Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Palin: Strategy or Chaos?

Have you ever played chess with someone who's a way better player you? You sit and watch them move without understanding why they're doing what they're doing, but after a while you realize they out-foxed you about four moves ago and now you're toast.

Me, I'm a really crummy chess player. I like to play what I call the bloodbath strategy: set up the board as much in my favor as possible and then start a bloodbath, hoping that when it's over I'll have more pieces than the other guy.

I'm not sure yet whether John McCain is playing a crafty game or just stirring things up and hoping for the best, but he has totally changed the game with the Palin nomination.

For one thing, it is preoccupying everybody. She wants Alaska to secede from the union! She's white trash with a pregnant teen daughter! McCain's sloppy vetting of her shows he's unfit to serve! She is less qualified to be veep than the night janitor at Dunkin' Donuts! She wants to allow rapists to pick the mothers of their children! She doesn't believe in dinosaurs!

Of course none of those things are true so she may come out looking pretty good. But the main thing is that it's all we're talking about this week. Nobody's interested in how many died in Iraq today or the latest decline in economic indicators. It's Palin, Palin, Palin.

Did McCain do this on purpose to deflect attention from his weaknesses - or is he as surprised as the rest of us? And more importantly, is it helping him to have everyone preoccupied with salacious scandal?

Perhaps the strategy (if there is any) is to let Democrats go nuts for a week or two making wild allegations, and then to wow everyone with some great presentation that addresses all the non-issues. The goal could be to change the momentum: get everyone off-track on issues that can't be sustained, and then bring them up short.

Do you think I'm reading too much into this? Don't forget: we still haven't figured out how the Republicans won the last two presidential elections.

###

5 comments:

Partisan non-partisan said...

"we still haven't figured out how the Republicans won the last two presidential elections"

Yes, we have. Republicans win by purging black people from the voters' list.

austin said...

Partisan non-partisan said...
"we still haven't figured out how the Republicans won the last two presidential elections"

Yes, we have. Republicans win by purging black people from the voters' list.

Tue Sep 02, 01:54:00 PM EDT

In case you forgot Bush got more votes then anyother president in history. I notice with you Liberals whenever someone you don't like gets elected there is something that needs to be figured out or people were lied to. How about maybe the majority just do not see it your way.

Anonymous said...

Republicans won the last two elections with a combination of voter fraud and high voter turnout. The christian conservatives rallied their base, and the Dems didn't get excited about Gore or Kerry, so many didn't show up to vote. This year, its the GOP that are not excited about their candidate, and the Dems very much are. With the turnout situation reversed, I think we get a much different outcome.

CuriosityCat said...

McCain needed to change the dialogue, and choosing a young conservative woman as his running mate did that.

McCain also wanted to match Obama's "something new and different" appeal, and choosing a woman governor who has implemeted political reform while helping bringing up a family and hunting deer, did that.

McCain also needed to get votes in the hinterland, in the smaller cities sprinkled throughout the USA, and Sarah Palin fit that perfectly: unlike Obama's puzzlement about such people, Palin lives in such a city, and a huge chunk of Americans relate to that.

Finally, McCain wanted to drive home the difference between his "American" roots and Obama's relatively exotic roots, and Palin buttresses this: she was born in a small town and has lived in Alaska.

We should consider Palin for what she is not, as much as for what she is: McCain is using her to lay down markers of differentiation with the Obama Biden team.

Yappa said...

With respect... I think all of you (with the exception of Curiosity Cat) all missing the point. Whether or not there was voter fraud and in addition to natural support, the last two elections were marked by some dastardly but effective election tricks. Al Gore has still not overcome the fiction that he’s a delusional liar. John Kerry was portrayed as a war coward just long enough to throw him off course. We have to stop letting ourselves be manipulated. Even if you’re a Republican, surely you agree that it’s not very democratic when people are misled and manipulated into voting a particular way.