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Thread: Good analysis of Palin's speech

  1. #1

    Good analysis of Palin's speech

    My take:

    Palin gave a good speech last night, as I predicted she would yesterday. She had been under siege, so to come out swinging at the media and the Democrats was the obvious thing to do and she did it well.

    I think this is a speech that will obviously excite the Republican base, but it is also one that I do not think will appeal to anybody outside that base. It was written by a Bush/Rove speechwriter and it is definitely of the "Wedge politics, win 50+1" style that defined their campaigns. It's not a speech that, I think, is going to win over those disaffected Hillary voters.

    Here's a pretty good breakdown of it from James Fallows, a seasoned and shrewd observer of these things:

    [url]http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/09/sarah_palin.php[/url]

    [QUOTE]Twice in modern history very strong convention speeches have elevated politicians to an entirely different level of future potential and prominence. One, of course, was Barack Obama's keynote at the convention in Boston four years ago. The other, which I remember watching as a schoolboy Goldwaterite, was Ronald Reagan's speech supporting Goldwater at the San Francisco convention in 1964.

    I don't think Sarah Palin's speech will be in that category.

    She passed the "expectations" test -- despite coming after the very effective Rudy Giuliani --and brought the house down with cheers. She had a number of strong, biting lines -- including the one about John McCain being the only person on the ticket who had literally fought for the country, Here are the potential longer-term problems:

    - No more Mr. Nice Guy. The speech was surprisingly negative and mocking. You can see why Rush Limbaugh has been such a fan of hers: if these words were delivered by someone older, less attractive, and male, they could have come straight from a Limbaugh radio monologue. The upside here is making "the base" much more enthusiastic than it was before. Potential drawback: having taken this tone, she's exposed herself to more direct, aggressive attack by the Dems than she has received so far. (So far, the Dems have been able to stand back and let the press do the anti-Palin work.) No more Mr. Nice Guy from Joe Biden or anyone else.

    - The Hillary factor. The day-one theorizing about her selection was that she might draw some disaffected female Hillary supporters. I can see how the speech would motivate some previously-tepid conservatives. It is hard for me to imagine a lot of HRC Democrats -- either long-time feminists or people mainly worried about economic trends -- being attracted by the content or the tone of the speech.

    - Fact checking. The speech took the "press is the enemy" theme to an extreme in dropping in a bunch of claims and factlets that the McCain team knows will be immediately picked apart by the press. For instance, her claimed opposition to earmarks and "bridge to nowhere." I guess they figure, they'll stick with their side of the story and say "there you go again!" when the press points out errors and holes.

    - Abqaiq. The foreign policy grace notes in the speech, including pronouncing the phrase "Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia," struck me like George W. Bush's dropping in the names of foreign leaders during his 2000 campaign -- as a way of showing that he knew them. This doesn't remove the peril of what the first actual press conference on international issues, or the first debate with Joe Biden, might hold.

    - Nothing off limits. Barack Obama has used his family as a prop from time to time -- most recently, bringing the charming girls onto the stage at the end of his convention speech. That's life in politics; everybody does it to some degree.Very few politicians do it as all-out as Sarah Palin just did, from citing the disabilities of her youngest child as part of her resume to including the shotgun groom of her elder daughter. I can't recall any spectacle comparable to Baby Trig being passed from Cindy McCain, to Trig's 7-year-old sister, to Palin herself when she ended the speech. Her husband looks charming, I have to say. From this point on it will be hard for her to declare anything about her personal or family life out-of-bounds.

    - Throw the bums out. The policy/content heart of the speech was the idea that the old ways and old gang in DC need to be shaken up. This is another doubling-down bet on the base rather than an appeal to independents, because it depends on people not stopping to say: Wait a minute, what party has been in charge in DC for most of the last eight years? Where exactly are McCain's policies really different from Bush's?

    To return to the main theme: both Reagan in 1964 and Obama in 2004 were effective because, apart from their personal skills, they added something to their party's constituency that had not been there before. Reagan began recruiting the "Reagan Democrats," starting with white Southerners. Obama tried to recruit people tired of divisive partisanship.

    Sarah Palin, at least tonight, did not seem interested in bringing anyone new into the fold. A speech that was great in the convention hall. We'll see how it affects the electoral lineup.[/QUOTE]

  2. #2
    I'm wondering if Palin was brought on board simply to be the attack dog, and then anyone who attacks her looks like a bully or an elitest. That's a good strategy. But if she continues the mocking tone she will become open game.

    Dems really just need to ignore her.

    But as other folks have said, post-convention, all this means VERY little.

  3. #3
    [QUOTE=FF2;2726641]I'm wondering if Palin was brought on board simply to be the attack dog, and then anyone who attacks her looks like a bully or an elitest. That's a good strategy. But if she continues the mocking tone she will become open game.

    Dems really just need to ignore her.

    But as other folks have said, post-convention, all this means VERY little.[/QUOTE]

    Her tone was a little odd. I understand why she felt the need to come out swinging given all the news coming out about her and the appearance that she is somewhat under siege. (This, by the way, is an entirely fair and inevitable process that is going to unfold anytime the veep pick is a national unknown.) She gave a very strong, combative speech and it clearly played well with the GOP base.

    But the speech was also her national introduction, her roll out. And I'm not sure how effective it is to introduce yourself to voters as a caustic, sarcastic pit bull "with lipstick" or whatever.

    Fallows contrast with the tone of the speeches that launched Obama and Reagan to prominence is valid, I think.

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2726622]My take:
    [B]- Nothing off limits. Barack Obama has used his family as a prop from time to time -- most recently, bringing the charming girls onto the stage at the end of his convention speech. That's life in politics; everybody does it to some degree.Very few politicians do it as all-out as Sarah Palin just did, from citing the disabilities of her youngest child as part of her resume to including the shotgun groom of her elder daughter. I can't recall any spectacle comparable to Baby Trig being passed from Cindy McCain, to Trig's 7-year-old sister, to Palin herself when she ended the speech. Her husband looks charming, I have to say. From this point on it will be hard for her to declare anything about her personal or family life out-of-bounds.
    [url]http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/09[/B]/sarah_palin.php[/url][/QUOTE]

    As I have been pointing out in all of the "BE NICE TO PALIN" threads, this is right on. You can't have it both ways, and Palin has done nothing but use her family from day 1. That's all well and good, but expect them to come under scrutiny. Its happened to Obama by the very same people no crying foul...

  5. #5
    [QUOTE=SDJETS;2726692]As I have been pointing out in all of the "BE NICE TO PALIN" threads, this is right on. You can't have it both ways, and Palin has done nothing but use her family from day 1. That's all well and good, but expect them to come under scrutiny. Its happened to Obama by the very same people no crying foul...[/QUOTE]

    I still don't think Obama should go there.

    But, yes, Palin is walking a very thin line. She invokes her family --the son shipping off to Iraq, the down-syndrome baby-- at every possible opportunity, yet the unwed-and-pregnant daughter is declared off limits.

    In my opinion, people have a right to know about her family and can judge her accordingly. I really don't think the Obama campaign would be wise to make an issue of it, and they have not thus far.

    They should be focusing on her policy positions --once she forms them, that is-- not her family.

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2726716]I still don't think Obama should go there.

    But, yes, Palin is walking a very thin line. She invokes her family --the son shipping off to Iraq, the down-syndrome baby-- at every possible opportunity, yet the unwed-and-pregnant daughter is declared off limits.

    In my opinion, people have a right to know about her family and can judge her accordingly. I really don't think the Obama campaign would be wise to make an issue of it, and they have not thus far.

    They should be focusing on her policy positions --once she forms them, that is-- not her family.[/QUOTE]

    I don't think we will ever see Obama, or even Biden, commenting on her family. There are plenty of people to do that for them. Obama and Biden can destroy her in other ways. But she'll be a non-issue in two weeks and it will be about Obama and McCain again.

    If the best things Republicans have to hold on to in this election is their VP, then they are in serious trouble...

  7. #7
    "- The Hillary factor. The day-one theorizing about her selection was that she might draw some disaffected female Hillary supporters. I can see how the speech would motivate some previously-tepid conservatives. It is hard for me to imagine a lot of HRC Democrats -- either long-time feminists or people mainly worried about economic trends -- being attracted by the content or the tone of the speech."

    Nailed it.

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=SDJETS;2726810]I don't think we will ever see Obama, or even Biden, commenting on her family. There are plenty of people to do that for them. Obama and Biden can destroy her in other ways. But she'll be a non-issue in two weeks and it will be about Obama and McCain again.

    If the best things Republicans have to hold on to in this election is their VP, then they are in serious trouble...[/QUOTE]

    I don't even think the surrogates should go there either. (Theblogs will regardless, but there's no controling them.) I think they should just ignore her, basically. Treat her as irrelevent and attack McCain.

    They should only focus on her if/when she makes a "not ready" sort of gaffe. Short of a "potatoe" moment, they ought to be making their case on the issues (And against McCain's stances on them).

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2726854]

    They should only focus on her if/when she makes a "not ready" sort of gaffe. Short of a "potatoe" moment, they ought to be making their case on the issues (And against McCain's stances on them).[/QUOTE]

    Like not knowing how many states there are or saying a kid with Asthma should get a Breathalyzer?? Not to mention seeing dead Vets in the audience on Memorial day..:eek:

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    [QUOTE=Savage69;2726880]Like not knowing how many states there are or saying a kid with Asthma should get a Breathalyzer?? Not to mention seeing dead Vets in the audience on Memorial day..:eek:[/QUOTE]

    Don't confuse him...

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=Savage69;2726880]Like not knowing how many states there are or saying a kid with Asthma should get a Breathalyzer?? Not to mention seeing dead Vets in the audience on Memorial day..:eek:[/QUOTE]

    Or, you know, confusing sunnis and shias and needing to be corrected mid-speech after you fabricate a story about how Al Qaeda is training in Iran.

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2726945]Or, you know, confusing sunnis and shias and needing to be corrected mid-speech after you fabricate a story about how Al Qaeda is training in Iran.[/QUOTE]

    Or this one from Hussein:

    [b]"Arabic translators deployed in Iraq are needed in Afghanistan"[/b]

    That was a good one!

  13. #13
    flushingjet
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    [quote=SDJETS;2726692]As I have been pointing out in all of the "BE NICE TO PALIN" threads, this is right on. You can't have it both ways, and Palin has done nothing but use her family from day 1. That's all well and good, but expect them to come under scrutiny. Its happened to Obama by the very same people no crying foul...[/quote]

    Your avatar reminds me of that episode of South Park where the people all defecate out their mouths. Only here you do it via posting.

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2726622]My take:

    Palin gave a good speech last night, as I predicted she would yesterday. She had been under siege, so to come out swinging at the media and the Democrats was the obvious thing to do and she did it well.

    I think this is a speech that will obviously excite the Republican base, but it is also one that I do not think will appeal to anybody outside that base. It was written by a Bush/Rove speechwriter and it is definitely of the "Wedge politics, win 50+1" style that defined their campaigns. It's not a speech that, I think, is going to win over those disaffected Hillary voters.

    Here's a pretty good breakdown of it from James Fallows, a seasoned and shrewd observer of these things:

    [url]http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/09/sarah_palin.php[/url][/QUOTE]


    Good analysis? Why, because you agree with the writer...LOL. Face it, dems are running scared because Sarah will definitely bring in votes [B]outisde
    [/B] the base. Some of you guys really need to read some of the pro Republican stuff and not just negative jounalism that fits your agenda.

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=NIGHT STALKER;2727028]Good analysis? Why, because you agree with the writer...LOL. Face it, dems are running scared because Sarah will definitely bring in votes [B]outisde
    [/B] the base. Some of you guys really need to read some of the pro Republican stuff and not just negative jounalism that fits your agenda.[/QUOTE]

    James Fallows was editor of U.S. News. He'd not exactly Daily Kos.

    And, by the way, Palin has been on the ticket for a week: All of the polling suggests her appeal is to the GOP base and nobody else thus far. She is a doctrinaire, right-wing republican. That's who she appeals to.

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