Sarah Palin doesn’t seem to be coping very well with the idea that people in some parts of the country don’t think she’s qualified to be VP and, quite frankly, don’t like her very much:
“We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. We believe” — here the audience interrupted Palin with applause and cheers — “We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation. This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans. Those who are running our factories and teaching our kids and growing our food and are fighting our wars for us. Those who are protecting us in uniform. Those who are protecting the virtues of freedom.”
Why, if running for a national office, would you insult large portions of the population on a daily basis, and even go so far as to accuse them of being anti-American? Well, as I argued back when she was first added to the ticket, her job was to rally the base, specifically by driving a wedge between rural and urban America.
In the 2004 election, that strategy did a lot to help George Bush win. But this isn’t 2004; that was a hyper-partisan election and there were very few real swing voters, so it depended almost exclusively on turnout. McCain’s focus should have been on winning over Independents, not rallying Republicans.
But even if it’s the wrong strategy, if you’re going to go that route, at least execute it properly and have a little class. At least Bush/Cheney implicitly drove a wedge with the gay marriage issue and code words (e.g., elitist, liberal, east-coast, etc.). You don’t just come out and say that small towns are more patriotic than big cities.
There’s already a lot of talk about a Palin run in 2012, but I think a lot of people are seriously over-estimating her political talents. Not only is she incompetent in areas of policy, but she lacks the subtlety and smarts to even be an effective campaigner. With any luck, we won’t be seeing much of her after November 4.
Cross-posted at Ablogistan.