I, for one, hate talking politics, particularly when the political race becomes infused with charges of racism. Discussing politics this election season has become akin to discussing hip-hop music, a genre I’m getting too wise to enjoy in public let alone discuss in the company of people I don’t know intimately. And arguing for one candidate over another is like arguing for the primacy of one religion over another. In the end, you win few converts unless your tactics are baseless or are based on unverifiable but logically sound claims of the superiority of your religion.
So for the moment, let’s set aside the guilt by association tactics of late. Let us briefly table the heartbeat away from the presidency allusions and talk a little bit about something I think no one seems to be discussing; how did Gov. Sarah Palin manage to suck the momentum out of the McCain ticket?
Gov. Palin seemed, to me, to be one an intelligent vice presidential selection for Sen. McCain. She was fresh and this new appeal managed to galvanize the Republican base in a way that ensured this would be a strongly contested race. All she had to do was appear in control and embrace her “I’m a Washington outsider” appeal.
Imagine, if you can, a Charles Gibson and Katie Couric interview that wasn’t disastrous. Those interviews were so devastating for the McCain campaign that right leaning political pundits were scrambling to conceive of a favorable context to put it in. It was a field day (or week) for left leaning pundits, some of whom took the interviews as comedic and others who were furious with it’s implications. Among the latter was CNN’s Jack Cafferty who called Gov. Palin's performance “pathetic.”
The Vice Presidential debate could have provided the Democratic ticket the opportunity to put the nail in the coffin, but a different Sarah Palin showed up; the Sarah Palin who we saw was, for better or worse, the Governor we should have been introduced to from the very beginning.
I’m of the opinion that the economic crisis added fuel to the Palin-sparked campaign fire that Sen. McCain was desperately trying to put out. Had it not been for the Himalayan blunder of Gov. Palin’s interviews, Sen. McCain might have had a good foot to stand on when the economy took a turn for the worse.
It will certainly be interesting to see if his campaign can manage an October rally before it's too late.