Tactical Analysis: Sarah Palin — Trying To Make Sense Of it All

September 14, 2008

Analysis: Sarah Palin is a force, from whichever prospective you may enter from. But the underlying question is how she has become one in the form of something completely different than what the political world has ever seen. 

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 Shortly after her “homecoming” speech in Fairbanks, Alaska, Sarah Palin opened up, making her first fresh address since her repetitive “stump” speeches after her GOP acceptance, provoking the first thought from me that explains her marvel. How has Sarah Palin accumulated this much press in such a short amount of time?

What me must first understand is the fact that this has been done before, by the person who has been hit most by Palin — Barack Obama. Long ago in political time, Hillary Clinton was once the king of the hill, and a sure-shot to at least make to the general election. And then Obama came, literately out of thin air, and getting more press and hype than Clinton has ever had — eventually overtaking her. 

And although on a bigger stage, this process has essentially repeated itself with Sarah Palin. And because of this, the Obama camp must understand how they took down Clinton could end up being the end of them — defensive rage. Clinton, down in the polls, switched from talking about her policies to using brute force, taking swipes at Obama from a defensive standpoint, something the public recognized as weak.

So what Obama must do is exploit Palin’s weaknesses without letting go of his strengths — discussing himself and what his plans are if elected. 

As I have explained in a different post, Sarah Palin has two big weaknesses — the press, and hand to hand combat. 

The first weakness is due to Palin instant celebrity status. She has fallen victim to what many politicians have feared — a press craze. One of the prices Palin has paid since entering the political stage out of nowhere is that every political or celebrity magazine must have her on the front cover. And because of this, most magazines or press outlets has attempted to discover dirt, hidden, or unexploited information about Palin so their article could be different. And this is what really brought out Palin’s family, greatly including her now infamous daughters, one with down syndrome and the other 17 and pregnant. This has exploded, and later sparking so-called attacks from the opposing party.

The first weakness is due to Palin instant celebrity status. She has fallen victim to what many politicians have feared — a press craze. One of the prices Palin has paid since entering the political stage out of nowhere is that every political or celebrity magazine must have her on the front cover. And because of this, most magazines or press outlets has attempted to discover dirt, hidden, or unexploited information about Palin so their article could be different. And this is what really brought out Palin’s family, greatly including her now infamous daughters, one with down syndrome and the other 17 and pregnant. This has exploded, and later sparking so-called attacks from the opposing party.

The second weakness of Sarah Palin, which could potentially make or break her, is hand to hand political combat. Palin has (and will have) success in what I would call mortar fire, attacking the opposition by way of press statements and campaign ads, which continue to play huge roles in the public, each one accumulating tons of traffic on the viral web and ending up as stories on news outlets such as CNN. 

But If you ask any political commentator of any party the main reason why Sarah Palin has become such a dartboard, they would say her politics. And this is mostly true — Palin is short on the offensive-defensive game of a sit down debate, and because of this, she will most likely not fare well in any sort of think-on-your-toes situation, which has resulted in this very visible tactic: stay away from any interviews or debates unless they are mandatory. 

This tactic, recognized by the McCain camp, has let Palin literately control American press in her direction without making it. More simply put, because she has already created an amazing amount of press and PR from bursting on the political scene and accepting her nomination, Palin doesn’t need to create any press in the form of an un-necessary interview or debate. And instead, she has created the occasional new story far back in her campaign headquarters with statements and ads reacting or criticizing to Obama and Biden. But this stay-back-and-shoot strategy hasn’t been publicly reported or written on, however, mostly due to the overwhelming news on her family, which has now been proved to act as a media shield.  

If Obama plans to take a vital advantage in the media, he must not only focus on his strengths, but exploit Palin’s tactical  weaknesses, which provides a gaping hole in her public image.

pacer521

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16 Responses to “Tactical Analysis: Sarah Palin — Trying To Make Sense Of it All”


  1. The longer Palin avoids questions from the press, the more hostile the press will become towards her. Right now, she is experiencing what I call her “Britney Spears” phase. The public will tire of her because she has no real substance… she is too shallow, and the public will once again focus on the issues.

  2. pacer521 Says:

    Cats,

    Hopefully that will happen. Obama’s ideal race isn’t a catfight around the opposing running mate, rather a full-on policy debate where he can slam the lies and out of context claims the Republican have been throwing around.

  3. zak Says:

    You’ve also neglected to consider that her record is going to be an anchor in the race to the finish. As an improperly vetted candidate, every day bloggers and MSM are uncovering new reports about how she conducts her business as Governor and unfavorable policies she’s tied to. . . it’s a major liability, unless the bulk of the electorate is wearing blinders.

  4. pacer521 Says:

    Zak,

    Your right, that does play a huge role. But I think before the public starts to actually look at her record she will play role #2 to a proper debate of the top of the ticket. I can essentially see your point, but it will be hard to play out.

  5. chamay0 Says:

    You are right in all respect but you left one problem Palin has yet to face. The wrath of women. Do not even believe we are all right wing and just mindlessly believe she is manna from heaven. There is a hugh growing number of us that will not let this lie stand. Since we make up the bulk of the voters, Palin has another enemy that the news is not reporting. Trust me, there is nothing like a woman’s wrath. We will not be humiliated by anyone, including the republican party.

  6. pacer521 Says:

    hahaha…

    I can see what you mean. Although I personally don’t believe all women are right wing and like Sarah Palin, I know quite a few people who do. I wonder how a extreme-right woman would answer you, though…

  7. sally Says:

    The wrath of women is definitely underrated and overlooked! There are feminists who dream of a female in the Oval Office and may think of voting for her at first. But, when they think of what Sarah Palin really is as staunchly pro-life even in circumstance of rape and incest, does not believe Global Warming is real, pro-NRA, who LACKS experience and is at the moment parroting everything the McCain camp tells her.

  8. exemployee Says:

    excellent post…and yes i do like the web layout. and as for sally’s comment above? well, dog-gonit. those are the exact reasons why i am going to vote her! i wish the women libbers would quit telling me, as a woman, how i am suppose to think.

  9. pacer521 Says:

    sally,

    its amazing how many people have pointed this out to me, from daily kos to my wordpress. I just recently read an article in the washington post about this as well…

  10. pacer521 Says:

    exemployee,

    a different perspective — always welcome. As a liberal, I disagree with Palin on a number of things — but I always try to think of her and everyone else as politicians, not women, men, or their personalities. And I suggest you put that into thinking. Thanks for the comment and the layout help.

  11. taoist Says:

    I’m not sure I agree with you about Palin’s weaknesses, primarily the second one, for two reasons. One: Palin is a noted debater. I imagine that in hand to hand combat, as you put it, she’ll be quite a good debater, regardless of her positions. Second, and more importantly, every debate that the Obama campaign would like to have Palin participate in is a debate that the Obama campaign needs to participate in, and Obama’s been running scared of debating McCain for some time.

  12. chamay0 Says:

    Excellent post. One of Palin’s winning factors and losing factors is that she is appealing to her female right wing for her neoconservative possibilities; however, she is turning off the base that McCain still needs, the female democrats. At this point in time Palin’s bubble is starting to burst, as well as her approval rating is starting to take a dive. The McCain campaign has turned the female democrat off because he continues to portray Palin as a spineless weak woman by constantly keeping her away from reporters. The fact that Palin pretty much recites the same speech over and over, inclusive of lies that have been proven as lies have started to cause her to lose even more of her star power with female democrats.

    I also feel that once again people are underestimating Obama with thoughts that he not debating McCain sooner than the schedule date. I personally feel why should Obama give McCain any prep time? Why should he allow McCain to have any insight on how to handle Obama during a debate?

  13. pacer521 Says:

    Chamay0,

    I had always thought that Palin was a short-lived shot at Clinton voters, but I have since quickly decided against that — like you said, she is still short on converting female democrats. I can also see what you mean about the lack of press. I think that talk has surfaced between the two parties about a pre-scheduled debate, but most likely the Republicans have turned it down.

    thanks for commenting and reading my posts often, Chamay0.

  14. matthewnanderson Says:

    I think that Palin will actually prove herself very competent at the “offensive-defensive game of a sit down debate.” She has a lot of interpersonal dynamics, and that will make her fast on her feet.

    Here’s what I would like to see: Biden coming forward to step aside for some reason or another. Then Hillary stepping into the Obama VP slot. And finally, a nice debate between Hillary and Palin. Believe it or not, I think Palin would come out on top. Either way, I’d love to see that debate! 🙂

    http://matthewnanderson.wordpress.com

  15. complainjane Says:

    Great post. Personally, I can’t understand why anyone would think Sarah Palin is qualified to be VP. I think she’s already proven to the voters that it’s just too much, too soon. Maybe one day she’ll be ready but she’s not now.

  16. pacer521 Says:

    Matthewnanderson,

    I disagree about Palin’s debate skills, but that’s just my opinion. I have no comment about the second paragraph — that’s just your opinion about the VP slot, and I’ll leave mine aside. I do think, however, Clinton would come out on top.

    Complainjane,

    Thanks for the compliments. I agree with you – but the truth is americans are extremely gullable.


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