Sunday, September 07, 2008

Political Notes

I've almost read myself silly on the political blogs this weekend. Here are some links and commentary.

Palin appears to disagree with McCain on sex education

In this story from the LA Times, reporters keep looking for new things to share about Governor Palin that they hope will separate her from the Christian Right.  That's a fools errand.  Governor Palin would have to be caught defecating in public before that separation occurred, and I'm not all sure that even THAT would work.

Palin in this story is depicted as being in favor of both abstinence programs and teaching about condoms in school. Call it yet another "all of the above" position on drilling.  As the proud Uncle of two conceived-out-of-wedlock children, and my 17-year old nieces were both on oral contraceptives, I can see her point.  Welded shut chastity belts are your only guarantee.

A suggestion many fathers and uncles could easily get behind.

Conventional Wisdom Shifting In Obama Biden McCain Palin Presidential Race As Republicans Smile

The Moderate Voice tosses out the trope about "The Speech" being written by a speech writer.  As a public speaker myself, let me give you an old chestnut of a rule. "The audience is often paying much closer attention to non-verbal clues to judge your honesty. Content is secondary to them." The Clinton corollary to that is: "if you can fake sincerity, you've got it made."

Certainly Gov. Palin's speech was written with help from a ghost. So was almost every speech given in the past few weeks, including John McCain's.

It was in this more important facet of her speech, authenticity, that Governor Palin scored heavily.  

McCain's more pedestrian delivery of the written word also belied the good he did himself in reinforcing his themes of character, non-partisanship.

If you look at both the Zogby and Gallop today, the undecided vote is shrinking quickly. The question becomes, what percentage of those swing voters are also likely voters?

We could be looking at a replay of 2004 when getting out the committed voters was the key -- and the Christian Right won that battle. Obama so far this year has had the best grass roots operation (yeah, being a community organizer does have SOME advantages). Can the Christian Right make up for losing 8 months of this year in the next 60 days?

IF Palin can keep from making a major gaffe or being tagged by the media, she could be a factor. Obama doesn't have to be worried about making gaffes as he gets a pass... almost daily.  Today he accidentally referred to himself as a Muslim before George Stephanopolis helpfully corrected him.

Being an informed citizen these days requires a lot more work digging up original sources as the politicized media (right and left) can't be trusted to report even basic facts without spin.

One thing we can be sure of... the conventional wisdom often is overturned. There will be more changes before we get there.