Sep 3, 2008


The Republican push-back against the media for reporting critical stories about Sarah Palin has reached a fever pitch, with charges of outright sexism preceding claims that news of Bristol Palin's pregnancy makes Sarah Palin appear authentic to voters.

I'm sure the ramped up virulence plays well with the base but it also threatens to fundamentally alter the relationship John McCain has with the press - something we're already seeing happen.

As I said before, Palin could throw McCain off his game. Her mere selection has introduced a set of polarizing cultural issues into the campaign that McCain has generally tried to avoid. These issues, and the all-out assault on the media, will keep the base fired up for sure; but, as David Brooks asked on today's show: Why is McCain having to fire up the base this late in the campaign? Shouldn't he be consolidating his base and reaching out to independents and soft Democrats? I know Joe Lieberman tried to help with that last night, but does anyone think that worked - especially coming after Fred Thomson?

*Boil it all down to this: Ask yourself why Palin has electrified the Republican base and then ask whether they will remain electrified once the focus returns to John McCain?

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