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Sary, Sary, Quite Contrary November 8, 2008

Posted by Kate Ryan in National Politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin.
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Governor Sarah Palin

Governor Sarah Palin

Well, we are now four days post-election and everyone is wondering, “What will she do now?”  She, of course, is Sarah Palin – John McCain’s running mate and (if you believe the recent press reports) the bringer-down of the Republican ticket.   There is a mad scramble of blame-laying going on, and apparently, Governor Palin is taking a good chunk of it.  In my opinion, and to the chagrin of my most liberal associates, that is relatively unfair.
There are many reasons that John McCain and the Republicans lost.  Foremost among them was the tide of history; it was Obama’s time.  The cards were stacked against him from the beginning and if Democrats didn’t have such a talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, we would have seen it sooner.  Had Hillary Clinton won the primaries we would be celebrating our first woman President.
Second, it was a bad campaign.  Half the time it seemed as though the campaign was drifting and the other half seemed like a frenzy.  There was no unified message and when the financial meltdown began, the undisciplined McCain campaign began to unravel.   While Obama looked steady and Presidential, McCain came off like Chicken Little, running around the yard and hollering that the sky was falling.  In the weeks following, the campaign zigged and zagged from talking point to talking point and never gained traction.
And what about Sarah Palin?  I really believe that regardless of the clothing scandal, the moronic performances in interviews, and the nasty, attack-dog tactics on the trail, Sarah Palin is not the reason John McCain lost.  In a way, it is because of Sarah Palin that John McCain had something of a fighting chance in the last weeks of the campaign. 
Before John McCain named Governor Palin as his running mate, the base Conservative wing of the Republican Party was either very wary of him, or uninspired.  Either way, in an election that looked to be about turn-out, it was a necessity to fire up the base.  Cue our dear Sarah.  With a wink and a “you-betcha”, she had them eating out of her hands.  Whereas before her nomination, John McCain couldn’t pay enough people to come see him, Palin had them coming out in droves.  And the performances she gave!  The campaign explained her role and, baby, she ran with it.  Plus, she kept it up with a fair amount of grace when she was being roundly criticized and after melting down in interviews. 
For bad or for worse, you have to admit that this woman has something that people respond to.   That’s why I think it’s a big mistake to underestimate her.  Recent polling has over 60% of Republicans wanting her to play a lead role in reshaping the party.  On Real Time with Bill Maherlast night, Paul Begala said “and 100% of Democrats want it”.  Funny, yes, but too trite.  I think this woman is politically dangerous for Democrats, and we had better keep an eye on her.  My guess is that when they finally throw Ted Stevens in jail, Governor Palin will become Senator Palin.  Fun times ahead!
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Comments»

1. Melissa - November 11, 2008

Interesting thoughts, and I agree with most of them. After Hillary lost the nomination, I was disconcerted and displeased with our democractic party choosing O’Bama because of his lack of experience. I wanted the Clinton-O’Bama ticket. So, I looked at McCain because of his experience. After Palin’s series of poor interviews, I ran back to the O’Bama party with OPEN arms and hoped that they would embrace me and accept me back into the party.
NOW, I still have to continue to see her on TV. I know she is a normal gal, and I get that people are drawn to that. BUT, I don’t want a normal person and down-to-earth person in our presidential chair. I want a leader who visually fits the part. I know…this is snobbish on my part. I just can’t have her “you betcha’s” and other sayings representing us around the world. It upsets me, and I am not sure why!


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