The Man Trap

posted at 12:15 pm on August 30, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Kirsten Powers has watched the hysterical shrieking coming from her own Democratic Party in the wake of Sarah Palin’s selection as John McCain’s running mate, and has newfound respect for the Republican candidate.  In one move, Powers argues, McCain has ripped the mask of inclusion from the Democratic Party and exposed an ugly attitude towards women in power.  They’ve also managed to underscore every argument McCain has made about Barack Obama’s readiness for high office at the same time:

Is she a gamble? Definitely. But so is Barack Obama, who has himself dismissed experience as a prerequisite for leadership, despite his spot atop the Democratic ticket.

At this point, Palin is so unknown, there’s no way to make a clear judgment about her. But listening to Obama supporters take to the airwaves to shriek with indignation about her lack of experience is just a little too rich. Where were they when Obama, two years into the Senate, announced his candidacy for president?

One Obama supporter and political operative blogged, “In picking an unknown, untested half-a-term governor from Alaska . . . John McCain is following in a long line of reckless men who have rolled the dice for a beauty queen.” …

I can’t help wondering if this is a trap. The McCain camp watched and learned as Obama supporters offended Hillary supporters by their treatment of her. The McCainiacs had to know that this group is incapable of behaving, that Palin would bring out their worst instincts.

This trap has two doors, as Powers notes, and the Obama campaign and its supporters fell through both of them.  First, it didn’t take long to speak dismissively of Palin as a “beauty queen” and a “small-town” hick, even though she governs the state of Alaska and has a favorability rating in the 80s.  No one actually came out and called her “Sweetie”, but to women who resented the Obama campaign’s real and imagined sexist slights against Hillary Clinton, it was deja vu all over again.

The bigger trap, though, was the knee-jerk attack on Palin’s experience.  Calling her a “small-town mayor” only underscored Obama’s own woeful lack of experience.  Two years as Governor trumps a year as Senator before running for the presidency, and having been an executive in Wasila trumps having been a “community organizer” in Chicago’s South Side.  Further, Palin has a record of attacking her own party’s machine to effect real reform in Alaska, where Obama never lifted a finger to support reform of the Chicago political machine while in Illinois, and had one of its fixers, Tony Rezko, raising money for him most of his career.

Geraldine Ferraro didn’t dismiss Palin’s experience.  She called Palin a risky choice, but the risk is in her lack of national-politics exposure, not from supposedly being unqualified, which Ferraro rejects.  Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson says that Palin will resonate with disaffected women in the Demoratic Party, especially the more moderate voters, who see Obama and his clique as chauvinist — and will more now, after their “beauty queen” reaction.

Did McCain set Obama up to fall into this trap?  If so, then perhaps that more than anything demonstrates how poor a candidate Obama is and how much more masterful McCain can be.  Would you rather have the man who set the trap dealing with our enemies abroad, or the man who fell into it?


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You can certainly tell that the memo has been sent out from the Obama campaign: “Get on every conservative website you can find and TRASH this evil woman, repeatedly- she must be destroyed!” Disgusting. God forbid there should be a woman of honesty and character running for office. I do think that Kristen Powers missed the main point however- it isn’t the “trap” that’s going to propel McCain/Palin into office, it’s the complete and total rallying of the conservative base that’s going to do it. You just watch the church efforts to get out the vote this fall. On a personal note, as a 40+ moderate conservative, I am overjoyed to have a politician, (male OR female) that I like! That I trust! That doesn’t ooze oil, (ala Biden!) as for her “experience”, I happen to think she has plenty, and people as sharp as she is, learn fast- as Obama likes to say, they “get” it.

anniekc on August 30, 2008 at 4:28 PM

Whatever. People with tremendous character take whatever God sends them. People without character try to find a loophole.

No doubt, alph, there are a lot more of the latter than the former.

But those with tremendous character make America great, and are the ones who deserve to lead.

People like Governor Sarah Palin.

jeff_from_mpls on August 30, 2008 at 2:32 PM

*standing ovation*

I could not have said it better.

congratulations_universe on August 30, 2008 at 5:29 PM

Look, I’m not gonna read all 3 pages of previous comments, but if no one yet has floated the “strange new respect for:” or, “second look at:” memes in re Geraldine Ferraro, well, consider them afloated.

boko fittleworth on August 30, 2008 at 7:51 PM

I spent most of the day reading blogs and comments from all over, and I can tell you the Obamessiah Minions are out in force… some of the postings are simply cut and pasted, because they appear word for word on several blogs.

The funniest ones are when they try to pretend to be conservatives themselves merely expressing “concern” for Sarah’s family values in that she would not have time for her children.

The saddest one was a supposed mother of a down’s syndrome baby claiming that the decision to keep the baby was “no big deal” and a decision most mothers would make. I replied to that one with the statistic that 80% are aborted, and as a matter of fact, it was a down’s syndrome baby who survived an abortion attempt and left to die alone in a soiled linen for 45 minutes that prompted the IL State Senate to propose the Infant Born Alive Act to protect babies in such cases and give them medical care and that Obama was the only lawmaker to get up and argue that the law would place too much of a burden on the abortionist.

Some try to be crudely dismissive with the beauty queen from a hick town, some try the racist card against the PUMAs – which I believe are real and REALLY angry. And you can tell they are, because their posts are long and very expressive. They are not likely to be picked up by McCain, but I think the magic of Palin is not in picking up the disaffected women, but in energizing the base.

The Obamamites must be REALLY scared.

Queen0fCups on August 30, 2008 at 9:50 PM

A community organizer is someone who usually works with disenfranchised and low income people to find resources to alleviate their poverty. They are a “connector” to a world of resources, both agencies and people. It is a satisfying job but low on the totem pole except probably in Chicago. It can be advertised or hired by connections. It is low paying usually except probably in Chicago. I know, I was one.

Perhaps you were scrupulous, but here in Chicagoland – a community organizer is one who whips up the mostly (intentionally) uneducated electorate into a class warfare frenzy in order to shakedown that shadowy figure known as “The Man” The spoils are then given to the cohorts and cronies, with a few crumbs given to the people who are actually in need, so they can whip them up another day for another shakedown.

Queen0fCups on August 30, 2008 at 10:45 PM

My Palin video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quvBbcFDPI0

D0WNT0WN on August 31, 2008 at 2:41 AM

@ Queen0fCups on August 30, 2008 at 9:50 PM:

I replied to that one with the statistic that 80% are aborted, and as a matter of fact, it was a down’s syndrome baby who survived an abortion attempt and left to die alone in a soiled linen for 45 minutes that prompted the IL State Senate to propose the Infant Born Alive Act to protect babies in such cases and give them medical care and that Obama was the only lawmaker to get up and argue that the law would place too much of a burden on the abortionist.

Excellent point.

For me, I had pretty much decided I was either going to vote 3rd party, write-in or abstain. With McVain floating Ridge or any other so-called moderate pro-choice, that would have sealed it for me.

The more I read up on Palin, the more I like her and am energized about voting for Palin as VP. I’m still holding my nose on McVain, as the price of admission for Palin. If nothing else, we can start speculating about Palin to lead the ticket in ’12.

AH_C on August 31, 2008 at 12:48 PM

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