Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft seems to have been the first to invoke the Eagleton comparison, within hours of John McCain’s announcement of his running mate, but she had plenty of company after Monday’s news that Palin’s teenage daughter is pregnant. Richard Gizbert of Huffington Post flatly pronounced Palin “the new Thomas Eagleton” and predicted that she would withdraw “within the next week or so.” By Tuesday, Joshua Green of the Atlantic Monthly had an article online examining the comparison in detail.
Yet nothing in the attacks that Democrats or the media have made against Palin compares to the scandal that brought down Eagleton — a hidden history of severe mental illness he hadn’t disclosed to McGovern before his selection as running mate. And judging from the way Republicans have rallied to Palin’s defense, it seems highly unlikely she will be bumped from the ticket.
Indeed, the spectacle of a media feeding frenzy over a working mother and her pregnant teenager seems to have produced a backlash that could have an effect quite the opposite of what Palin’s enemies originally imagined. She may yet turn out to be the anti-Eagleton — that rare choice of a running mate who makes a positive difference in a presidential election.
You can read the whole thing here, and as to Republicans rallying in support of Palin, she’s already helping draw record crowds for McCain — who’s closed the gap with Obama to 2 points in the latest Gallup daily tracking poll. (In the Rasmussen daily poll, it’s Obama 49%, McCain 46%, with “leaners” included.)
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