Palin Is Suddenly Everywhere: What Has Happened

October 4, 2008

As an American, I have recently been surrounded at all angles by the financial crisis, both presidential and vice-presidential debates, and already interestingly enough, the ongoing saga of Sarah Palin. 

So as I tuned in to CNN, passing through images of Wall Street, abandoned houses and OJ Simpson’s Trial, I knew it was only a matter of seconds before I saw Sarah Palin. And when that did in fact become reality, I was completely dumbfounded — not only did I see her, but rather I heard her. 

What do I mean? CNN’s routine coverage of a McCain campaign stop in Carson, California showed Palin addressing the public, but not like I was used to. I’ll get to the point — she wasn’t delivering a stump speech. 

Yes, a non-stump speech wouldn’t have been such a spectacle at any other campaign event in recent history, but the truth is recent history has never seen Sarah Palin. Although today I will lay off the long saga of Palin herself, I must point out something like this has not only been a rarity in the past few months, but to me shows a turning point in the McCain campaign. 

 Although I believe that Joe Biden won the Vice Presidential  debate, I also will point out that Palin didn’t lose it. She  fought, but was taken captive by Biden’s foreign policy  credentials and successful soundbite gambles. 

 But what I think Palin accomplished in the debate gave her  more long term firepower than any single thing she has  done as running mate for John McCain (and sorry for the  bluntness) — she is now no longer a joke.

 If you asked strategists from both the right an the left on  the morning of the VP debate, there would be no disputing  from them across the board that Sarah Palin has been in the public’s eye a PR ploy. Whether that is what the McCain campaign intended to accomplish is another analysis in itself, but my blunt point here is that the Vice Presidential debate simply changed the way people thought of Palin. 

She didn’t have any coupe-de-grace moments, she didn’t gaffe, and she certainly didn’t win, but Palin kept up. And in doing that she passed a certain point of public status — from more of a joke and PR stunt to a vice presidential candidate. This will admittedly not change opinions on her policies, especially mine, but as pointed out in a rather comic tone by one of my friends, “Palin achieved the expectations of stringing together multiple coherent and complete sentences.” 

Although that comment wasn’t exactly correct, it was essentially in the right direction. Palin’s expectations were in fact incredibly low, and because she exceeded them in such a national stage, my guess is that Palin became a valid political figure to many people. 

So what does that have to do with Palin not delivering a stump speech? In truth, a lot.

In more of a bold statement, because of Palin’s renewed status, she has essentially set herself into the position to carefully open herself up to the MSM and public alike. My point here is that because of her partial success in the debate, Palin was either herself motivated or given the green light by the McCain campaign to open herself up to the press.

And this of course temps the question: what would have happened if Palin had gaffed and knocked herself out of the debate?

In my opinion the McCain campaign would be very hard pressed to do virtually anything in that situation. They would face a press fire if they didn’t bring Palin to an event, but would also face a brutal media wall if they let her speak.  

So I’ll let the commentators have a say at this.

21 Responses to “Palin Is Suddenly Everywhere: What Has Happened”

  1. rhapsodyinbooks Says:

    I would agree with you (I think you agree with this) that Palin “won” by not losing. Those who trumpet her success seem to be undisturbed that she didn’t answer the questions put to her. Her coherence, winks, and sparkle were enough. My very own family believes this is enough – “she can learn on the job,” as if running the United States were merely a job like any other. I feel truly frightened by the gains they may have made by this performance.

  2. pacer521 Says:

    I can see what you mean. Although I don’t think she won in any respect, I must admit that I am a liberal and have to say that I agree with most policies that she puts forward onto the table. And in that respect I haven’t been effected by her success in the debate.

    Of course I am thirteen so my vote doesn’t count, but at the same time I think that very few people will vote for McCain because of Palin’s debate performance. The learning on the job thing is completely crazy, and thanks for commenting!

  3. The Bag of Health and Politics Says:

    You’re right about that.

    But this is no longer about winning. This is about not getting crushed in November. She’s useful to them in that capacity. It’s why we’ll see more of her. She may even do a press conference or two. It’d be a good way to get the base pissed at the “liberal” media.

  4. Response to The Bag of Health and Politics,

    A press conference?!

    Haha…you’re kidding right? You actually think she’ll do a press conference? There is NO WAY they would let her do a press conference! This is the lady that won’t even be on any shows tomorrow…if she “won” the debate according to McCain and all of the other Republicans, then won’t she do any Sunday morning news shows? If she was so great, then why don’t they trust her enough to do well in one of those interviews? It’s because they know she’s incompetent and with an interview, repeating the same bull talking points over and over won’t work!

  5. plaidlemur Says:

    If you’re thirteen, then I’m Hieronymus Bosch.
    Seriously, great analysis of the VP debate, and wonderful blog. I look forward to visiting it again!

  6. pacer521 Says:

    In response to both above comments, (medina and the bag of health and politics)

    I agree that Palin can hold a press conference. But the question is if she can pull it off. In my opinion, that would be pretty hard to do single-handedly.

  7. pacer521 Says:


    Thanks for visiting the blog and commenting! If you want to read my posts easier, you can also subscribe on the top right side.

  8. xeromachine Says:

    Let’s see her do a press conference.

  9. The Bag of Health and Politics Says:

    Palin pleases the base. The debate reminded the base of why they like her. She’s clearly not going to sway an independent women, and she’s surely not swaying Democratic women.

    The reason she was kept out of the limelight was it was clear that independent women and Democratic women didn’t like her. She hurt McCain amongst those demographics–really, key swing voters. They were still making a play and they kept her off to the side.

    Now, they’ve basically thrown-in the towel. You do not pull out of Michigan if you’re really trying to win an election. What McCain is trying to do is save face, increase his turnout in some states (the reason he is spending so much time in Iowa) and, in so doing, keep the popular vote margin down. Palin can’t swing a state like Iowa. But her appeal to the base can boost McCain’s vote totals by 1-2%. That means a 6 point loss instead of a 10 point blow-out. It’s why she’s suddenly everywhere again…

  10. pacer521 Says:

    The Bag of Health and Politics,

    thanks for commenting again. I think that Palin helps the base, but most of her “pleasing” came in a short term standpoint. She isn’t going to sway Democratic women, certainly not former hillary supporters.

    However, I don’t think that Palin being kept out of the limelight had much to do with your proposal. I think it was because McCain still wasn’t sure that Palin was reliable enough (basically that she wouldn’t gaffe).

    I also disagree that they have thrown in the towel. Pulling out of Michigan does admittedly show they are losing, but that they are simply giving up on Michigan. It hasn’t been won in over 20 years. I don’t like it, but we are going to have a close race.

  11. goodtimepolitics Says:

    I see that Joe Biden got many things wrong in the debate and Sarah Palin didn’t! Joe Biden should have known every answer without even thinking after being in congress for 30 years! How can Obama be for change when he picked Joe Biden for his running mate and guess what Joe said during the debate “I will not change”? Sarah won the debate fair and square! What the polls in the next 48 hours!

  12. chamay0 Says:

    Hi Pacer, yes Barbie managed to string along sentences and gave the appearance she was not lost. But she also left the perception with independents and democrats that she was repeating a script like a parrot.

    But I think most people did not understand what Barbie’s real mission was. Barbie needed to re-energized the base and restore their faith in her as VP pick. Getting independent or democrats was and is not Barbie’s job. That battle belongs to McCain alone.

    Her disastrous previous interviews were laughable for most of us but had the conservatives on the war path against her and McCain. I think she did the job she was aiming to do, restore confidence from the base. That being said there is no need to wonder why her dance card for the foreseeable future is absence of any further — short of the last one with Fox news, that proved once again that she can still babble — interviews.

  13. The thing is can she get the people that supported Bush to come out and vote for McCain?

    In all the toss up seats where Obama narrowly leads by 3% or less, they voted for Bush in 2004 and 2000. If she can appeal to the Republican base, and McCain to independent voters then the race could be tighter then opinion polls would have us believe.

  14. pacer521 Says:


    You obviously don’t support Joe Biden, and that’s fine. You can also have the opinion that Biden was a bad pick, and that’s fine. But I am a bit afraid that the news program you watched (Fox) to get those points has the same slants as you. In fact, the main commentators after that debate on Fox were Karl Rove and Rudy Giuliani, if I am not mistaken.

    I suggest getting a neutral source for points.

  15. pacer521 Says:


    Although I don’t think I’ll call Palin barbie (my daily kos account’s comments seem to go by the Paris Hilton trend) for the sake of my blog, your parrot comment was a bit ironic.

    I was reading the guardian this morning (bought it in a coffee shop), and found a comic of Sarah Palin’s head on a parrot with bubbles coming out reading: “It’s all about job creation” and “I am going to talk straight to the people!” A funny comic indeed, but you must give Palin a little credit for memorizing those lines in the first place.

    I think McCain’s base is going to stay McCain, and the real thing is that McCain strategically go for the undecideds.

    But the truth is, Chamay0, the next debate could hold anything, and anything could happen.

  16. pacer521 Says:


    I agree. Great point you have there. The facts are that bush’s approvals are now below freezing and the few people that still like him probably do not like Obama. But it does get a little more complicated with Palin, and I think you covered that. But in the end, I also agree — I think that the race will be tighter than the opinion polls tell us.

    thanks for coming over and commenting.

  17. I feel that she is still grossly unqualified to be in the PTA let alone Vice-President of The United States. Honestly, I feel as though the “debate” was a series of mini-stump speeches and attacks. At the risk of an incredibly inappropriate innuendo, I just cannot get behind this woman.

    Frankly, I am frightened that so many Americans would prefer another “Joe 6-Pack”, remember what happened last time? Can you imagine the utter disgrace of her sitting down with world leaders giving “Shout-outs”, “Didn’cha’s” and “You betcha’s”?

    I’m just concerned for the future of this country.

    Great post!

  18. pacer521 Says:

    David Wornica,

    Thanks. I personally believe that she is unqualified, and frankly I can’t get beyond her either.

    I think that there is a vast, red land between California and New York that has a lot of people that we are forgetting about, and they are all voters.

    thanks for the comment!

  19. blackpunkin Says:

    “Palin achieved the expectations of stringing together multiple coherent and complete sentences.” Too bad they weren’t about anything substantial.

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