NPR Sunday morning aired a brief interview with Kaylene Johnson, the author of a biography about Sarah Palin. She was originally a skeptic who became an admirer. Johnson’s number one piece of advice in dealing with Palin: don’t underestimate her. Zuzu at Shakesville smells a Rovian trap being set and baited with Palin. That’s pretty muich what I think I was getting at in my posts Saturday cautioning Dems against the MILF, GILF, and VPILF jokes, although I disagree with Zuzu in that Karl Rove’s supposed supergenius is a bit tarnished these days. (Remember that Permanent Republican Majority? Kind of like the Tausendjähriges Reich, ain’t it?)
Still, this seems to me like a boneheaded move: McCain/Palin effectively against equal pay. Since the Dems made the Ledbetter decision such a big part of their convention, and even invited Lily Ledbetter to speak there, it would have been smart political judo for McCain to come out in support of equal pay. But, as I have argued elsewhere, Palin is on the ticket because of her reputation as an ideologue. Most pundits and bloggers are only talking about her XX chromosomes, as though that’s all she brings to the table. (And who’s being patronizing and sexist with this line of analysis? No sitting male governor of a small state like Delaware, Vermont, Rhode Island, Wyoming, or North Dakota would be subjected to this kind of derision. With “friends” like these, feminists don’t need enemies.) She’s playing well with Western Republicans, as I predicted.
The early polling is encouraging for McCain, although Obama is still ahead outside of the margins of error. (The Gallup Daily Tracking Poll has Obama up 48% to McCain’s 42%, and Rasmussen pins them at 47-44, advantage Obama.) McCain appears to have blunted Obama’s convention bump with his Friday VP announcement, and early polling on Palin (both for herself, and her potential effects on the McCain ticket) looks good:
There have been significant changes in perception of John McCain in the two days of polling since he named Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Since then, 49% of Republicans voice a Very Favorable opinion of McCain. That’s up six percentage points from 43% just before the announcement. Also, 64% of unaffiliated voters now give positive reviews to McCain, up ten points since naming his running mate.
Palin herself made a good first impression and is now viewed favorably by 53% of voters nationwide. Her counterpart, Joe Biden, is viewed favorably by 48%. While Palin has made a good first impression, the more significant numbers will come a week from now after the nation has a chance to learn more about her.
This election is still Obama’s to lose, and his bus trip this weekend is a good way to shore up support in a region that desperately needs Democratic policies and leadership in the White House. It will be interesting to see which candidate will break the 50% threshhold–both candidiates have been dinking around in the 40s all summer long. My guess is that it will be Obama, although I don’t know what he (or the electorate) are waiting for. Will this election be decided only on election day? Or will something happen to cause a break one way or the other, sooner rather than later?
Anyhoo, happy Labor Day. It’s also Monocle Man’s birthday–here’s another Cakewrecks creation for you, MM. At least there’s 10 more years to your next zero-birthday!