The Spectacle Blog

Who Did Palin Help?

By on 10.3.08 | 6:07PM

I actually do agree with Quin that many conservatives are like homers in sports who just root, root, root for the red team and if they don't win it's a shame -- the biggest downside of the Reagan legacy is that he got conservatives into the habit of worshipping Republican politicians, very few of whom are Reagans. That said, even if the post-debate polls favor Biden, favorable reactions to Palin's performance last night could be found far outside the conservative echo chamber. There are theatric, emotional, and psychological components to politics, and on that level Palin did very well, in addition to exceeding (very low) expectations on substance.

This morning, I was on the radio with a Democratic consultant who emphatically agreed that Palin did very well last night. But he also argued that Palin did more to help herself, by rehabilitating her own national profile, than she did to help McCain. I'm not entirely convinced -- Palin fires up the base more than McCain ever will, which obviously helps the ticket as a whole, and a Palin flop would have certainly dragged the ticket down. Palin's liberal-baiting with a wink and a smile is a service McCain can't really perform himself. But I'm struck by how much of the Palin talk has focused on her specifically, while even Biden has managed to recede (no pun intended) into the background of the Obama-Biden ticket. Let Sarah help Sarah?

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