Monday, 8 September 2008

Overturning the McCain-Palin lead

Today's USA Today/Gallup poll gives the McCain/Palin ticket a 10-point lead among likely voters, helping give the Republicans their first advantage in weeks in the RealClearPolitics average. The candidates - Palin excepted, as she mugs up on likely interviewers' googlies before sitting down with ABC News - were on yesterday's talk shows, and one thing is clearer: Obama is by far the more impressive of the principal candidates, not least after a dismal, low key speech by McCain. But unless the Democrats can find an effective way of neutralising the political message that Palin brings without resorting to the personal and patronising, they will stay on a losing streak.

Obama's attempts both to respect her skills and to link her to Bush, pointing out that she holds more extreme views than McCain, strikes the right tone.
She wouldn't be governor of Alaska if she wasn't a skilled politician, and I think her performance at the convention showed what a skilled politician she is.....[McCain] chose somebody who may be even more aligned with George Bush – or Dick Cheney, or the politics we’ve seen over the last eight years – than John McCain himself is.
And there is plenty of opportunity for flip-flop ads on McCain. The Democrats need to able to do so with good humour and straight facts. As noted here shortly after Palin's selection, McCain played a political blinder in selecting Palin, notwithstanding her wacko views on creationism or her lack of a longterm passport.

The next move is with the Democrats. And it needs to be a smart one.

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