Originally Posted by jrc
You are right PUREPHAZED. These are important issues for the country. But, strangely, large numbers of voters here do not vote in presidential elections based on an issue based platform. The McCain campaign knows this well, and the Dems ignore it at their peril.
Successful Republican candidates such as Bush and Reagan didn’t win on issues and policies. They ran (and won) mostly on selling their association (regardless of whether true or not) with notions such as trust, identity, character and, most of all, “values.” In that light, choosing Palin may be a shrewd choice for the McCain campaign. She can be used to promote the values that Republicans traditionally have tried (successfully) to project as exclusively theirs, e.g.: “toughness” (hunts and eats caribous); “individual responsibility and tough love” (daughter is pregnant and will marry the father); “discipline and hard work” (raised 5 kids while managing a successful political career).
None of these values are exclusively Republican or “conservative” of course. But in encapsulating them in the persona of the ideal “small town” conservative mom—pretty, leaning to the religious right, NRA member, son in the military etc.—she taps into some pretty strong republican themes and conservative stereotypes that could well translate into support for the McCain ticket in November despite the fact that the dems should have the upper hand on the issues (as the polls indicate). She also happens to offset McCain's weaknesses in some of these areas (e.g. privileged background--both his and Cindy's, stupendously rich, the wife #1 abandonment, long-time DC insider etc).
There is no way the Obama campaign saw this coming (hell, most members of the McCain campaign, and probably McCain himself didn’t see it coming a month ago), so it will be very interesting to see how they respond.
jrc. you are quite right! the 'values' thing. This is what frightens me most actually. But we will see. It was a shot in the dark and it I believe it will work on the working class.