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538.com doesn’t get it

September 15, 2008

Forget ‘giving the voters permission’ Obama needs to go negative against Palin

Even before I became neutral on the election after the selection of Palin, I was constantly amazed by the extreme polarisation in American politics and America generally. Lest you think that I am being a presumptuous Limey snob, I freely admit that British politics could do with a bit more controversy and a bit more definition. Indeed, British religion, culture and thought is a little bit too homogenous and self-satisfied. However, although American politics may be exciting, it is also depressing. On the one hand you have the cynicism of the Republicans putting an someone extremely inexperienced who clearly doesn’t agree with McCain on anything on the ticket, to win a few votes while on the Democratic side they produce the following:

To defuse the Sarah Palin Phenomenon, Democrats need to explicitly give voters permission to both like her as a person and then also not vote for her.

While I agree that the Democrats should aim their blows above the belt, having them praise Palin in a nauseating way before half-heartedly jabbing at her is the last thing they should do. Not only is it patronising but it also is fundamentally phoney. After all, if they think that she is really a likeable person why are they attacking her? I agree that they will lose a few brownie points with the media if they relentlessly hold her to account, and probably some Hillary supporter will accuse them of sexism, but nice guys always finish second in Presidential elections – just ask Kerry and Dukakis.

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