Monday, October 20, 2008


Jason Zengerle of The New Republic is puzzled:

Is Palin Posing for Posterity?

Some interesting comments from Sarah Palin on the subject of those McCain robocalls:

"If I called all the shots, and if I could wave a magic wand," Palin said, "I would be sitting at a kitchen table with more and more Americans, talking to them about our plan to get the economy back on track and winning the war, and not having to rely on the old conventional ways of campaigning that includes those robocalls...."

It's a strange sentiment coming from Palin, not only because it's off-message (McCain was defending the very same robocalls yesterday) but because she was the one who was recently urging McCain to take the gloves off. The obvious thought here is that she's saying this with an eye toward her political future--disassociating herself from what's looking like it'll be a losing campaign. But when you consider that, in the event of a McCain defeat, there's going to be a large number of conservates who'll blame that defeat on the fact that McCain wasn't negative enough against Obama, you'd think Palin would be making that CYA critique....

But it's not really mysterious. What Palin is saying is just a variation on McCain's preposterous argument that he simply had to run negative ads because Barack Obama wouldn't join him in a series of town meetings.

In each case, when the McCain-Palin campaign can't defend the indefensible, some alternate scenario is presented that is -- alas! -- impossible. Because that other scenario is impossible, it's argued that the campaign is forced to resort to methods that -- regrettably! -- are very, very ugly. Darn it, they don't want to do any of this! They just have no choice!

Also, a preference for talking to voters directly is Palin's one-size-fits-all answer whenever she's asked about freezing out "MSM" journalists, as in her CBN interview with David Brody:

Well sometimes [speaking to the media] just doesn't do any good. I mean you set yourself up just to continually be mocked, you know so sometimes that doesn't do any good, but what I have done in this campaign is in reaching out to the American voters through our rallies, through the one on ones, through the small meetings that we've had trying to get our message out, our plans for this country out there minus the filter of some of the filter of the mainstream media because, because that filter as, as we see every day when we turn on the news too often there is this, this opaqueness, there is this, this spin, this contortion of a person's words and intentions and that does more harm than good, so it's a greater challenge for me and for John McCain to try to get our message out there without that filter of I think some of the world's media.

So if Palin says she'd rather chat with Joe and Jane Sixpack than do nasty robocalls, the rabid dogs in the GOP base aren't going to think she's going soft. They're going to hear it as a repurposed variant of her answer about the evil media. That'll get their juices flowing. (By implication, robocalls are another way around that all-powerful totalitarian liberal media filter.)

Also, they're going to hear it as whining and excuse-making. They like whining and excuse-making. It makes them feel besieged and put upon, which is one of their favorite feelings in the world.

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