How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?


In 1968 the Democrats fired at Richard Nixon with this ad:

Barack Obama is going up with this rather milquetoast update:

But both ads work. The McCain campaign's botched rollout of Palin (why is she doing new policy speeches with six days to the election?) turned her into the most unpopular pol on either ticket. The newest surveys put her disapproval rating above 50 percent, in Hillary Clinton territory. And Palin fares far worse than Clinton on the "ready to be president" question. She's made it hard-running-to-impossible for McCain to craft a closing "risk" narrative against Obama.

Despite that, six days from now we're going to be discussing the 2012 Palin run for president. Robert Stacy McCain goes all Gene McCarthy and tells us not to reject this woman:

I saw the Republican Party today, standing in line to see Palin at Shippensburg University. The line stretched for more than half a mile -- people waiting outside for hours on a windy 40-degree day -- and though the doors opened more than two hours before the event, security still wasn't able to get everyone through the metal detectors by the time the rally began. Let's see Buckley or Kathleen Parker or Ken Adelman draw a crowd like that.

Those lines are good enough for an 11-point polling deficit in Pennsylvania, a state that Kerry was barely holding onto in 2004, and hasn't given a Democrat more than 51 percent of its votes since LBJ. Of course the base loves Palin, but unless McCain pulls the upset we're going to realize that the GOP's embrace of "folksy" anti-intellectualism (sorry, anti-intellectualoidism) bought it nothing and lost it plenty.