John Mc..who? - The Intrepid

Friday, September 05, 2008

John Mc..who?

Last night Senator John McCain gave a tired speech that seemed to confirm his age. Although he managed to bring the Republican Convention to a swell by reiterating his struggles in Vietnam, the rest of the speech was jumbled and somewhat flat. Not surprisingly, McCain drew the most applause when he mentioned his running mate Sarah Palin.

It seems like it was only a short time ago that the McCain campaign was a write off. Obama had a double-digit lead in the polls and the McCain campaign seemed stalled and confused. However, the McCain is now revitalized. Negative ads, a new drilling policy, and a fresh and exciting running mate have reduced Obama’s lead to single digits.

Of these factors, Palin has been the most important. Smart, attractive, and apparently well spoken, Palin’s conservative credentials and image have reenergized Republicans. However, as Palin receives greater attention and scrutiny, McCain himself may pay the greatest price.

Despite her strong speech Wednesday night, Palin is still an unknown and untested candidate. So far, the resulting media attention has benefited the McCain campaign. However, if she falters the campaign might lose the momentum it has pinned on her. If she continues to succeed, she may very well eclipse McCain altogether. While the numbers have not been released, Palin probably had a greater audience than McCain. (Though she did not have to compete with Thursday night football.)

Either way, the Republicans have taken a great risk with Palin. A risk they appeared to have borrowed from the most successful page of the Democratic playbook his year.