embarrased.  

    I think a strong performance may stabilize the race, but it's not going to be a game changer unless she can completely change the narrative and win on substance.  I think her chances of pulling that off against Biden rest somewhere between slim and none.

    Then again I thought her convention speech was a disaster as I was watching it, so what do I know.

    Biden's main concern (none / 0) (#77)
    by jondee on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 01:41:32 PM EST
    will probobly be being percieved as being too "mean" to Palin and the slicing and dicing that could potentially occur will be mitigated to a large extent by concern for the tender sensibilities of the puma posse (eye rolls and shoulder brushes completely out).

    Palin herself meanwhile, will probobly stick to stringing together a long series of heart-string tugging r.w bumperstickers worthy of an installment of Hannity or Laura Ingram and acting as if any cogent, real world based points Biden makes are completely irrelevant to the discussion.


    BTD, agree with you ... (none / 0) (#82)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 03:18:26 PM EST
    on most of your statements.

    Especially this:

    Palin's strength is her personality and personna. She is not the person in the room with all the knowledge obviously. She will never convince anyone of that. Heck, she might want to expressly avow that.

    In fact, I said almost the exact same thing yesterday.

    And, yes, the debate can change the conversation.  Don't think that will have much impact ... unless it allows Obama to make a major mistake.

    Because, right now, I think the only thing that can derail Obama is Obama himself.  A moment that reveals Obama's Dukaksis-like lack of empathy could doom him.