Sure I would have liked to see her crash and burn last night -- the tearing of hair and rending of clothing on the right would have been glorious to see. But aside from the fact that Palin still paled next to Biden, there are some fabulous benefits to her having surpassed expectations:
- The repos are stuck with her. There will be no more cries for her to leave the ticket. And that is a good thing, because the voters that count -- the undecideds and the vast center -- just don't think she has the stuff. And there is really nothing she can do, at this point, to make a better case.
- The cries from the media for more access, in view of her having survived Gwen Ifill, will increase. And she made it clear last night that the McCain campaign has no intention of allowing her to appear 'filtered' through the media. This is going to fuel the fire, and reinforce the meme that all she can do is memorize data.
- Her flat acceptance of positions that are wildly inconsistent either with her base or with John McCain will now be front and center in the next debate between Obama and McCain: "John, your vice presidential candidate said just last week in front of the entire nation that she accepts our proposals for bankruptcy reform. But you have voted against those. Have you changed your position on this?" Or, "Your VP said last week that she agrees there ought to be full legal protection for the rights of same sex couples, as long as its not equated with marriage. Do you agree with that, and will you oppose any attempt to amend the constitution to preclude those protections?" And, don't forget her embracing (as Couric is my witness!) the right to privacy that is found in the constitution. Oh Joy.
- Her debate strategy of 'change the question' ought to become the new byword for her candidacy. Everyone picked up on this, but it needs to be developed in order for the american people to see its full ramifications. This ad, for example:
A tense cabinet room, with a gray-haired suit standing and reporting, "President Palin, the Russians have invaded Chechnya, our allies refuse to respond, and North Korea has mobilized its forces on the border with South Korea! What will we do?!!"
Palin's voice from the debate: "Can we talk about energy?"
- Our ticket can now make a very strong case for the Obama/Biden partnership. There is no question, now, that Biden presents as a strong leader in his own right. I was tremendously impressed with the new ad that Obama is airing this morning that features, as its closing shot, a picture of Obama and Biden together. No matter what the pundits say about Palin's surpassing expectations, McCain cannot win any addditional votes by pretending that he and Palin are anything like a partnership. His ads will continue to feature his image, alone. Its a graphic illustration of the weakness of the ticket. We have a partnership. What they have looks more like a dysfunctional marriage.
Thank you, Sarah!