Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Get Ready for Several Weeks of Palin Revisionism

This is almost painful to read:
Said one pollster: "The McCain campaign took this person and completely botched her assets." What's more, the pollster said that in Palin, the McCain campaign had an expert on one of the key issues that was on the minds of Americans: energy prices. "They should have used her knowledge and focus on her expertise." And the pollster said on background that the campaign should have played up her reputation as a political maverick.

Instead, the campaign "took her and turned her into an attack dog and she wasn't good at it." And it hurt her national image, with one internal GOP poll putting her positive to negative image at 48 percent to 48 percent.

Is there any reason why Palin could not have been both?

Why of course there is!

The reason why Palin wasn't used in a Energy Policy Expert capacity is because she is not an energy expert.

If Palin would have come out of the gate and wowed the public with her command of the issues, the lack of experience issue would not have weighed so heavily against her. But she didn't. In fact, she didn't really come off as much of an expert on anything, so trotting her around the country to give a bunch of policy speeches was out of the question because she just didn't have the credibility (that's also partly a function of being such an unknown).

Palin wasn't chosen for the ticket because she was an expert on anything. She was picked to appeal to the base. She was picked to be an attack dog and far from being bad at it she was actually quite good. That's why she's viewed as such a polarizing figure in the wake of the election and that's why she has little appeal beyond the most conservative wing of the GOP which tends to value ideological purity over policy expertise and/or experience.

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