Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Little We Know So Far

From the Atlantic online by Marc Ambinder 

The Palin Pick: What We Know, Don't Know And Just Assume

03 Sep 2008 08:36 am

It has excited most professional conservatives; i.e., people who make their living as conservatives.

It has excited convention delegates.

It has excited most of the leaders of conservative client groups.

It has excited fundraisers and conservatives on line.

(It has excited everyone inside the secure perimeter of the Xcel Center and their mothers.)

There is anecdotal evidence that the Republican volunteer corps was initially energized by the news.

There is no evidence that Republican voters at large are excited about her, yet.

There is no evidence that independent suburban women are excited about her, yet.

There is no evidence that the Palin pick alone can close the enormous enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans.

We don't know how the public perceives Palin.

We don't know if the media's intense scrutiny of Palin's life and background will backfire.

It seems to be true that:

Palin has lost control of her public image.

The McCain campaign doesn't really want independent suburban women and crossover Democrats to know that Palin is a creationist, is almost completely pro-life, sees God's hand in the Iraq war, and is generally beloved by social conservatives.

The McCain campaign wants independent suburban women and crossover Democrats to see Palin as a reformer who prioritize competence above social issues, to "see Gov. Palin as John McCain saw Gov. Palin," one official said.

There are senior-level advisers in the campaign who opposed the pick and who are leaking details about the vetting process to undercut the pick.  

John McCain is still 100% behind Gov. Palin

No one has any idea what impact the Bristol/Levi/baby revelations will have on the electorate.

Everyone -- including the Obama campaign -- assumes that Gov. Palin will give a barn-burner of a speech Wednesday night.

Wednesday night is probably more important to the convention's success than Thursday night.


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