Monday, September 29, 2008

Repositioning Palin

Most provocative quotes of the day:

"It's time to let Palin be Palin--and let it all hang out." --Scott Reed, a Republican strategist, in the Wall Street Journal.

"McCain needs to liberate his running mate from the former Bush aides brought in to handle her--aides who seem to have succeeded in importing to the Palin campaign the trademark defensive crouch of the Bush White House." --William Kristol, New York Times.

In what conjures up visions of Dr. Frankenstein retooling his creation in the lab, Gov. Palin is being whisked off for pre-debate work, the Journal reports:

"McCain campaign manager Rick Davis and senior adviser Steve Schmidt...plan to fly with her on Monday to Sen. McCain's ranch in Sedona, Ariz., which they hope she will find a comforting place to prep...

"More broadly, the McCain campaign aims to halt what it sees as a perceived decline in the crispness and precision of Gov. Palin's latest remarks as well as a fall in recent polls, according to several advisers and party officials."

Such emergency cosmetic surgery on the Vice-Presidential candidate is a disheartening reminder that McCain's shoot-from-the-hip style of decision-making does not always work out well, and it evokes sympathy for Ms. Palin, who has never pretended to the kind of expertise they are now trying to fabricate for her. (Fareed Zakaria points out that "if forced off those rehearsed lines, what she has to say is often, quite frankly--nonsense.")

If they are going to use old movies as a guide, they may want to try "Singin' in the Rain," with someone behind the curtain while Gov. Palin mouths the words.

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