Friday, September 12, 2008

What Sarah Palin Tells Us About Obama

The London Times:
The character question it raises is not that he is a sexist or that he lacks courtesy. It is that he folds under pressure. Obama has looked amazingly uncomfortable under the pressure that Palin has put him under. He relies on his cool - it is a core part of his appeal. So he looks bad when he loses it. During the Hillary contest he rarely came under any pressure from the media. When he did he reacted badly.

So the problem caused by Palin isn't really about Palin - it's about Obama... Obama cannot change how Palin is seen anywhere near as much as he thinks he can. He needs to work on how he is seen. But, as Jay Cost argues, he hasn't been disciplined enough to do this.

Palin seems to have left the Democrats sounding increasingly desperate and intimidated. Some of these statements sound like recent comments that have been left on my blog. They don't make Obama look good or help endear people to his campaign.

One of the goofier claims is that Sarah Palin is not really a woman. Tyler Cowen links to a list of questions for Palin that made him snort. They had the same effect on me.

Like The Times said, Obama and the Democrats need to work on how they are seen and give voters solid reasons for voting for Obama, rather than spending so much time focusing on the Republican VP(!) candidate. Otherwise they will end up repeating what happened during the 2004 election. Kerry basically ran as "I'm not Bush." If Obama's campaign is seen as devolving into "I'm not Palin", they can expect a similar result in 2008.

(HT Glen Reynolds)


Jason B. said...

I would be on my heels too if I were the Change football team playing against the Experience team, the Experience team suddenly changed into copies of my uniform, ran down the field in what had been their own end zone, and were credited with a touchdown by the referees. That might take a little time to figure out before I could run my next play.

thinking said...

First, the Obama campaign has been amazingly calm; many Democrats are worried that he's not fighting back hard enough. Many pundits keep saying that he is too principled and nice about it. I'd say conventional wisdom is that he hasn't fought back hard or dirty enough.

Second, when has he lost his cool? I'd say even when he gets angry he's calmer than most people.

Third, to try to cite some of the crazier claims of some Obama supporters makes no point. I can just as easily find pretty nutty stuff from some McCain/Palin supporters. Remember the theory that Obama is some sort of Muslim Manchurian candidate?

Heck, I can go to the McCain ads and find some of the worst lies around. How about that sick ad trying to distort what Obama advocated in terms of trying to educate children about sexual predators?

Fourth, what about the McCain campaign giving the public some reason to vote for him? If one analyzes the ads, there is no doubt that the focus of the McCain campaign is simply trying to tear Obama down. The focus of the Republican convention was trying to tear Obama down.

Indeed, the strategy of the McCain campaign is to try to avoid issues as much as possible, because they cannot win on those issues.

McCain has no honor left, and by being on the ticket with him, and repeating her own litany of lies, Palin has shown herself to be very lacking in virtue as well.