Susan Estrich has watched the Todd Palin interview on Fox shown over the last two nights. I entirely share her take on Todd Palin, nicknamed the “First Dude:”
He is not fancy. He is not elite. He is not a single one of the things that Barack Obama has been criticized for. He is from a town even smaller than the one he grew up in. He was secure enough to marry a smart and ambitious girl, a girl he has always thought had great things in her.
A Beverly Hills dinner with 300 best friends at $2,850 apiece is not where you would ever place him, much less ever imagine him to be. The Democrat is the guy in Beverly Hills, as comfortable as he could be, even if he didn’t grow up there. He has the pedigrees. So does his wife. So does his opponent, and his opponent’s wife. So ultimately does a 36-year member of the Senate wherever he is from. It is the Republican guy who is real not rich, hard-working not fancy, so All Alaskan that he is in fact much more in touch with what he is, which is a whole lot easier for a very lot of he voters who are likely to decide this election.
A funny thing is happening on the way to this election. Actually, I am not laughing. The Palins are out there rolling their eyes at people who actually get protected in all these various banking bailouts, because it certainly seems that ultimately the only people who made out and then got bailed out were the big-money guys. Lehman and Bear Stearns don’t just pop out when you’re thinking about what the modern American dream means today.
Obama is in Beverly Hills, cavorting with Barbra Streisand not because he’d rather do that than snowmobiling, but because in fact he must. But the mere fact that he can is damning, not to mention time-consuming.
People who lauded “identity politics” for decades don’t want to have anything to do with it now. That is understandable: the gap between the Democratic presidential candidate’s rhetoric and his behavior is glaring, and the Republican VP nominee and her spouse closely approximate average Americans in values, culture, and socio-economic position. If Democrats really want to win this, they should stop asking voters to choose the candidate who “understands them.” They might choose the one who is them.