Overview: Was Sarah Palin Worth It?

October 17, 2008

There is no disputing that the decision to nominate Sarah Palin as the Republican’s vice presidential pick was certainly a surprise, causing the press to have one of the biggest political field days in history. But in the end was she strategically a gain or loss for the McCain campaign? 

I think that this essentially is the problem: what is a gain, what is a loss, and what was Palin meant to do — things certainly debatable but not entirely clear. 

But nevertheless, the centrist point here is that John McCain is (in his own words) “Running to win, and winning to govern.” What this is perceived to mean is that McCain is essentially running for the oval office and frankly doesn’t mind whoever contributes in getting him there. 

So with this mindset the question can be more or less tackled, starting with the concept that Palin’s effect on the press was positive or negative. 

I think the answer to this is yes and no. As explained a countless amount of times, Palin’s immediate burst into the political media was very much a success off the bat, but the (to be theoretical), the chaos that Palin threw at the press has in a sense died down — to the point where Palin is at the point of strategic questioning. And as we have seen lately, this has been proven to be damaging to the McCain campaign in the long run. 

And how has this happened? Palin’s immediate political success can be largely credited to timing. Announced the day after Barack Obama’s final democratic convention speech, the McCain camp essentially used the general political media attention to their advantage, and in doing so not only sweeping away both parties’ attention from the Democrats, but also setting an extremely flammable fictional wildfire in the media. And this I ultimately credit to Palin’s extreme demand in the first few weeks she was in the political spotlight. 

 I, as many other people also pointed out that while the Sarah Palin “wildfire” was burning, Palin wasn’t actually conducting much press herself, shown in the fact that she has yet to break ten television interviews. 

And although this may have been extremely efficient for both Palin and the McCain campaign, it hasn’t politically helped the McCain campaign in the long run — both sides of the press are now politically and strategically questioning Palin, in my opinion one of the factors in McCain’s deficit in the polls.

So I ask the commenters, has Palin helped John McCain strategically and politically — and has Palin truly solitified the base and gained votes not possible by McCain himself?

Overall, has she been worth it?

58 Responses to “Overview: Was Sarah Palin Worth It?”

  1. chamay0 Says:

    Here’s what I think:

    Palin (Barbie as you know I call her) did boost the yahoo base for McCain, but she could not draw the intellectual conservative as McCain hoped. In the beginning she was a hugh success for McCain but as time worn on her ratings kept dropping. Now she is under 40% and reinforce that with McCain’s campaign strategy to keep her away from looking at the news, reading the news, talking to reporters and out on the stump inciting racial hatred it is turning into a complete bust. Although I must admit she still have the yahoo base, she does not have the important conservatives on her side that write the articles.

    With this current shift of tried, true and beloved conservatives bashing her it is having a adverse effect with conservatives at large.

    But to bring my rant to a close, was she worth it? Hell no. Neither was it worth it for McCain being less than who he really was and becoming a shadow of who we knew and liked from the year 2000. The combination of empty headed Barbie with all her political scandal and McCain being some one else it could equal political death for McCain. Barbie is still a neocons wet dream so her future is still bright.

  2. Casual Wednesday Says:

    Even before the pick it was pretty obvious that McCain would have to pick a woman or minority. If McCain is going to lose as it is, a pair of dottering old white guys (why does Lieberman keep coming to mind?) would get absolutely creamed.

    Now, I realize that the non-white male GOP bench is pretty thin. Regardless, there is Snowe, Collins, and Hutchinson just off the top of my head. Two of them are even from Maine and might have delivered those EVs to the GOP.

    Palin only solidifies the rabid right base, who would either vote for McCain anyway or stay home. Plus, did McCain really think that he needed to shore up his support in Alaska? Me thinks not.

    I have been wondering for weeks if McCain is even trying to win this election.

  3. pacer521 Says:


    As I agree that she did in fact obtain the yahoo base, I think that the base is in fact a bit overrated, now that it is both mentioned now a ton, but mostly because it doesn’t have the overall effect that it is perceived to have…

    I personally agree that Palin’s pick wasn’t a total success as well, but obviously not as extreme as what you said in your comment. Thanks for the comment as usual, Chamay0.

  4. Mike Says:

    I’m sorry to disappointment, but I’d have to say it was a draw. The pick won over some conservatives, and alienated some moderates. I honestly have no idea if one group was larger than the other.

    I see the pick as comparable to a hail-mary pass. It was a long shot, and a very low percentage play, but when you’re down by six with 5 seconds left on your own 20 yard line, you can’t do a run up the middle. I think he picked knowing full well it might not work out in the end, but without seeing much alternative. That’s how I view a number of his tactics over the past few weeks (ie. William Ayers).

    I would have favored Romney personally, but I think that pick would have turned out even worse politically, even with his economic experience, since Romney is widely viewed as a partisan Republican, and for other reasons.

  5. pacer521 Says:

    Casual Wednesday,

    It seems you could predict the future then, because I certainly couldn’t. The only time I mentioned her was the day before her pick when an end comment (more or less a joke) was something along the lines of: “Who knows: maybe he’ll chose Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska.”

    I agree with your comment until the last line, its really untrue to think that anyone would be throwing the election. Thanks for the comment.

  6. Palin only helped shore up the extreme right-wing base. Other than that, I am not sure what the gain was? I am starting to wonder if McCain was setup to ensure that he looses so badly that someone else comes in and returns the Republicans back to their own fundamentals, cleaning up the mess. Otherwise, this made absolutely no sense. They are now using fear, their only tool, to get Americans to vote for them.

  7. pacer521 Says:


    No disappointment at all — in fact you make a great point. That middle paragraph is right on the money, but if I can add something — many people would say this: “there really isn’t much else to DO if there is five seconds left in the game and you are behind,” and I disagree. Personally, I think he could have gotten away with Romney,

    Thanks for the comment and read!

  8. pacer521 Says:


    I think I am closer to agreeing than not (not talking about the last point), but Palin did in fact get other votes and effect a handful of undecideds. Thanks for the comment.

  9. Breaker1 Says:

    Her pick was a great tactic. She took ALL of the wind out of Obama’s DNC speech:

    He delivered arguably the greatest political speech of our time Thursday night and by Friday afternoon no one was even talking Barack Obama.

    McCain stopped a post-speech polling bump that could have been unprecedented (easy to say since it didn’t happen). She excited the repub based and ostensibly brought some fresh fruit to McCain’s green jell-o. But below Palin’s shine was pure bull.

    By not properly vetting her and by virtue of her not being qualified to lead the country, McCain all but sealed his doom.

    In the end.. not worth it.

  10. Oceanstar17 Says:

    I disagree with the last comment.

    I have a different take than anyone else. My theory is that influential Republicans realized early on in the cycle that the 2008 presidential race was most likely already lost. That is why they nominated McCain even though many parts of the base didn’t like him to begin with.

    And when it was time for McCain to pick a running mate the GOP leadership, again realizing that the 2008 presidential race was probably already lost, suggested Palin because they didn’t want their best candidates being dragged down in an ugly defeat. They probably suggested Palin because they didn’t want Huckabee, Romney, and other more viable VP picks to join what has been a sinking ship.

    I think that Palin’s role was that of a place-holder. The GOP leadership already knew that the 2008 election was probably going to be ugly for them, so that’s why they suggested her.

  11. pacer521 Says:


    I can agree with what you are saying about short and long term effects — Palin did a good job of taking all the “wind” out of Obama’s speech, but after the press left talking about her as a pick and started talking about her, it started to go downhill. Thanks for the comment.

  12. pacer521 Says:


    No problem, we like different opinions.

    I think that your theory could have some truth to it, but in the beginning of the race Obama wasn’t exactly projected to win. But I think Palin was more of a press utility rather than a vice president as far as people picking her.

    Thanks for the comment.

  13. […] not even old enough to vote wrote an interesting post (my shout out to you Pacer521) check it out https://culturedecoded.wordpress.com/2008/10/17/overview-was-sarah-palin-worth-it/.  He has an interesting insight towards the viability of empty headed Barbie as the VP […]

  14. I believe Palin represents McCain’s attempt to bring the ultra-conservative, evangelical Christian, pro-life crowd back into the Republican fold. McCain hasn’t exactly been the darling of that set, and they’re a hugely influential voting bloc. Palin’s got the strongest anti-abortion cred there is.

    As to the media, I believe Palin has done exactly what she was supposed to do. She’s the lightning rod. She says the outrageous stuff, and everybody laughs it off – hey, she’s from Alaska, that’s how they are up there. Or she gets the “I’m not Washington elite” pass. Palin is rallying the racists, without anyone being able to tie her directly to racist comments. She’s stirring up the fringe. McCain wants those people activated, because they are the most easily frightened.

    They’ve reined her in a little this week, I think because of pressure caused by the people shouting “terrorist” and “kill him” at rallies. But they’re not pulling too far back, because they want regular folks to keep getting the message that Obama is someone to fear.

  15. It doesn’t seem like McCain could have expected much more out of Palin than placating the far-right and acting as a decoy while the media scrambled to learn more about her. Maybe he could have hoped to bring in some moderate female voters, but I think she may turn off just as many moderates and conservatives who disapprove of her trying to raise a family while on the campaign trail.

    With the perception of the current administration, McCain would have to have a perfect campaign to be elected. It’s hard to say Palin gives him that.

  16. pirano Says:

    Worth it? For anyone with their eyes even slightly ajar, the answer is clearly no. An increasing number of prominent conservatives agree. The GOP stole some thunder from the Obama speech, but that was it. I can’t imagine that his choosing someone who is so clearly out of her league was a decision McCain made on his own. I think (actually, I hope) that this choice makes people actually think about the 2nd in command when casting their vote.

  17. pacer521 Says:


    I think that you first paragraph was really on the money, but what I can’t shake off is that the ulta-conservative base really isn’t a large amount of votes compared to the moderates or undecideds that I originally thought McCain had some sort of shot at. I think that Palin in a sense moved the McCain campaign to the right, a place that won’t give them the maxim amount of votes.

    As for the second point on press, I agree. The press fell flat on their face for Palin, and she did every thing she was politically designed to do, and even a bit more. Although I can’t believe I am saying this, I was very disappointed when Palin didn’t do as much as even remotely quieting down those remarks about Obama.

    Thanks for the comment.

  18. pacer521 Says:


    I agree, as I said before — Palin really turned the McCain campaign more right. Thanks for the comment, involuntaryfury!

  19. pacer521 Says:


    I agree in part. In my opinion, it was a failure, but you are a bit off in that fact that the press did fall flat on their face for her. Many, many prominent conservatives will tell you no, but what they are telling you is Sarah Palin politically. They weren’t talking about the strategic importance, rather what Sarah Palin’s political standing is and what he policies are contrary to McCain.

    Thanks for the comment.

  20. Alberto Says:

    Of course it wasn’t worth it. I had always thought it was an entirely political move in the first place, and made me lose virtually all hope of voting for the Republican ticket.

    There were many others to choose from that would have riled up the Republican base like Palin did, except they would have actually been good choices for vice president.

  21. Chris Gee Says:

    It’s been worth it for us Obama supporters!

  22. 1superdave Says:

    Pacer a very well written post. My compliments. The only problem I see with it is that the question posed can only be answered by someone who is comtimplating voting for Mccain Palin. Since most of your readers are Obama supporters, who don,t understand the concept of objectivity, they clearly are not in a position to answer the Question. As a Christian and a conservative who has voted in every election since I was old enough to vote, I can answer your question. I don’t understand the vistrial and hatered directed toward Sarah Palin and I suppose that that in and of it self answers the Question. In the words of Elrushbo it was McBriliant. I love the choice and if Mccain Palin pulls off a win I believe you will be Calling Sarah, President elect after the 2012 election. Sarah is a breath of fresh air to the base of which as I laid am a card carrying member. Read some of the post to your blog and I think you will agree that the hatered doesn’t help your side.

  23. 1superdave Says:

    The only person given more scrutiny than Sarah, by the media is Joe the Plummer. I wish that they had looked a few Questions that remain about Obama but as a conservative I am used to that. My personal opinion is that the bottom of the McCain Palin ticket is more qualified than the top of the Obama biden ticket to be President, but that’s just how I see it.

  24. dyricci Says:

    The GOP’s choice of Sarah Palin is really indicative to their problem solving tactics across the board: The Quick Fix and Short-sightedness.

    I agree that the timing of the announcement of her selection directed immediate attention away from the hubbub of the Democratic Convention and Obama’s speeches, and therefore gave them a momentary boost. However, I believe any favorable attention has dissipated in the wake of the reality setting in that she is neither fit for the position, nor a very nice person. In failing to vet her credentials adequately, as well inadequately tap the pulse of their broader base of support, the McCain campaign has made a possibly fatal error. Her “genuineness” is coming off as fake and putting off a lot of people (me included). Her schmeer and innuendo come off as catty and mean…rather like that cheerleader in high school everyone actually secretly hated because she was a two-faced you-know-what. Her delivery of their “Us vs. Them” comes off as hatemongering. In all, I believe any minor gains initially achieved seem to be backfiring on them.

    The Quick Fix is almost never the solution. We can’t afford to have a McCain Administration in the White House for that reason alone. What else will they apply the Quick Fix to, with a large helping of Short-sightedness, and screw America even more?

  25. pacer521 Says:

    Alberto and Chris,

    nice argument, I’ll let you guys finish.

  26. pacer521 Says:


    Thanks for the compliment and comments.

    Look, I am a liberal and you are a conservative. We can go on and on about which party is more informed and sane, but the truth is this: when Palin entered the political scene she was picked up by the press. They went crazy. There is absolutely no disputing that.

    I, as many other people didn’t look at her as the political Brittney Spears, and formed opinions based on her policies that she was not politically good enough or experienced enough to be our vice president. We can also debate that for a long time.

    But the hatred that IS forming from the liberal side is virtually a counter to the conservative hared and vice versa. Sure, there are people who are making very well based points against both Palin/McCain and Obama/Biden, but the majority of the “hatred” is coming from people who aren’t smart enough to even read this blog. Therefore, I stick to my statement that we liberals should be talking politics with you, the conservatives, and vice versa.

    Thanks for the comment.

  27. pacer521 Says:


    I agree fully with your second paragraph — thanks for leaving a comment!

  28. blakeob Says:

    If we are going to be honest with ourselves, we have to admit that we can’t really answer this question until we wake up on November 5th. If McCain sneaks this thing out, it will ultimately be because of the enthusiasm Palin has generated in the Republican base.

    If Obama wins, it will be relatively easy to conclude that Palin’s lack of experience and polarizing personality scared the moderates away, losing the election for McCain.

    I personally believe we will witness the later. I live in one of the most conservative states in the nation, and while many die-hard Republicans are thrilled with the selection, many moderates I’ve talked to have been completely turned off by the Alaskan Governor. I predict one of the more “purple” results we have ever seen in Idaho, which translates in to a blue United States.

    About the excitement Palin initially generated – you can only sustain excitement if there is some substance underneath it. That is why Sarah’s approval rating is plummeting.

  29. renaissanceguy Says:

    I was not going to vote for John McCain until he selected Sarah Palin, and nor were quite a few other conservatives. I was planning to vote for Bob Barr or Alan Keyes.

    I don’t believe that McCain could win without choosing a conservative like Palin. There may not be many of us out here, but with the election as close as it will undoubtedly be, McCain needs us.

    Call it style over substance, but Palin represents everything that conservatives value–family, patriotism, hard work, God, personal responsibility, and ordinariness.

  30. Kevin Robles Says:


    I think she fired up the low-info base voters; nothing else. The intellectual conservatives were sold in the beginnins, but they didn’t buy into it too long. She was not very good for independents. That’s what I’ve read online and heard in my area.

  31. Kevin Robles Says:

    David, please explain to me how Gov. Sarah Palin is more experienced that Sen. Obama? Compare and Contrast.

    State Senator and U.S. Senator for 11 years+
    Graduated from Columbia Univ. and was Harvard Law Review President in his first year there. He chose to help people in need in Chicago. He was raised by a single mother. He was opposed to the Iraq war from the beginning. HE BEAT THE CLINTONS!!

    From the little I know about Palin, she attended 4 different universities/colleges before graduating. Mayor of Wasilla for 6 years, a town of 6,000 people at a time. She has been Alaska Gov. for a little less than 2 years. Other than that, I don’t know what other experience she has.

  32. 1superdave Says:

    Obama has never been an executive at all and only severed in the senate for about the same time that Sarah has been Govenor Of Alaska, before he began his campaign. Can you tell me any of his acomplisments, apart from being a community organizer. When asked a couple of mounths before starting his bid for the dem nomination, if he would, he said he didn’t have the executive experiance need to run for president. That was his view.

  33. pacer521 Says:


    You make a great point, but while in the end I think we will have an exact answer, now we can use non-partisanship and facts to create a piece that offers a premature insight on a topic that is almost finished.

    thanks for the comment.

  34. pacer521 Says:


    I really can’t intrude with what you believe, as I am not here to change anyone’s voting position, rather just clarifying the facts and strategy.

    But I can disagree that Palin ultimately brought in more conservatives than she lost moderates for McCain, and that is why I think she was a strategic loss.

  35. pacer521 Says:

    1superdave and Kevin,

    Great to see both of you back on the blog.

    I’ll say this: it is completely false to compare the bottom of a ticket to the top of a ticket in any race whatsoever out of respect, but especially to say that Palin is more qualified than Obama is just not true.

    Also, to compare Obama to Palin as governor to community organizer is simply wrong as well. If you want to do that, then we can just compare a community organizer to Palin — a sports announcer.

    However, I must correct Kevin on one thing — being raised by a single mother is not going to remotely plausible to stick on an experience resume.

  36. Joel Says:

    “Call it style over substance, but Palin represents everything that conservatives value– . . . ordinariness.”

    That’s part of the problem. Real conservatives don’t value “ordinariness” in leadership. A real conservative wouldn’t consider being a hockey mom a qualification to do their colonoscopy. A real conservative wouldn’t consider being a hockey mom a qualification to fly their jet. A real conservative wouldn’t consider being a hockey mom to be a qualification to be their lawyer. A real conservative wouldn’t consider being a hockey mom a qualification to be commander-in-chief of the world’s greatest military superpower.

    Anyone who believes that “ordinariness” is an asset in the VPOTUS is completely unmoored from reality, and is certainly not conservative.

  37. 1superdave Says:

    In failing to vet her credentials adequately, as well inadequately tap the pulse of their broader base of support, the McCain campaign has made a possibly fatal error. Her “genuineness” is coming off as fake and putting off a lot of people (me included). Her schmeer and innuendo come off as catty and mean…rather like that cheerleader in high school everyone actually secretly hated because she was a two-faced you-know-what. Her delivery of their “Us vs. Them” comes off as hatemongering. In all, I believe any minor gains initially achieved seem to be backfiring on them. Pacer this is from the comment of diricci above to which you said you agree. I that a fair view of the comment?

  38. 1superdave Says:

    Pacer I uderstand the liberal slant, but I would like to hear I thing Obama has done.My comparison of top to bottom was to refute that somehow she isn,t qualified to be vp and the dem argument she could ave to mave in to the role of president. Joel above makes an elitist argument that goes to my fisrt comment that one must be a consevative to know these things. If we used Joel’s view i suppose it would disqualify most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. We know that many of them did in fact go on to be Great President.

  39. Joel Says:

    Uh, Dave, please come and join us in the 21st century. None of the signers of the DOI are on the ticket.

    Like all true conservatives, I believe that the United States of America is an extraordinary country and accordingly, deserves extraordinary leaders. Those who value ordinariness in a vice president are not conservatives.

    If that makes me an “elitist,” color me proudly elitist.

  40. 1superdave Says:

    They were ordinary men Joel. Harvard and priceton were founded as schools to train preachers.We have too many 21st century Lawers that are life time politians. Leaders are born not trained.

  41. Joel Says:

    “Leaders are born not trained.”

    Any real conservative will tell you that the founding fathers were born extraordinary men, Dave. Were they born to be leaders–possibly. The fact remains that they were extraordinary, and they created an extraordinary country. Like all true conservative, I believe that my country deserves extraordinary leaders. Those who value ordinariness in a vice president are not conservatives.

  42. 1superdave Says:

    Why pick one out of all the qualities he listed. Love of God and country ought to be prerecquisites.

  43. Joel Says:

    “Love of God and country ought to be prerecquisites [sic].”

    All of the candidates possess these qualities, neither of which make them extraordinary. Like all true conservatives, I believe that my country deserves extraordinary leaders. Those who value ordinariness in a vice president are not conservatives.

  44. 1superdave Says:

    Joel are you a conservative. If yes, physical or social.

  45. Joel Says:

    “Joel are you a conservative. If yes, physical or social.”

    Physically, I’m a man, Dave.

    I believe that our government ought to provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselve and our posterity. Those are conservative values. Accordingly, I’m a conservative.

  46. That’s one long comment list and I don’t know whether anyone have said what I’m going to say over here.

    You were right in the sense that Palin has contributed to McCain’s campaign in the short run. I guess that was good in a sense as McCain was exploiting the fact that Palin is a woman and hoped that she could replace Hilary. That I believe was the reason for the hoo-ha when Palin was nominated as McCain’s running mate. Clinton’s advocates, which consists of women who simple vote for women, will immediately turn their spotlight towards Palin and that was good – in the short run at least.

    The problem about Palin is that she’s too green in politics. She has extremely limited experience and although, she’s such a good and supposedly charismatic speaker, she just doesn’t have the knowledge to back McCain up. On top of that, by bringing Palin in, McCain has immediately discard his trump card argument at that time which was that he was more experienced that Obama. Palin’s nomination immediately cancel his advantage on this. Palin also, being an unexpected candidate, was heavily scrutinized by public and people just want to get to know her and that’s a problem because nothing about her past or knowledge or experience can back McCain. As we have seen in many of her interviews, she’s just downright non-vice-president material.

    I guess all in all, she’s a minus to McCain’s campaign. Then again, watching all the spoofs and impersonation of her as a joke is really worth the minus – for the public at least. 🙂

  47. jlv0628 Says:

    Great post as always Pacer.


  48. huxbux Says:

    From a long term standpoint rather then strategic, Palin was a bust in that in a male dominated culture, where women persistently face greater scrutiny and less opportunity, female performance must exceed that of a male’s in order to eventually create a level playing field. Introducing a female candidate that is not exceptional, in this regard, is an obstacle to the equal representation of female politicians. Palin is not exceptional and, hence, has damaged the progress of reaching male/female equality. People will be more prone to scrutinize the next big ticket female candidate because of Palin’s failure as an adequate leader, and that’s unfortunate that female leaders already have to battle against preconceptions but now have to dig themselves out of a hole Palin dug for them.

    Strategically, she was a success. She nullified Obama’s convention poll bump and even gave McCain a bump of his own. Her nomination might have been what, along with his convention, that gave him a post convention poll lead. Considering that historically a post convention poll lead has rarely been reversed, it was a success. However, McCain lost what should have been a probable ride to the White House through no fault of Palin’s. The economy happened.

  49. […] was rather chosen from the commands of the far right base, which is contradicting to another recent post and what I will bring up […]

  50. Joel Says:

    “Strategically, she was a success.”

    Uh, no. She was and is a strategic failure. She was chosen as a pretty face to compensate for the tired face of McCain. Tired because he’s 72. Tired because he’s an extension of the Bush administration. Tired because he has no new ideas.

    Palin was and is a joke. Her greatest success has been on SNL.

  51. 1superdave Says:

    Joel excuuuussse me. I was refering to fiscal and not physical. the real point is that you neither answered the first question or the second. My gut feeling is that your not a conservative And definately not a Christian Conservative. Your arogant condesending tone speaks volumes. I may not spell every word right, or have the syntax corect. I have a form of dyslexia and was in high school before I learned to overcome it, but I don’t back up one bit when it comes to where I stand. Back to my first comment, It really does take a Social conservative to answer pacer’s question because we are the most overlooked group this election cycle. There are a lot of us and we do come out when we see a glimer of hope that someone actualy articulates our views. Sarah Is one of us, and like it or not you may wake up november 5th and find that she is the first woman Vice President.

  52. Joel Says:

    ” Sarah Is one of us . . .”

    Which is why she and McCain will, and deserve, to lose.

    Dave, your dyslexia is not your fault. The fact that your posts show over and over that you have failed to overcome your dyslexia doesn’t make you a bad person.

    But as any true conservative will tell you, America doesn’t need a dyslexic for President.

    “And definately not a Christian Conservative.”

    Sorry. What does Christianity have to do with American Conservatism?

    Real conservatives understand that America was founded to reject Christian influences in politics. That’s what the founding fathers of this country left Europe for.

  53. huxbux Says:

    “She was and is a strategic failure.”

    You didn’t lay out too much evidence as to why she was a strategic failure aside from you previous statements that she is “ordinary”. Sadly, exceptional leaders are a rare breed, and as I pointed out Palin is not exceptional. No one is going to refute your individual view on Palin.

    I’m simply taking a look at how her nomination effected the Presidential race in order to determine whether or not she was a strategic success which requires me to divest myself from my personal opinion on Palin. You should do the same prior to dismissing anyone who doesn’t fall in line with your political ideology.

  54. Joel Says:

    “. . . in order to determine whether or not she was a strategic success . . . ”

    Since this was an experiment without a control, it is impossible to determine whether she was a strategic success. If McCain wins, we don’t know if he won because of or in spite of Palin. Same if he loses.

    Any determination of her strategic role is necessarily ideological, since it would be a purely hypothetical conclusion.

  55. David Says:

    Not worth it. She has embarrassed herself and the party. If this is the future of the Republican party, well, God help you.

  56. lestro Says:

    No, she was not worth it. Sarah Palin has turned out to be the Gateway Meme that is unraveling the entire McCain Campaign, but she also represents a short term tactic (appease the fundies) that McCain has mistaken for a long-term strategy.

    And though she is obviously a new, rising star in the republican party, McCain has also stymied her political future by putting her on the national stage before she was ready. After this year’s performance it will be difficult to take her seriously in the future.

  57. RoyArtelo Says:

    Do you think that Obama is going to win because the Republicans have such a bad candidate?
    Why did John McCain make his final argument against Obama… coal?
    That’s his closing argument? William Ayers, Rev. Wright, spreading the wealth, Born Alive, meeting dictators without preconditions, etc. all have to take a back seat so that McCain can go to Colorado and New Mexico to talk about coal? Does this more or less explain why he’s going to get his clock cleaned Tuesday?

  58. sarahpalinmoose Says:

    McCain had to pick a woman because some people wanted Hillary and didn’t get her. So he thought, are there any spunky mavericky unknowns whose political career can be shaped? Ahhhhh, here came Sarah, a celebrity was born.

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