Sunday, September 07, 2008

McCain and Palin: "being there" and under any circumstances, do not meet the press... by gimleteye

When the McCain campaign chose a small town politician to be his running mate, it knew perfectly well what kind of media storm it was unleashing; digging at the scab of conservative grievances and especially those who elected George W. Bush because he was a plain speaking guy who loved guns, hated abortion, and rarely cracked a book.

John McCain, who calls himself a "maverick" and a politician who "marches to the beat of his own drum", has embraced the most singular drumbeat of the Bush White House: blame the media and repeat the message until it is adopted by enough Americans to be called a "mandate" from voters.

In an astonishing break with most of his political career: McCain's "The Straight Talk Express" is no longer even close. Having selected a running mate no one knows (apparently, waitresses in Juneau who served her and overheard her bile dare not speak for attribution), McCain has gone into lock-down mode on Palin.

But for her symbolic value to the conservative base, Palin is so clearly unprepared for national office that her every single word must be carefully scripted by speechwriters. No politician ever had to become more friendly with a teleprompter faster than Sarah Palin.

In her first speech to the nation, Palin's speech was tailored to reflect what is most natural. The words were scripted to the melody she could already sing: smug and sarcastic. Those are familiar notes for a political pit bull; every town has a few.

But they are also qualities, absent in-depth investigation and analysis by the mainstream media that should disqualify her with voters from national political office.

Politico notes, "When political junkies flip through television stations on Sunday morning, they'll find policy-driven interviews with three of the four candidates on the presidential tickets — John McCain, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. They won’t, though, see Sarah Palin. Less than two months before voters hit the polls, Palin has yet to sit down for or even schedule an issues-oriented interview with any newspaper, magazine or television network. Meanwhile, the McCain campaign has significantly scaled back the access of the national press he used to jokingly refer to as his “base.”

After eight years of a Republican White House, McCain has no defense against the biggest issue in the campaign-- the economy-- and his only chance to keep the White House is to manufacture reality-- another drumbeat that defines the Bush years.

To the conservative base, Sarah Palin is the energizer drummer of right wing causes.

But the best way to understand Palin is her resemblance to the fictional character of the 1971 novel, "Being There". The book by Jerzy Kosinski was made into a comedy eight years later starring Peter Sellers as a pure innocent (sort of like a 60 year old virgin); a gardner who, by virtue of simple sayings shaped to what listeners imagine to be wisdom, is miraculously catapulted from obscurity to wealth and status.

That's not the book that Kozinski wrote. "Being There" explored the darkness and menace in the capacity of American elites to assign to any totem bearer the message they want to hear, protecting themselves behind high garden walls of privilege, wealth and power. Sarah Palin is Chauncey Gardiner in lipstick and a dress.

Don't be surprised if in the next 60 days nothing unscripted is heard from Sarah Palin, other than grievances at the press. Let's hope that some of those Alaskans to afraid to speak to the press on the record because of the endemic, mean politics of a state with only 600,000 people decide that this election is too important to remain silent.

Otherwise, Sarah Palin is destined to be another one of Karl Rove's markers-- the kind used by golfers to mark a ball on the putting green, to be picked up, pocketed and forgotten as the players move on.

Type the rest of the post here


Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin has a 93.8 percent approval rating -- on eBay with buyers

here is the listing of the jet Alaska Governor Sarah Palin told the Republican National Convention she "put on eBay." We've since learned she indeed did — three times — but never sold the aircraft using the site and eventually had to go through a traditional aircraft broker. Does the listing offer any insight into the Republican candiate for vice president? Just this: Palin can augment her 80 percent approval rating in Alaska with a claim she's 93.8 percent approved by the buyers on eBay. In fact, the state of Alaska's only negative eBay review — "Didn't say anything about dry rot" — came back on December 15, 2006, months before Palin took office.

Anonymous said...

Man, you guys sound scared. I think the "stupid redneck" theory needs to be mothballed. It will prove unsuccessful, as it has for the past several elections. Why not try challenging Republicans on the issues? Should taxes be higher or lower? Progressive or targeted at consumption? Should healthcare be nationalized or not? What about managing drug costs differently? And energy policy? Does the "all the above" strategy sound reasonable given the uncertainty on renewables, or will exploring for oil divert limited capital? Obama and his ilk will lose if he fights this election on culture wars, he will win if can articulate a fundamentally different policy. It is quite clear that the issues the U.S. faces are not a result of insufficient tax revenue or a minor redistribution expenditures. Hey, you can continue your diatribe against Palin and call her stupid, ignorant and/or whatever, but I suspect there is no person on earth he could have picked that you wouldn't have attacked. All the best.

Geniusofdespair said...

Have you even read any of Gimleteye's posts on the issues...go back and read the issues discussed and policies challenged -- don't judge when you haven't really read more than one or two posts. Read. Gimleteye is a brilliant writer. Don't skim.

Anonymous said...

I am a political moderate. I claim neither side. I was on the the fence who to vote for until this past week. At this point, I can not fathom voting for McClain/Palin.

I find that watching her is irritating and listening to her chirppy voice is annoying. I get the impression that she would be nasty and down right mean behind closed doors.

Plus, I am sure she will dance with the one who brought her to the party. And I bet she will dance to the tune played by Bush/Cheney.

While some folks freaked out at Obama's church relationships, I think hers are equally frightening. We don't need radicals from either side thinking for us. Speaking of radicals, where is Jesse Jackson, et. al. these days?