Diary

Strange Source of Hope

Good afternoon, all!

I’ve noticed quite a bit of hope hereabouts. Hope is a powerful thing, no question of it. I just find the object of that hope a little quizzical. Some here at RedState have pinned quite a bit of it on Governor Palin’s performance at the forthcoming debate. I just can’t figure this one out.

Let’s assume that Governor Palin clobbers Senator Biden, not in the expectations game, but substantively. Okay, so what? I could ask the same question of my fellow Democrats should Biden clobber Palin. So what? This is the Vice Presidential debate. Historically this sort of thing hardly matters. Quayle suffered one of the worst soundbytes in any VP debate ever but it did not matter one whit.

Governor Palin has served to galvanize your base, your fundraising, and your volunteer base. Those are all incredibly important fundamentals and I do not in any way detract her efficacy thereabouts. But that’s not enough, and I suspect some of you know that.We’re all down to the last month or so. Yes, both parties will do all they can to move mountains to get out the vote, as well they should. As with any business it always comes down to execution. That’s where the rubber meets the road, and that’s where the outcome will be decided.

It won’t do you guys much real good if Sarah Palin obliterates Joe Biden. I just don’t see how it can. The only way in which a strong Palin performance would help your cause would be if the primary cause of McCain’s slip in the polls was caused by a widespread public perception that Governor Palin is unqualified and potentially dangerous, sufficiently so to move people away from Senator McCain. This is not my contention. I’m sure that antipathy towards Governor Palin has moved people, just as positivity towards her has moved other folks. That’s the nature of politics.

No, the reason (so far as I can tell) that Senator McCain has slipped in the polls is that the public has focused on the economy. Who can blame them? The economy has long been the bailiwick of the Democrats, at least as an electoral issue. You can rail long and hard against their positions, but they’re trusted more on it. National security helps McCain, but we aren’t really talking about that right now.

The fundamentals of the race are the problem, not Governor Palin. Even if, as many hope, she brings the roof down on Senator Biden, it’s not going to move that many votes. You guys and gals love her. Great. You aren’t the people she (and Senator McCain) have to convince. She’s done what good she was going to do. You’re fired up (many of you, anyway).

This race will be decided by that middle ten percent or so of the country that breaks in the last days of the race. Don’t expect Palin or Biden to move them. It will be either McCain or Obama, or more likely whatever big issue happens to come up in those last days.

None of this was a dig at anyone. Just my thoughts.