Technology with attitude

Revisit: Sarah…Decent Speech, But A Big Strategic Mistake

8

With news of Palin’s popularity dropping like a rock, I felt it appropriate to talk about how she got here.

The day after her speech I wrote a post called “Sarah…Decent Speech, But A Big Strategic Mistake” where I laid out the reasons why her speech would ultimately fall flat. The biggest one, though, was this…

  • Why give a speech that was really designed to rally the Republican base when John McCain consistently gets more Republican support than Obama gets Democratic support?

The answer of course is that she gave that speech because that’s Sarah Palin. She is part of the base, but she missed an opportunity to really reach independents and, at the time, I thought it was a mistake.

Now, it certainly wasn’t just her speech, but her speech (and the claims within it) paved the way for the tumultuous two weeks that were to follow.

  • First, there were the multiple stories about her reformer background (Bridge to Nowhere, selling the plane on eBay, earmarks) that simply didn’t add up or were just outright falsehoods. Every day we were fed a new claim about Palin by the McCain camp that could be very easily disproven.
  • Then there was Wooten and Monegan and the audio tapes and the judge’s order and all the other stuff surrounding TrooperGate. Ultimately, her firing of Monegan might be vindicated, but that still has yet to be determined. We’ll know more when the investigation concludes in a couple few weeks.
  • Then the McCain camp hid her from the press and told them that they would tell the media what they needed to know about Palin. So instead of just sitting idly by, they started to dig through every publicly available inch of Palin’s past.
  • And then there was the Charlie Gibson interview, which now had a giant klieg light pointed at it since McCain’s people refused to simply to open her up to the press. And she made a big flub about the Bush Doctrine and unveiled a flip-flop when she claimed she had never said that global warming wasn’t man made.

And so goes the misguided rollout of the woman who could be VP. The McCain/Palin ticket may still win, but it’ll be in spite of the strategy unveiled in her convention speech, not because of it.