Rage We Can Believe In

September 4, 2008 10:38 a.m.

I know I’m swimming upstream against a stiff current. But I’ll stick to my first impression. I think Mike Allen is nuts to call the Palin speech a grand slam. For partisan Republicans, absolutely. It’s a bad year for Republicans and the desire for something or someone to get excited about is palpable. And they got it. But there’s only so much more consolidating of the Republican base McCain can do. As good as her delivery was, I really don’t think this was a speech that spoke to the issues that are driving the election this year. I don’t think it’s a slashing attacks against liberal elites kind of year. And as much as politics is about gut reactions and instinct, I don’t think ignoring any discussion of the economy this year works. Finally, fundamentally, I do think this is a change election year. And I don’t think that was a change speech. Not a convincing one.

As I said, I could totally be wrong. Just my opinion.

Also significant, while the networks have gotten distracted about the kid nonsense, Palin has a serious issue with a lot of on the record lies — on a serious front with trooper-gate and on a lighter front with the repeated lies about the bridge to nowhere.

Through August, as the McCain campaign laid down a blanket of harsh and denigrating ads diminishing Obama and the Obama camp receded into the background with little clear message defining the election for up-for-grabs voters, I felt increasingly concerned about the course of the race. After this, I don’t feel that way.

Late Update: I just saw James Fallows’ take on this. I think he’s got it right.

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