Oh my: Dem strategists set to give Palin the Limbaugh treatment

Like the man said, they’ve exhausted the use of Rush as an attention-getter. So they’re off to hunt bigger moose.

Slublog snarks that the over/under on references to Alinksy’s “pick the target and personalize it” rule in the comments to this post is four. I would have said 40. Don’t let me down.

“Her name conjures up all kinds of reactions in people’s minds,” Carville told me, adding that her association with the campaign will be used to portray the GOP as hidebound and to alienate moderates. “She’s an uncomfortable figure for a lot of Republicans,” Carville says. “They want to move beyond her. We like her.”

“Luckily, she seems to present us with an opportunity every few days,” added a senior Dem strategist. “You could say it’s a turkey shoot.”

Such efforts are aimed at the Dem base. But House Dem strategists hope she can be used to damage the GOP’s image with swing constituencies in the 2010 elections. “When she was campaigning, she rubbed suburban and independent women the wrong way,” one House Dem strategist says. “They are generally very moderate, and she’s a reminder of the extremism of the party and other aspects of it they dislike.”

Think they’re kidding? Have a look at the flier Democrat Scott Murphy just sent out in upstate New York. The obvious response here is “Great! It’s worked wonders for Rush.” And indeed, at least one progressive’s prepared to concede defeat in the Great Limbaugh War of ’09. But: (a) Rush has the time, platform, and incentive to fight daily skirmishes with Democrats while Palin doesn’t and (b) don’t forget that boosting Rush’s profile was the point of the White House’s strategy, on the theory that the public’s antipathy to him would bleed over to the GOP. Surely Emanuel et al. knew that a media war would increase Limbaugh’s ratings; they simply calculated that the political benefit of rebranding Republicans as Team Rush outweighed the cost of making his megaphone bigger. Maybe they’re wrong about that, maybe they’re not, but evidently they’re willing to double down and try the same strategy out on Palin. Exit question: Do gender politics make it more likely that they’ll overplay their hand with her than with Limbaugh? If they’re putting out one ad after another beating up on her while she’s lying low and taking care of business in Alaska, it’ll quickly seem gratuitous.