Friday, September 05, 2008

Palin back to Alaska

This is from Ben Smith at the, via the Washington Monthly:

Howard Fineman reported tonight (and I heard something similar) that Sarah Palin will, after a brief stretch on the trail, head back to Anchorage and away from the national media.

"They're basically taking Palin back to Alaska," said Fineman, citing a senior McCain campaign official.

Fineman's source (and mine) said she'd spent much of the time between now and the middle of next week (when her son leaves for Iraq) straightening her affairs, tending to her official duties and packing her bags — having departed abruptly for the national stage. She also seems unlikely to do many major media interviews between now and then, and the campaign seems to feel no urgency about putting her on the Sunday shows.

The campaign will "also use the plane time and time on the ground to begin the education of Sarah Palin," Fineman said. "They want to take that pause to train."

MSNBC's Chuck Todd is reporting that Palin is "going to hole up in Alaska for a little, she’s got to see her son off who’s going to be deployed to Iraq, so we may not see her on the campaign trail for a little while."

So what is really going on here? Sarah Palin is introduced before the Republican National Convention, makes her acceptance speech, and now is heading back to Alaska before anyone in the media has a chance to talk with her? What is even more astonishing is that the McCain campaign will take the time to "begin the education" of Palin? If the McCain campaign is pushing this PR-bull that Sarah Palin must be "educated" before going on the campaign trail, then that again tells me that Palin is not qualified to become the vice president. Election Day is 60 days away. I would guess that even the McCain campaign also knows just how unqualified Sarah Palin is for this campaign, if they have to take the time to "pause to train" Palin.

Another bad decision from John McCain.

Of course, it gets even worst. According to Time Magazine's James Carney:

According to Nicole Wallace of the McCain campaign, the American people don't care whether Sarah Palin can answer specific questions about foreign and domestic policy. According to Wallace -- in an appearance I did with her this morning on Joe Scarborough's show -- the American people will learn all they need to know (and all they deserve to know) from Palin's scripted speeches and choreographed appearances on the campaign trail and in campaign ads. Here's the exchange:

Wallace's bash-the-media exercise has its merits as a campaign tactic. It certainly rallies the base. But the base won't lift McCain to 50% in November. More importantly, in her smug dismissal of the media's role in asking questions of the candidates, Wallace was really showing contempt not for reporters, but for voters. I bet there are a lot of undecided voters out there who were intrigued by Sarah Palin last night, but who don't yet know enough about her -- what she believes, what she knows -- to be comfortable with the idea of her as vice president of the United States. It's important to them to know if Palin can handle herself in an environment that isn't controlled and sanitized by campaign image makers and message mavens. Maybe she can, maybe she can't. As far as Wallace is concerned, it's none of their -- or your -- business.

So not only is the McCain campaign admitting that Sarah Palin in unqualified to be the vice president (Since they will be hiding her away), but the McCain campaign has decided to not allow Palin to answer questions from the news media. Instead, the American people will see Palin turned out at McCain-controlled events like a toy poodle, rather than the pit bull that we were led to believe--can't talk to the big, bad press here. This is both cynical and disgusting. If Sarah Palin wants to convince the American people that she is qualified for the vice president's office, then she will have to go out and face the press corps, face the multitude of questions on every political, foreign, and domestic policy subject that the press will throw at her. She needs to convince the American people that she can handle the press here. Otherwise she is being used as a toy poodle by John McCain.

There is one more detail to note here--Carney is right about the vote base. Sarah Palin will certainly rally the conservative base. But the real challenge for the McCain campaign will be trying to get the +1 percent vote, coming from the moderates and independents. It is not John McCain that will be able to shave off the moderate and independent vote here, but rather the new face of Sarah Palin. These will be the undecided voters who will be intrigued by Palin, but who will not know much about her, nor will they know whether she can handle herself "in an environment that isn't controlled and sanitized by campaign image makers and message mavens." By sheilding Palin from the press, the McCain campaign is alienating this important segment of voters that are absolutely necessary for McCain to win.

Another reason why Sarah Palin is unqualified.


Sky Girl said...

I've read up on Ms. Palin, and with everything I learn, I'm more and more horrified. Not that I was voting for McCain anyway.

Eric A Hopp said...

Hello Sky Girl:

And thank you for your comment. I agree, Sarah Palin is a horrible choice for the GOP VP ticket. She is completely unqualified, vindictive, lacking any experience, corrupt, and extremist in her views. If the McCain campaign wanted a woman on the ticket, they would have been better off selecting either former governor Kay Bailey Hutchison, or Senator Olympia Snowe. Both women are far more qualified for the vice president's office over Palin. The reason Hutchison and Snowe were passed over was that both women are pro-choice, and the Religious Right would never allow them on the ticket. Instead, we get this Toy Poodle.