Like Phil, I have no idea whether the less flatterring bits about Sarah Palin’s knowledge are true, though I do know that her lack of preparedness made these accusations believable. But before we conclude that Palin was a net drag on the ticket, I think we have to remember where John McCain was before he picked her. He had a serious base problem and enthusiasm gap. Swing voters are important, but if you don’t have your base locked down they can’t do very much for you. Based on the usual Libertarian vote totals, Bob Barr probably took less than 100,000 votes from McCain on Tuesday. That was not inevitable — Barr was polling 6 percent nationally this summer. Sarah Palin is a major reason why.
There was a brief period where Palin was attracting women and shoring up the base. This was when McCain put up some of his strongest numbers against Barack Obama. But the danger of a bland presidential nominee turning his running mate into a base-pleaser like Dan Quayle or Spiro Agnew is that the number two becomes polarizing and begins to turn off swing voters. That’s exactly what happened to Palin as the campaign progressed. But I’m still not sure McCain would have been better off with Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty, and I’m confident he would have been worse off with Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge.
As far as what Palin should do next, she could do worse than starting with this Slate column by Christopher beam
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That’s right, the Grinch (Joe Biden) is coming for your pocketbooks this Christmas season with record inflation. Just to recap, here is a list of items that have gone up during his reign.
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