Independents Flee From Palin

Independents Flee From Palin


As I suspected immediately after her convention speech, she only appeals to the base…

The 60 percent who now see Palin as insufficiently experienced to step into the presidency is steeply higher than in a Post-ABC poll after her nomination early last month. Democrats and Republicans alike are now more apt to doubt her qualifications, but the biggest shift has come among independents.

In early September, independents offered a divided verdict on Palin’s experience; now they take the negative view by about 2 to 1. Nearly two-thirds of both independent men and women in the new poll said Palin has insufficient experience to run the White House.

What’s more, I think the damage is done. She can’t recover with only 4 weeks left in this election cycle.

And contrary to the common wisdom that she’ll win the debate is she simply holds her own with Biden, I think she needs to clearly demonstrate that those interviews were complete and utter flukes in order to “win” anything.

Romney or Pawlenty would have been much better picks…especially Romney. I mean, can you imagine how Mitt would handle the economic crisis right now? He would have already had five press conferences and been on every single news show that would let him on. And that would have been a serious problem for Obama. Hindsight, hindsight…

And on a side note, I think the GOP ticket in 2012 will be Romney/Pawlenty. Romney will brand himself as the new conservative standard bearer in the mold of Reagan and he’ll use the “Sam’s Club Conservative” line that Pawlenty pioneered to win the nomination. Also, he’ll try to frame Obama as an out-of-touch Jimmy Carter liberal who doesn’t understand the needs of the common folk.

You heard it here first.

  • gerryf

    And contrary to the common wisdom that she’ll win the debate is she simply holds her own with Biden, I think she needs to clearly demonstrate that those interviews were complete and utter flukes in order to “win” anything.

    Well, while I agree that there were certain parts of her earlier interviews that were disasterous, probably 70 percent of the interviews were not–they weren’t compelling by any stretch, but the worst that could be said was she was too broad and not very inspiring. Basically the kind of performance one expects from a 1/2 term governor.

    But here’s the thing–if Obama “won” the last debate because he simply held his own on foreign policy, then why can’t Palin?

    Demeanor aside, I gave a slight edge to McCain in the first debate because I threw out expectations, but the vast majority of watchers gave Obama added points for not seeming like an idiot on foreign policy.

    Given Palin’s low expectations–some fair, some not–not seeming like an idiot will be a gigantic improvement.

    In a world where we feel sorry if Biden beats Palin up, where Palin not drooling will be seen as a key debate strength, and where people evaluate form over substance, the final winner is anybody’s guess.

    p.s.-I’m already looking for the web ads “Palin won debate!”

  • kranky kritter

    I agree with Gerry that holding her own will go a very long way. So far, I’ve seen a much higher volume of 2nd and 3rd hand reports contending that Palin was embarassingly inadequate than I have seen volume of stuff that was actually troubling. In other words, the noise to signal ratio is very high.

    Has she seemed lightweight and fumblingly unversed on some issues? Yup.

    But how far does this extend? I can’t tell from the coverage I’ve gotten. Frankly, the volume and vitriol that Palin encountered immediately from the left has made me extremely untrustworthy of this hypothesis that Palin is an out-of-her league lightweight, even though at least one prominent conservative has said so. The immediate message from the left came out hard and loud and in lockstep well before they could have possibly had a chance to take a fair measure of Palin. There was, IMO, a rush to a negative judgement.

    Tonight’s debate is going to be my primary measure of Palin, not the questionable credence of Obama supporters. I expect to get a sense of what Palin stands for, and take my measure of her poise and breadth of understanding.

    Is she an out-of-her league lightweight, or is she no more vapid than Joe Biden? That’s my question. But then I find Biden to be part cartoon character, occasionally evoking a caricature of a late 70s-early 80’s malaise-era machine democrat. Not that there’s a ton that’s deeply wrong with that per se, it’s more of a visceral impression than anything else. He feels like the past, that’s all.

  • stuperb

    It’s been funny to watch the mischief-making Dems attempt to raise the expectations for Palin in the last few days. Is anybody really fooled by this type of stuff?

    One thing I’m glad for is that, after watching her ramble on tonight (I expect) no one will be able to claim it was just clips edited to cast her in a bad light. She’ll be on her own up there tonight, and I expect Biden has been told to let her talk as long as she wants to.

    But in terms of what the purpose of the Palin choice was: McCain HAD to shore up the base, and after horrifying the religious righties he picked her (I heard several religious/political leaders crowing about this and taking credit for the choice). It’s only too bad for him that he picked someone who could *only* excite the base while causing anyone else to run screaming (or laughing. or both.)

  • Alan Stewart Carl

    Kranky, I don’t think the left’s response to Palin was lockstep at all. Unles you just mean lockstep negative. The attacks came from every direction and no one seemed to know which pea-shooter to load next. They got completely knocked off their game. Since that initial spew of unfocused vitriol from the left, I think the rest of us have gotten a chance to form our own opinions of Palin. While I’m hesitant to believe she’s AS clueless as she’s seemed in interviews, I’m fairly certain she is out of her league. I don’t think that’s me falling for liberal spin.

    That said, as long as she seems to be in command of the facts tonight, she’ll “win” the debate. If I were the Democrats, I’d be most concerned with Biden being over-confident and spending too much time attacking Palin. She might be a deer in headlights, but no one likes to see Bambi bashed.

  • Brad R

    Agreed on all points related to Romney. He would have been a MUCH better pick and would have appealed to so many more groups than Palin. A Romney/Pawlenty ticket for 2012 may just be one of the most dynamite tickets I’ve seen in my lifetime. (Although I’m not sure how having two white males on a ticket looks nowadays.)

  • ExiledIndependent

    Justin is spot on. McCain is Bush III, and Obama is Carter II. After 4 years of Obama America will see a rabidly-energized conservative (not necessarily Republican) movement.

  • Gaucho Politico

    Have people actually researched her past debate performances? She is actually credited with being a good debater. Mostly because the format of the interaction prevents meaningful follow ups which is where she gets into trouble. She is going to throw out the folksy anecdotes and give some broad answers that might bear some tangential relation to the topic. Debating is one of her strengths as she participated in 20+ during her gubernatorial campaign. I fully expect people will come away from this thinking she is not as bad as the interviews make her out to be.

  • Michael

    I am sick of people implying that Obama’s and Palin’s experience are somehow comparable. She had to go to 5 or 6 second string colleges to manage to get a journalism degree, which apparently did not stick since she is not interested enough to read any Newspapers or magazines. Obama graduates from Harvard Law (and edits the law review) and then goes on to become a constitutional law scholar. How is there any equivalence there? Seriously!
    Who do you want picking our next Supreme court justices, a Constitutional law scholar or someone who thinks the founding fathers wrote the pledge of allegiance? If you were going to choose someone to head our foreign policy and mend our overseas image, would it be someone who can draw a crowd of tens of thousands in Berlin or someone who thinks that Russia is contemplating invading Alaska and that she could stop them?
    Call me crazy, but when it comes to making the big decisions for hundreds of millions of people, I am looking for the smartest guy in the room, not for snowmachine and moose hunting skills.

  • Melinda

    If we’re doing the late 70’s-early 80’s over again, does that mean there will be new New Wave music?