Dave Weigel argues that because Sarah Palin isn’t taking any questions, “it’s having the effect of making Barack Obama seem stronger, actually” when he appears without a script, such as on O’Reilly. But I think Palin is having the exact opposite effect on Obama.
Since Palin’s selection, Obama has been drawn into a debate over whether his experience is superior to the candidate on the bottom of the opposing ticket, and rather than merely have Joe Biden or his surrogates go after Palin, Obama hasn’t been able to resist going after her directly.
The Politico reported the following from a rally in Michigan yesterday:
Obama told the crowd that McCain and Palin spent most of the convention talking about their biographies.
Palin’s bio is “compelling,” Obama said.
The crowd booed. “No, it’s an interesting story.” More boos. “No, no, it is. I mean that sincerely. Mother, governor, moose shooter.”
The crowd broke out in laughter. “That’s cool. That’s cool. That’s cool stuff,” Obama said.
To me, this doesn’t make Obama look stronger, it’s belittling for a man running for president to be spending time mocking his opponent’s number two.
Furthermore, I think this specific line of attack is a poor choice for Obama, and a perfect example of why Democrats have managed to blow so many elections. When Republicans, during their convention, mocked Obama’s time as a community organizer, a lot of Americans probably laughed along with them, thinking, “Yeah, what the heck is a community organizer?” But when, at Obama’s prodding, a Democratic audience starts laughing at a mother and “moose shooter” (using an odd construction rather than the standard word “hunter”), a lot of Americans probably think, “Hey, he’s making fun of me!”