Republican Convention 2008

Now Playing at Reason.tv: Will Palin's Gaffes and Family Issues Help or Hurt McCain's Chances?

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As vice-presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin gets ready to take the stage at the Republican National Convention, reason columnist Tim Cavanaugh, on site in Minneapolis, argues that her gaffes and family woes may just help make her more popular.

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  1. Gov. Palin’s staunch social views will play well with social conservatives and secure the party’s social con base. With Palin on board, McCain will definitely get the GOP nomination.

  2. argues that her gaffes and family woes may just help make her more popular.

    If she’s likable and minimally confident, a continuing frenzy could play into McCain’s hands. Or she could get swamped by the indiscriminate poo-flinging. I just have an odd feeling that this election, which was essentially tied going into the conventions, is hanging in the balance.

    I really don’t know if the McCain campaign is that smart, but the whole Palin thing could turn out to be a real trap for the Dems. Still too early to say, but probably by the end of next week we will know.

    How weird is it that the two most important single events in this election could well turn out to be the Repub VP nomination speech and the VP debate?

  3. The Democratic Primary season was so good, we have to allow the whole country to enjoy it.

    Do I vote for the black guy or the white lady?

  4. Do I vote for the black guy or the white lady?

    It just occurred to me:
    The “black” guy has one “black” parent, one “white” parent, right? So to many he’s considered a “black” guy. Okay, I can sort of understand why that label might be applied, especially in a culture of identity politics.

    So, to carry it a bit farther: the white “lady” has one “lady” parent, and one “guy” parent and she’s considered a “lady”, right? Both parents are “white” so there’s not much question about what color identity she is considered. Fair enough.

    But the black “guy” has one “lady” parent, and one “guy” parent, just like the white “lady” yet she’s a “lady” and he’s a “guy”…?

    Bottom line, I’m confused about what significance the color or gender of a candidate’s parents have to do with anything (or the color or gender of a candidate him/herself for that matter) … but then I have not grown up in the USA.

  5. I’ve been struck by the number of “independent” voters I know (really conservative Democrats and Republicans who just don’t want to be associated with either party right now) who are taking great offense to the current “brouhaha.” It is sounding very much like a cultural objection, i.e. folks who aren’t from the big bright dots on nighttime satellite photos seeing the chaos as some “urbanite, metrosexual, anti-rural, anti-‘traditional’ values” trashing. These are folks who are totally inclined to cast an anti-George Bush vote, but just can’t quite identify with Sen. Obama’s world.

    It’s not a woman thing, it’s a rural thing. We’re back to the irascible “red state/blue state” schtick. If gut emotions rule voting patterns, these folks could make the race much closer than it should be. At least, that’s how it looks from the “backwaters” of Virginia. If I taught anthropology, I’d write a paper about it.

    Alas, somehow I don’t think Sen. McCain’s campaign had such a meticulous plan in place when choosing Gov. Palin. Dumb luck if it works out.

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