Saturday, August 30, 2008

Risks Ahead for Palin

It's been barely a day, and already the Palin pick is starting to look like a big mistake. Cast aside the issues I already raised, as well as the big one I didn't (how the pick stomps on McCain's "experience" narrative). Palin also fits into another important Democratic attack line this cycle: that McCain and the GOP are in the pocket of big oil.

Now, Palin tried to argue that she is actually a crusader against the oil industry. But from the looks of it, she is if anything oil's handpicked candidate. To the extent that she breaks with the industry, it's because they aren't aggressive enough, which is not what most people have in mind when they think of the "energy crisis". This strikes me as a risk free attack on her -- it has no gendered associations, it fits in with Obama's pre-existing strategy, and it keeps McCain on the defensive on an area he's weak in. Palin, in other words, doesn't just negate one of McCain's primary strengths, she also exacerbates one of his biggest weaknesses.

Top that with the fact that a report on her role in an Alaskan corruption scandal is scheduled to come out on the eve of the election, her past close association with indicted Senator Ted Stevens, and the surprisingly tepid response of Alaskans themselves to her addition to the ticket, and we've got issues.

There's one more angle I want to write on Palin, and that's how it'll affect the votes of women. But I'm saving that for another post.


Anonymous said...

Really David?

You know that windfall profits tax that Democrats support.
Republicans in Congress oppose it, but the Governor and Legislature of Alaska actually put it into effect.

Seattle Times

Unknown said...

McCain has taken a risk, sure. But it's probably oneI would have taken too, given his position.

Sometimes you've got to roll the hard six.