*Sarah Palin may turn out to be Obama’s greatest political asset. Polls show that Obama is the most polarizing Democrat since Truman.
Palin, in turn, is the most polarizing Republican since Lincoln. That makes her the perfect distraction, foil, and ultimately, perfect perverse Obama ally.
Palin’s inanities, idiocies, and cartoonish utterances are now legendary. She is the butt of SNL laugh lines, giddily mocked and ridiculed by Democrats and the pundits, groaned at by the GOP regulars, and shunned by the man who plucked her out of the Arctic tundra and made her a household name, John McCain.
Polls show that her approval ratings are dreadful, and the overwhelming majority of poll respondents say that she’s not fit to be president. But this only makes her even more bizarrely appealing.
She sells papers like crazy, and a Palin piece on websites invokes pages of comments. She jumped Oprah’s rating to the highest in two years when she appeared on her show to hawk her book. The crowds that wildly cheered her during the presidential campaign and just as enthusiastically cheer her on her self-promotion jaunts around the country haven’t slacked up one bit.
The networks stumbled over each other to cover her tea party convention speech. CNN, especially, sniffed a ratings bonanza in Palin and dispatched an 11 person crew to the convention, and then carried her mostly canned, standard bromide laced speech live.
The GOP regulars sneer and pretend to shun her. Democrats mock and poke fun at her. But in a year when the party pols are about as popular as the mumps, and Obama’s approval numbers have plummeted faster than the Hindenburg, Palin is the perfect every person’s anti-candidate. McCain certainly knew that. He gambled that her homespun matronly stump style, Down Syndrome challenged son, and Bible spouting, gun toting appeal would be tonic for his sagging campaign. Since winning elections is still as much about which candidate can win the hearts not the heads of the voters, Palin was the one to tug at the religious conservative’s heart strings.
If McCain had played it close to the vest and picked say Mitt Romney as his VP mate, it would have left him wide … (READ MORE)
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