FAIRBANKS, WAZOO, ST PAUL: THE KEY WAS THE GAMBIT, NOT THE GOVERNOR
There are two questions floating around here and they are getting hoplessly mixed up by analysts.
The first question is does the selection of the lovely Sarah Heath Palin advance the GOP ticket's chance for success. Damned if I know. Kinda depends upon her performance, doesn't it. Jason Isringhausen looked good on paper and Jim Edmonds didn't. Gotta perform when the bell rings.
The second question is whether manner and method of the announcement helped the GOP.
Are you kidding? Look my democrat friends: we had best face it. We're not playing with kids here. This was one of the best political gambits I have ever seen at any level, anywhere.
First, they leaked that Romney would be in Dayton. Then they leaked that Pawlenty had cancelled his sched for the next day and had booked a plane to Dayton. Then they announced that any leak was not only unauthorized but without basis because only two people knew the selection.
Then about 0730 on the fateful day, the leaked that Romney was NOT coming to Dayton. A half hour later they leaked that Pawlenty had been told it was not him. Another half hour later they leaked that Palin had canceled her sched and was coming to Dayton. BUT THEY KNEW THE PRESS KNEW JACK ABOUT PALIN. Did the McCain camp help educate the press about Palin? Hell, no. They made the newsies actually do newsie work. The reporters became obsessed with the story. The Obama brilliant speech, just 12 hours earlier was wiped from the history books. Except for the front page of USAT, it might as well not have happened.
McCain's people have created a new verb in politics. The "de-bumped" the opponent.
The discipline and the planning orchestration for this thing was nothing short of brilliant. McCain's folks just blocked out the Sun.
Before Oracle and some of my other Dem. friends get all excited, I am solidly behind Obama but we had better accept that these operatives are not the usually Haley Barber button-down brains. Somehow, some way, the GOP has recruited or developed some creative situational thinkers and we had best not underestimate them.