Discussing the rise and then sudden collapse of support for Sarah Palin is likely to be the biggest story if John McCain loses the American election in less than two weeks time. When she was unveiled as the candidate, right-wingers mostly swooned over her (incl. Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes) while the left went on the attack. I was amongst the most scathing.
Now here is the interesting thing. In America there was clear agreement in the left-wing media (the blogs, some shows on MSNBC) on how to regard her and approach her: with contempt. They highlighted every mistake and played up every bit of stupidity. Her supporters in the USA and UK responded to that by essentially saying: hah! Under-estimate her at your own peril. You’re just elitist of making fun of this family woman. This is why liberals keep losing elections.
The key difference is that even some left-wingers in the UK were making that argument, scared as they are of criticising anyone on the right in case they look a bit elitist. One of the key articles was this by Nick Cohen, which now looks rather silly doesn’t it? And there was Shuggy’s post too.
The numbers for Sarah Palin have blown up in their faces. According to the latest polls, her ratings her very negative. Furthermore, a huge number of Democrat women have been turned off by potentially voting Republican because of Palin. Except for one old lady who was wavering, every woman I spoke to otherwise said she was “scared” of a Palin vice-presidency. The polls support this. So there are three key points here.
First, give the American public a bit more credit, eventually they see through bullsh!t. Second, McCain’s naked play for annoyed Clinton supporters has definitely backfired in his face. Thirdly and most importantly – the popular perception of Palin wouldn’t have turned negative if Democrats had resisted going on the attack and highlighting her inexperience. Going negative has clear benefits and during this election cycle the Sarah Palin angle has been one of the few times the Democrats have hit the target properly.
If “left-winger” warn against being angry at made right-wing politicians because you may be out of touch, then ignore them. As I said then, Democrats should go on the attack. They did, and now they’re winning. Political strategy vindicated. And by the way, do you know how much Sarah Palin wasted on clothes?
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Filed in: Culture,Current affairs,Election News,United States