Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Palin 2.0?

I recently heard Sarah Palin speech in a rally in Colorado, and then heard her interviewed (!) by CNN. As much as it might pain The Left to hear this, I think she can be a fairly effective communicator when taken off pit bull duty. I admit that I was surprised that she put together so many sentences in a row during the CNN interview without cue cards, but there you have it. She did. Expectations have been shifted. Though, she seems to have a serious problem with using the word "also" instead of a period.

I've been curious about what kind of communicator Palin would be if she weren't 100% negative (and cynical) all the time. And now that the McCain campaign has realized for the umpteenth time that the character assassination trick doesn't work so well when voters actually have skin in the game, we get to hear Palin 2.0 -- the (slightly) more positive Palin. Granted, this updated version of Palin is somewhat subtle, as she still brings the requisite biting insinuations about Obama's approach and character. But once positive Paline arrives, it is pretty impressive how well her message of "I'm like you and I'll fight for you as if I were you" comes through.

Which brings up an interesting question: Who is the real Palin? Is she naturally a Cynical Sarah that stirs things up and divides people as easily as she gets out of bed in the morning? Or have we've been exposed to a carefully crafted Baraccuda Barbie that the McCain campaign has carefully crafted in order to try to energize the base at all costs?

I just felt this slight shift in her communication style was worth nothing: No matter your opinion of her as a VP candidate, her ability to connect in a positive way to voters should not to be underestimated, even if it has been undervalued to-date. One has to wonder what kind of impression she would have made if not forced to play the role of snarky, populist attack dog on Day 1 through Week 7.


A great communicator? Yes. Fit for a VP? No.

Palin tells kids what a VP does [Yahoo! News]

If this self-described "hockey mom" - somebody who was supposed to connect with kids well - can't even explain to 3rd graders what her job would be as VP, I don't think she should have high hopes for getting votes.

Hey, I don't think she's even a great communicator. I think for the most part, she's been negative, cynical and attack-y. To me, that's not the politics of hope and optimism that our electorate likes to support.

I was just saying that her recent turn to a softer, more positive message was very evident to me, even if it was slight.

So, with such a slight tweaking of her style being so effective (in my view), it makes me wonder what kind of politician she would/could be under different circumstances.

re: VP readiness. In her latest bout with constitutional interpretation, I do find this fascinating on a much broader scale...

Her extension of meaning of the VP role is counter to the strict constructionist view of so many conservatives, but also fascinatingly reconstructive. A clear extension of the Cheney think tank on executive power.

my problem with Palin isn't her communication style, per se. Not her hair, her references to hockey moms or her ridiculous clothing budget. My concern is that there is a frighteningly large percentage of the populace who value platitudes and patriotic slogans over real substance. It is shocking to realize how little intellectual capital she brings to her role. Why do we look for the brightest and best doctors when we are ill and then seek out political leaders who lack intellectual capacity and a desire to seek wisdom and knowledge? She barely made it through college, knows next-to-nothing about international politics and seemingly doesn't bother to read the paper. When did these characteristics become desirable? When we elected Bush???