Skip to main content

The selection of Alaska Governor Palin was at first (and still) seen by many  commentators as foremost, an effort to win over women disappointed over Hillary Clinton's defeat for the Democratic nomination, and her rejection by Obama as his VP choice, and secondly as a tactical way to quickly divert media attention (and news cycles) away from what they realized even before Obama's Thursday night speech would be an extremely successful Democratic convention.   True, the McCain camp did pick Palin as bait to go fishing for female voters, and to see how many might bite, and even somewhat to reinforce his alleged "maverick" image with voters.

Nevertheless, it's a mistake to view these goals as the primary reason for the Palin pick (which makes the choice look like a huge gamble), rather than potential windfall bonuses, the success of which aren't essential for the pick to yield it's main payoff: the engagement and energization of the GOP base, especially the evangelical right.  Their turnout was the crucial difference in Bush winning Ohio in 2004.

THE GOP IS GOING TO TRY TO TRANSFORM THIS INTO ANOTHER BASE ELECTION, LIKE 2004.  A corollary part of this strategy is to turn this into a contest mainly between core bases, and try to turn off independents who are not at least strongly susceptible leaners their way.  IT'LL GET MUCH UGLIER.

Here's a link to a PBS Frontline article about that strategy:
PBS Frontline

What was firmly driven home to McCain during his VP selection process was that much of the hard-core right wing might give insufficiently enthusiastic support to Romney or Pawlenty, and would outright rebel and stay home in droves if he picked Lieberman or Ridge.  They wanted someone clearly one of their own, and with Palin, they got it.  McCain has now secured his base, but at the cost of stirring some skeptical headwinds among independent (and only loosely aligned democratic or republican voters) by the Palin pick.

So: a core McCain strategy will be to attempt to turn off enough independents and newly registered voters who were initially attracted to Obama, with a viciously negative campaign, far more so than it's been so far.  It will quickly become apparent that McCain is only hoping to win a modest portion of the independent vote; he's hoping to discourage most of the rest from turning out.  It's going to get much, much, ugler yet - the GOP will float dozens of trial balloons until they fins something that sticks enough to distract the MSM for two-three days, then something else, then something else.

We've been there, done that - 2008 may bear a painful resemblance to 2004 before it's all over.  UNLESS WE WORK VERY HARD TO KEEP THAT FROM HAPPENING.

Originally posted to cmoreNC on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 09:11 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site