Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Real Reason Palin Continues to Campaign with McCain

Since being named as John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin has been criticized for a lack of experience and numerous scandals that she refuses to discuss. The McCain campaign originally indicated that she wouldn’t be talking to reporters or appearing on television shows like “Meet the Press,” but would travel the country giving speeches a speech with John McCain. However, she recently relented by agreeing to an interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson, who has been the most deferential to McCain of any major network anchor.

The implication of such careful handling of Palin is that she is too green to discuss the issues without scripted talking points, and too risky to be trusted to campaign on her own. So with the exception of a few minutes of having Gibson fawn over her, Palin will stay by McCain’s side as they barnstorm the country calling themselves a “team of mavericks.”

However, the real, little-reported, reason that John McCain needs Palin to campaign with him is that nobody really cares to see John McCain! McCain is so profoundly dull as a candidate that before adding Palin to the ticket, he couldn’t draw more than a couple hundred people to one of his insufferable “town-hall” meetings (and I’ve always suspected that he must have bribed them with a free lunch to get them in the door!)

With Palin by his side, McCain is guaranteed a screaming hoard of evangelicals and ultra-conservative women creating the impression that McCain is every bit the celebrity rock star he once accused Barack Obama of being. This feeds the persistent efforts of corporate media hacks like David Gregory (and everyone on Fox News) to characterize the race as a toss-up, although there is no reason to believe the crowds now turning out for McCain-Palin rallies aren't merely the 28% who still approve of George Bush!

Ultimately, however, as both campaigns move down the home stretch, this should prove to be a huge advantage to Obama. McCain won’t be able to get his message before large crowds of people and generate momentum without using Palin as bait! In contrast, Obama can bring in crowds on his own, while also deploying Joe Biden to help get the message out to other key voter groups around the country.

Left-Over update: Just to add to your point Seenos - here is an article about McCain's first Palin-less event. Pretty funny!

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