Palin: Likely Not Enough

Last night, Sarah Palin delivered a speech full of terrible conservative policy, vicious and unfair attacks on the Democratic ticket, and gross distortions about her own record as a reformer.

But the performance was an explosion. People turned on the TV in prime-time and saw big energy. Yet there's two variables about the energy: if it'll be used and whether it will last.

First, Palin declared war on the traditional press, and that's a gamble. Remember, Republicans are the original media-haters (but for rather paranoid reasons), so this turn comes almost as reflex. Her denunciation of the "Washington elite" and the ignorance of "pollsters and pundits" echoed Howard Dean's lines from 2004 - and the media may retaliate as harshly as they did back then. Palin's not scheduled to speak to the press until at least this weekend, and that lack of accountability will infuriate reporters and increase their thirst for blood. So we may see the media actually do its job when covering Palin (pointing out her dishonestly on the "bridge to nowhere" for example), nipping her "maverick reformer" shtick in the bud. And perhaps the media won't do it for the right reasons, but we'll take what we can get.

The second variable involves what McCain's campaign does to capitalize on the energy Palin brought last night. Plouffe has long touted the "enthusiasm gap" as one of Obama's biggest assets - harnessing energy among supporters into ground organizing advantages. And with big party registration disparities, it's an advantage with dividends for Democrats. Palin, now, will pull huge crowds and money wherever she goes. Ambinder says it'll be Palin's September. McCain's two-fold challenge is using the new enthusiasm: he needs to get base supporters whipped-up enough to go out and work for him, but he also needs to energize people outside his universe to make up for the disparity in party population. Can he appeal to independents? Women? Or middle-income people in Michigan or Colorado who lean Obama but might take a second look at McCain if the reformer image sticks and they feel the media has treated Palin unfairly?

It's unlikely. This late in the game there's not much time for McCain to organize significantly outside his established base - and it'll take more than knocking a few leaners off the fence for him to win PA, OH, and MI.

In the end, if the media really deconstructs Palin properly, McCain will find himself with a whipped-up, activated, and energetic base that's significantly smaller than Bush's in 2004 and insufficient to carry him to 270 electoral votes.

Tags: Election 08, Sarah Palin (all tags)

Comments

42 Comments

Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

Palin with decrase the enthusiasm gap and rev up the right but she will not change the outcome in Nov.  Imho the GOP is split into the southern social conservative wing and the mountain liberatarin wing.  America has offically said no to the southern social conservative but i think they are still open to libertarian convervatives. We shall see how this plays out but look out for Palin down the road.

david

by giusd 2008-09-04 08:57AM | 0 recs
My reaction

My reaction to the Palin speech was disgust, anger, and yes, fear. Disgust and anger that this woman and her warm up crew of vile Republican toads could get up there and spew lies and attacks for the better part of an hour with no substance whatsoever and be adored by the fawning masses of lobotomized Republicans. Fear, because of my deep-seated belief that the majority of Americans are stupid, and that they just might buy this load of bull McCain and the GOP is trying to sell.

When Obama gets into the White House he should stress education more than any President before him. It is only through ignorance that the Republican party exists at all.

I made myself feel just a little better by going to http://donate.barackobama.com and making yet another donation.

by Travis Stark 2008-09-04 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

One word: Ohio. Obama has to win Ohio. I am worried that Palin may make a difference there.

A win without Ohio is doable, IMO, but very, very iffy.

I'd feel better if the Ohio numbers were better.

by Coral 2008-09-04 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

In 2004, with the GOP on control of the state, with the Kerry campaign out spent, with a War time president who still relatively popular, with a Democratic candidate people weren't sure they could trust, with the GOp out organizing us- guess how much the GOP won by in Ohio? 120,000 votes. None of those structural issues are present this time or they favor us. In a tight race in Ohio- Obama is favored. Not McCain. We need to start understanding that McCain needs to perfect storm this time. Whereas in 2004, Kerry did. Who won the 2004 race in the end?

by bruh3 2008-09-04 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

An Obama win in Ohio would end the game, but so would an Obama win in Virginia or Colorado.  Barring disaster, Obama has 264 electoral votes on his side, so six more will put him over the top.

by KTinOhio 2008-09-04 09:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

Or Florida. The game is over before it has begun if Obama takes Florida.

by vcalzone 2008-09-04 09:14AM | 0 recs
Florida win

 You better check the polls in Florida. Obama has been advertising a LOT there and McCain has not. Who is is ahead??

by del 2008-09-04 09:38AM | 0 recs
According to the last Mason Dixon, Obama is

Are you implying otherwise?

by Davidsfr 2008-09-04 10:31AM | 0 recs
Or Should I Say "Obama is is"?

by Davidsfr 2008-09-04 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Or Should I Say "Obama is is"?
Mason-Dixon    08/25 - 08/26    625 LV    44    45    Obama +1
Strategic Vision (R)    08/22 - 08/24    1200 LV    49    42    McCain +7
Quinnipiac    08/17 - 08/24    1069 LV    47    43    McCain +4
Kitchens Group (D)    08/18 - 08/21    605 LV    42    39    McCain +3
Rasmussen    08/18 - 08/18    700 LV    48    46    McCain +2
InAdv/PollPosition    08/11 - 08/11    418 LV    48    44    McCain +4
by del 2008-09-04 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

Coral, actually its McCain who needs to win Ohio.

We have to put hard effort into Ohio because once it is won, the race is effectively over for McCain, mathwise.

If he somehow squeezes through an Ohio victory, we have many other paths, esp. now that are chances in Florida feel much better post-Palin.

McCain, on the other hand, has no plausable paths to 270 that don't being with a red Ohio.

by YuedoTiko 2008-09-04 09:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

Yup. Obama currently is given a 33% chance to win the election without Ohio. McCain's chances? 3%. That's not good.

by vcalzone 2008-09-04 09:21AM | 0 recs
Did anyone watch?

What were the rating?

If a tree falls in the forest .....

by RichardFlatts 2008-09-04 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Did anyone watch?

I thought the speech wasn't very good myself, but people were definitely watching.

by thezzyzx 2008-09-04 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Did anyone watch?

Seriously? With all the talk there has been since Friday about her, don't you think the ratings will be through the roof?

by del 2008-09-04 09:40AM | 0 recs
RATINGS

37,244,000

by del 2008-09-04 11:47AM | 0 recs
I am writing a diary on this, but here's the prob

How does Mccain change the fundamentals?

Here are some of those fundamentals:

http://pewresearch.org/pubs/773/fewer-vo ters-identify-as-republicans

"In 5,566 interviews with registered voters conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press during the first two months of 2008, 36% identify themselves as Democrats, and just 27% as Republicans."

"The Democratic Party has also built a substantial edge among independent voters. Of the 37% who claim no party identification, 15% lean Democratic, 10% lean Republican, and 12% have no leaning either way. "

The takeaway: their base (the people who will have liked this speech is shrinking) and  the number of independents leaning Democratic is above 50 percent.

This speech, and the blogs, are a lot of drama- but this dynamic hasn't been changed. to change it would require a complete reputation of bush/rove. That's not what happened last night, and because Mccain has gone all in with the conservative wingnuts- it won't happen tonight either.

OT: What surprises me is that Jerome regularly posts like we live in a 2004 world when clearly 2008 isn't 2004. I keep saying this is about whether one is l iving in a pre or post 2006 world. Not whether one is left or right.

by bruh3 2008-09-04 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

Apparently the speech did not result in a net gain among a focus group of undecided women in Nevada.

http://www.boomantribune.com/

by rfahey22 2008-09-04 09:04AM | 0 recs
A Michigan Focus Group Also Showed

Bad results from the speech among independents. Don't have the link, but it was on the Detroit Free Press website.

by Davidsfr 2008-09-04 10:33AM | 0 recs
Here's the Thing about Media Bias

Using media bias as a legitimate point to be outraged about implies that they are being unfairly negative. As Nate from 538 pointed out last night, it is exceedingly difficult to garner sympathy while you are relentlessly attacking your opponent.

Anybody who felt sorry for Sarah Palin was likely to have been struck by exactly how sarcastic and snide she was being. Anybody who thought well of Senator Obama telling people to back off of her was probably surprised at the lack of even one mention of gratitude.

This will not play out as well as they think it will, and they're only making it easier for Obama to play the victim of smears and lies, which is what he's been planning to do since securing the nomination. Exactly who is playing into a trap here?

by vcalzone 2008-09-04 09:07AM | 0 recs
Media Bias

If there is not a preferred candidate, why isn't NBC playing parts of the lengthy interview from Palin on the weekend before the announcement?

by del 2008-09-04 09:43AM | 0 recs
by del 2008-09-04 10:00AM | 0 recs
I live in rural Colorado.

Our town is twice the size of the Wasilla when Palin became mayor.  People here do not think our mayor is ready to be president.  It's a great selling point here...for Obama/Biden.

by GFORD 2008-09-04 09:10AM | 0 recs
deeply thoughtful analysis

Dearest proseandpromise . . .

I spent last evening and this morning in search of some thought that might best speak to the difference, or similarities that a mayor or a community organizer might experience.  Your reflective narrative resonates in a manner that no other has.  

I thank you sooooooo much for this sensitive, sincere, and truly deeply thoughtful analysis.  Hugs and kisses on your sweet spirit.

by BL Angert 2008-09-04 09:10AM | 0 recs
But, the threat is real....

Yes, they will STAGE events for her, but it will be controlled events, like Bush.

She WON'T want to take tough questions from the audience, and they are going to control her exposure.

Set up a nice pre-question vetted session with Kati Couric, you will NOT see her on meet the press or anywhere where she can get nailed with an open question.

The other thing folks have mentioned is....

She is NOT the Candidate!

John McCain is.

The base essentially is MORE excited about her, hell their dream ticket is Palin/Huckabee.

We can give up any idea that disatisfaction with McCain was going to let Obama swing some evangelical vote, that's done.

We HAVE to make sure she DOESN'T sell in Ohio, to any group other then her base.

That is the task for Obama, Biden, Axelrod, and THE REST of the democratic party.

Beat McCain, not Sarah Palin, with the indepedent vote.

by WashStateBlue 2008-09-04 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: But, the threat is real....

When has the media ever allowed a candidate to sidestep an issue once they have their teeth in it? It will be exceedingly easy to find people who are willing to testify that Palin is a damn nut, I predict. Easy to find whistleblowers for someone who has burned their bridges every time they've crossed over.

They've just started digging, they're not done yet. No amount of threatening or play-acting by the campaign can change that. If anything, playing games with these real questions will only make reporters that much more likely to get harder. Who doesn't want to be the person that changes the course of the 2008 election? Who doesn't want to be the favored reporter in an Obama White House? If McCain has already made his picks, then it means they have nothing to lose.

by vcalzone 2008-09-04 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: But, the threat is real....

McCain's lawyers are up there bribing and threatening everyone and anyone they can find... The librarian is not talking and the mother-in-law who said she'd vote for Obama has now changed her tune...   I think we've gotten everything we are going to get... fortunately, it's already a lot!

by LordMike 2008-09-04 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: But, the threat is real....

Obama's got a good legal team, don't they? Two can play that game.

by vcalzone 2008-09-04 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

You totally nailed it. This whole convention has just been about whipping up the base. I remember all the commentators saying that McCain's convention was going to be about reaching out to the middle and putting a crow-bar between himself and Bush but the exact opposite has happened. With the Palin selection he has completed his about face into Bush land, sitting squarely in the corners of both the religious right and the belligerent neo-cons. And a whipped up 35% of the population is only going to be that much more pissed when they get their asses kicked.

by wasder 2008-09-04 09:12AM | 0 recs
appeal to the middle

 I have heard the middle appeal is tonight.

by del 2008-09-04 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: appeal to the middle

Well that will be three nights too late. The whole impression of this convention so far has been nasty, angry and out of touch with the economic concerns of the middle class.

by wasder 2008-09-04 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: appeal to the middle

I keep hearing that, but it never seems to happen. Meanwhile, I'm more looking forward to Obama facing off with O'Reilly.

by vcalzone 2008-09-04 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

I'm not so sure about Ohio.  Palin is pro gun, pro hunting and her husband is a steel worker. I wonder if that will apeal to the blue collar voters there.

But as you say, Ohio may not matter.

by Cal in California 2008-09-04 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

The Republican party just unleashed an ego-manic with no class who thinks because she wears a skirt that she can say anything and lash out with no remorse (because she's a woman).  It's outrageous.

She is NOT a representation of American women and she clearly has drawn the line.....This is especially a sad display for young women to watch and hear!!!

WHY isn't the MEDIA bashing this for what it is....a disply of the dirty of game of American politics that was sad to watch.

Her pre-written Bush rhetoric and 'holier than thou' attitude was not inspiring or uplifting or interesting but insulting to all women.

WAKE-UP American women....you do not want this woman as your Role Model for she is so out of touch with how far woman have come and simply because she was put on stage by the Republicans means nothing for women's rights (because basically she doesn't believe that we have any)!!!

McCain only slapped her on the ticket to draw in all of the 'yahoos' who are middle-class, struggling Americans....WAKE-UP please.  SHE is not the real deal and you are being led like the 'blind leading the blind'....CHECK the FACTS.

The Republican party is hitting an all-time low with taking a wanna-be and attempting to spin her like she is the best thing for all of America.  NOT.

I am not sure why the Media has cheered for her because it was a theatrical display of egotism at its best.  It was so disgusting to watch.

I certainly hope the officials in Alaska begin their internal investigation and that when this race is over, she will be in the Alaskan unemployment line, asking herself why she really is a Republican afterall.

by anorth 2008-09-04 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

The Republican party just unleashed an ego-manic with no class who thinks because she wears a skirt that she can say anything and lash out with no remorse (because she's a woman).  It's outrageous.

She is NOT a representation of American women and she clearly has drawn the line.....This is especially a sad display for young women to watch and hear!!!

WHY isn't the MEDIA bashing this for what it is....Republican's dirty game of American politics.  I found it sad to watch and especially see the old lily white crowd cheer this women on like she is the Republican's Queen.
I would be so pissed if I were a Republican woman who has been serving in office, doing good things after this public display of disrespect.

Her pre-written Bush rhetoric and 'holier than thou' attitude was not inspiring or uplifting or interesting but insulting to all women.

WAKE-UP American women....you do not want this woman as your Role Model for she is so out of touch with how far woman have come and simply because she was put on stage by the Republicans means nothing for women's rights (because basically she doesn't believe that we have any)!!!

McCain only slapped her on the ticket to draw in all of the 'yahoos' who are middle-class, struggling Americans who sometimes don't think with their brains but with their head instead. WAKE-UP please.  SHE is not the real deal and you are being led like the 'blind leading the blind'....CHECK the FACTS.

The Republican party is hitting an all-time low with taking a wanna-be and attempting to spin her like she is the best thing for all of America.  NOT. No how - No way.

I am not sure why the Media has cheered for her because it was a theatrical display of egotism at its best.  It was so disgusting to watch.

I certainly hope the officials in Alaska begin their internal investigation and that when this race is over, she will be in the Alaskan unemployment line, asking herself why she really is a Republican afterall.

by anorth 2008-09-04 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

After Yesteday, all the red leaning swing states are strongly leaning REd today.  VA, CO, OH, FL. The blue leaning swing states are going to be trouble for BO. PA, MI and Yes California. By Sept 11, a new Field poll will say that CALIFORNIA iS IN PLAY.

by Avistan 2008-09-04 09:51AM | 0 recs
Wha...?

You think an ultra conservative is going to put CA in play??

by Neef 2008-09-04 09:59AM | 0 recs
Ca is a stretch BUT...

Ca is a stretch but I agree about Mi & Pa.
ADD MN TO THAT LIST
I grew up there and she will appeal to "Greater MN." Depending on the year, the Twin Cities can overpower Greater Mn. BUT, McCain has been popular out there for a while, now add her. They might really go out and vote this year.

Watch post convention polls.

On Michigan, I think the Detroit mayer resigning will affect the voters. Also the Dem gov is not popular. (I have close friends in Mi)

by del 2008-09-04 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

Your VERY FIRST post here, and you tell us CA is in play because of Sarah Palin?

Engels, is that you, cause I have never seen a troll with that kind of sense of humor before....

by WashStateBlue 2008-09-04 10:14AM | 0 recs
You have data for that?

The only info available so far has been two focus groups, one in Michigan and one in Nevada, both of which showed poor results for Palin after her speech.

Also the Gallup Daily Tracker included a few interviews among people who had the chance to see her speech, and while it is not conclusive, that poll did show a widening lead for Obama today.

by Davidsfr 2008-09-04 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough
On another diary, there waws some concern about Palin's potential as a national candidate in 2012.
May I offer a differing view, based on my understanding of hjistory.
I know you people will gang up on those who try to encourage you, but I'm starting to wonder if the conservatives are in the process of going out the way they came in.
by spirowasright 2008-09-04 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Likely Not Enough

Palin is a bully and a thug. Like all bullies and thugs all you have to do is face her down. When she was elected mayor her first act wasn't to shut down the meth labs that litter her town dn the surrounding countryside.  No,our Sarah girded her loins and marched over to the libray to have a chat about banning those dangerous books.

The librarian said no. Sarah tried to fire her. The libertarian readers of the town who actually take their First amendment rights seriously also said no. Sarah wilted like an Alaskan panhandle cabbage after the first frost.  All hysterical Democrats, get a hold of yourselves.

And let's hear it for my fellow librarians!

by NYWoman 2008-09-04 10:45AM | 0 recs

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