Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Did Palin help McCain?
Mike Rappaport

Dick Morris writes:

As Richard Nixon wrote, “history is written by liberals,” but the story of the 2008 campaign is too important to cede to them the analysis of what happened. A close analysis of the returns indicates [that] Sarah Palin made a vast difference in McCain’s favor. Compared to 2004, McCain lost 11 points among white men, according to the Fox News exit poll, but only four points among white women. Obama’s underperformance among white women, evident throughout the fall, may be chalked up, in large part, to the influence of Sarah Palin. She provided a rallying point for women who saw their political agenda in terms larger than abortion. She addressed the question of what it is like to be a working mother in today’s economy and society and resonated with tens of millions of white women who have not responded to the more traditional, and liberal, advocates for their gender.


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Mike Rappaport


I'm still not convinced...

Posted by: Bobby | Nov 18, 2008 12:19:51 AM

This is kind of a strange argument. Akin, I suppose, to saying that the tailback who fumbled the ball twice helped the team because he didn't fumble three times, like the quarterback.

The fact is, Obama received a higher percentage of white female voters than did John Kerry four years earlier. Palin could not even hold the white women's vote received by the GOP in 2004, much less increase it.

Posted by: DTH | Nov 18, 2008 11:55:16 AM

DTH: I don't think you are confronting the argument. Yes, McCain did worse among white women than Bush did, but he did a lot worse among white men. Now what explains his unexpected strength among white women? Palin is a very plausible answer. Your answer avoids the question.

Posted by: Mike Rappaport | Nov 18, 2008 12:56:25 PM

MR: There is no proof (at least none that Morris presents) that Palin was not responsible for a good portion of the 11 point loss among white men -- perhaps McCain would have done much better with this group had he selected, say, Tom Ridge.

Morris argument (such as it is) seems to rely on the reader buying into the premise that men's votes are primarily influenced by male candidates and women's by female candidates.

Posted by: SotS | Nov 18, 2008 4:31:35 PM

As a Democrat, I hope Republicans believe Morris and nominate Palin for president in 2012. She will lose because those who voted for Obama regard her as radically unqualified to be president owing to her lacks of (a) relevant knowledge and (b) intelligence. As an American, I hope they don't because given how dangerous our economic situation is, any Republican might win the presidency, even Sarah Palin. The Republicans' biggest problem among educated voters in suburbs north of South Carolina, east of the Hudson, and west of the Rockies(now add CO and NM) is the perception that they are a party dominated by obscurantist,anti science Christian conservatives. Conservative academics appear insulated from this perception, perhaps because the obscurantism they observe is left wing in nature. I don't know. But I do know that Sarah Palin incarnates this tendency. Nominate her and the GOP is likely dead in places like Greenwich,CT and the Research Triangle in NC for the rest of our lives. Okay with me. But why is it OK with you?

Posted by: Peter Connolly | Nov 19, 2008 7:55:04 AM

As a Democrat, I hope Republicans believe Morris and nominate Palin for president in 2012.
As a conservative, I believe that you are invoking Br'er Rabbit.

Posted by: Mark A. Flacy | Nov 19, 2008 9:49:03 AM

I suppose there is no way to "prove" that I that I have stated my actual beliefs so I will just reiterate that I am doing so. Once upon a time, conservatives believed that learning and intelligence were essential to wise political leadership. Such intelligence and learning was demonstrated by speech, by writing and by actions which demonstrated wisdom. In 2008, John McCain plucked Sarah Palin, attender of five colleges,and totally undistinguished local politician, from obscurity and sought to place her a heartbeat from the presidency. At no time ever during the campaign,when not reading from a text prepared for her, did she demonstrate either learning or intelligence. In fact she consistently demonstrated the opposite of those qualities. Recognizing belatedly what they had on their hands, the McCain campaign sought,with some success,to keep her out of unscripted situations after her Couric disaster and were careful to forbid follow up questions during her one debate. She never appeared on any of the Sunday shows and avoided press conferences, highly unusual for a national candidate. They usually seek attention. Why? Because they knew were dealing with someone monumentally unqualified to be vice president. Some McCain insiders still risk their own futures in warning the country that she is both unqualified and personally bizarre. And yet many conservatives still wish to foist her on the country on the theory that her intuitive conservatism beats book learning and actual knowledge. Again I say I think a majority of the country will perceive her incapacity and reject her candidacy. But I can't be sure and hence hope that she is not nominated.

Posted by: Peter Connolly | Nov 19, 2008 11:42:10 AM

The fact that Barry O is a sexist certainly didn't help him.From throwing granny under the bus to insinuating,not very subtly,that Hillary,a mere woman,wasn't competent to be POTUS,and,to cap it off,publicly,and condescendingly,referring to a female reporter as "sweetie".

Oh,yeah,AND paying female staffers less than males.
One must wonder if he'll be as devastating to feminism as Slick Willie.

Posted by: m | Nov 19, 2008 12:11:57 PM

And let me add:

No, Sarah Palin is not qualified to be POTUS.She has 4 years to change that and challenge the "narrative",as shown by Mr. Flacy.
(That all Democrats are brilliant and all Republicans dumb is easily and clearly disproven by the fact that Democrats have just elected a mirage,a mere construct,to the Presidency,based on 1 speech and 3 buzz words.
McCain ain't much,but at least he's a real person rather than an animatronic figure.)

And neither is Barack Obama qualified,a political lightweight with a paper thin resume whose political talent is confined to reading a teleprompter and cutting shady deals in the smoky back rooms of the Chicago political machine.

Posted by: m | Nov 19, 2008 1:31:06 PM

Mike Rappaport: "I don't think you are confronting the argument. Yes, McCain did worse among white women than Bush did, but he did a lot worse among white men. Now what explains his unexpected strength among white women? Palin is a very plausible answer. Your answer avoids the question."

I'll agree that Palin is a "possible" answer. Still, gathering about eigth percent fewer white female voters than Bush-Cheney did in 2004 hardly seems like a description of "unexpected strength."

Now, I reject that you can assign female voters to Palin and males to McCain, but let's pretend we can. In that case I would suggest the more appropriate phrase is that Palin did "less worse."

Posted by: DTH | Nov 19, 2008 1:59:28 PM

it continues to baffle the mind that one of your intelligence is ok voting for a ticket with sarah palin on it. i understand the attraction to the anti intelligence party for some, but not the seemingly bright on the right.

Posted by: eager | Nov 19, 2008 11:45:39 PM