Friday, February 12, 2010

Arianna Huffington was very, very wrong

I heard something recently that reminded me of something that happened in the 2008 presidential race. During those last few weeks, Arianna Huffington (of Huffington Post fame/infamy) seemed to be appearing on every lefty radio talk show and news show to offer her opinion that Democrats were making a terrible, terrible mistake by focusing on Sarah Palin. They were taking the bait, so to speak. I don't want to listen to all those interviews, but here's an editorial she wrote:

Every second of this campaign not spent talking about the Republican Party's record, and John McCain's role in that record, is a victory for John McCain.

Her critics like to say that Palin hasn't accomplished anything. I disagree: in the space of ten days she's succeeded in distracting the entire country from the horrific Bush record -- and McCain's complicity in it. My friends, that's accomplishment we can believe in.

Then Huffington would go on to say that Democrats are only making themselves appear petty and perhaps sexist by focusing on the many, many shortcomings of the eleventh hour VP nominee that McCain shoehorned into his train wreck of a campaign.

But she was absolutely wrong. Focusing on Sarah Palin was awesome. Making the campaign all about Sarah Palin and the terrible error of judgment that McCain made in drafting her was much better than running a campaign against the perceived heroism of McCain himself. They exposed an obvious weak spot. And after all this time, it's become all the more clear that Sarah Palin just wasn't qualified for the job.

I hardly even think that's a matter of opinion anymore. After Sarah's hee-larious book tour in which she was caught reading crib notes off of her hand, popular perception of her has plummeted, to the point where a new poll shows that 55% of Republicans do not now think she is qualified to be president.

55%. Of Republicans. And the question wasn't "Is Sarah Palin the best candidate?" or "Would you vote for Sarah Palin over Barack Obama (or some other candidate). It was "do you think Palin is or is not qualified to serve as president?" And most Republicans don't think she is.

Look, there are not always two sides to every story. Sometimes an individual person just obviously is not up for the job. Sarah Palin appealed to a very narrow demographic which only got narrower, as fewer and fewer people were comfortable with aggressively defending this clueless loon as their future president, no matter how much she appealed to their jingoism. It's simply not a reflection on any broad category she belongs to (i.e., women) to point this out.

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