Commentary Magazine


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Debating Palin

On Fox Bill Kristol points to poll numbers (facts, by gosh) to demonstrate that among voters who considered Sarah Palin to be an important factor, McCain benefited slightly. Juan Williams contends she “failed” to bring in Independents and women and was not, at the end, considered by a majority of voters to be qualified. Fred Barnes jokes that her greatest contribution was as a boost to investigative reporting — sending reporters scurrying to all corners of Alaska in search of clues to her background and views.

My take: in the end she helped prevent an utter blowout by energizing and turning out the base. In time she should pursue a national role she will have time to define her own appeal and demonstrate her newly improved proficiency on national issues. But the Republicans don’t have many “stars” let alone recongizable figures. They would do well to nurture and develop the most famous and beloved (at least by the base) one which they have.