Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Where Palin is Failin

Tonight she's the center of attention, and we're likely to see her whip the hard right crowd into a frenzy. But including Palin on the ticket has its costs:

1. The national security wing of the Republican party, with a VP nominee that is less qualified to be commander in chief than anyone ever within a heartbeat of that office. The "open mike" comments of a couple of longtime GOPer insiders that are making the blog rounds today is but one indication that this is being taken seriously.

2. environmentalists who thought that McCain was pretty good on the environment for a Republican. Whatever hope McCain had of picking up some college student votes is now gone.

3. Older voters who are skeptical of Obama's experience, and aren't hoodwinked by talking points saying hers is equivalent or better. They've been hearing about Obama for at least a year, and they never heard of Palin. They know all too well what that heartbeat means. They also have to wonder about McCain's judgment in doing this.

4. Women who resent the cynicism of this pick. Women who would like to have the right to choose. Women who right now are calling in to talk shows expressing their misgivings about a woman with a Downs Syndrome infant, and a teenage daughter about to give birth, who is suddenly thrown into an intense presidential campaign.

5. If today's revelation about Palin being present for an overtly anti-Jewish sermon make the rounds--and in certain parts of Florida, for instance, that's pretty much guaranteed--then Jewish voters are not going to support McCain--with Palin as the deal-breaker.

The number I'm looking for right now is the TV ratings. The preliminary indications from the rough broadcast network ratings (excluding cable, and since CNN has been beating the networks at times, that's significant) show last night's audience was smaller than for any night of the Dem convention. Everyone is expecting a big audience tonight for Palin--but how big is big? I think the ratings are going to be a more significant indicator than daily flucuations in the tracking polls.

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