Patterico's Pontifications


The Palin Effect

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 9:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I’m not a big Bill Clinton fan but when he’s right, he’s right:

“MARIA BARTIROMO: Were you surprised by the Palin bounce for the McCain campaign?

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: No, she’s a– she’s an instinctively– effective candidate. And with a compelling story. And– and I think it was exciting to some– that– that she was a woman. It was exciting that she was from Alaska. It was exciting that she’s sort of like the person she is. And she grew up in a– came up in a political culture and a religious culture that is probably well to the right of the American center. But, she didn’t basically define herself in those terms. She’s basically said, “Look, this is where I’m from. I’m not gonna impose this on you. This is what I wanna do that I think we can all be a part of.” So, she handled herself very well. So, I– no, I wasn’t surprised. I think that– you know, I disagree with them on a lot of these issues. And that’s why aside from party affiliation, that’s why I would be for Senator Obama and Senator Biden anyway. But– but, I think she– I– I get why she’s done so well. She– she’s– it’s a mistake to underestimate her. She’s got good in– sorry– intuitive skills. They’re significant.

A number of Floridians agree with Bill Clinton judging by today’s Sarah Palin speech before enthusiastic supporters in The Villages outside Orlando, Florida:

“Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin told wildly cheering, flag-waving, chanting supporters that John McCain is “the only great man in this race” and promised Sunday he will fix the nation’s economy if voters give the GOP four more years in the White House.
The Villages, a vast, upscale planned community north of Orlando, has about 70,000 mostly adult residents — many of them military retirees — who vote reliably Republican in statewide races. Tens of thousands inched along roads into the picturesque town square of the complex, where they stood in sweltering heat for about four hours as local GOP officials and a country band revved up the crowd.

“Sa-Rah! Sa-Rah!” they chanted at every mention of her name, applauding loudly and waiving tiny American flags that were distributed — along with free water bottles — by local volunteers. The fire chief estimated the crowd at 60,000.”

It sounds like 6 out of every 7 residents showed up for this event or there were a lot of people from neighboring communities. That’s a lot of over-55 voters.

EDIT: See Steve’s comment below. The fire chief may have overestimated the crowd size since other officials estimated it at “25,000 or more.”

I know it’s ideologically off but imagine what a Bill Clinton-Sarah Palin ticket could have done.


21 Responses to “The Palin Effect”

  1. “I know it’s ideologically off but imagine what a Bill Clinton-Sarah Palin ticket could have done.”

    Like Bill would’ve been able to get anything done.

    Sarah would’ve had to bring one of her shotguns down from Alaska just to keep the country running.

    Arrowhead (dfdc88)

  2. Bubba gave her quite an endorsement. His aside to O was almost obligatory. I have to wonder if there were 60,000 filled diapers by the side of the road after this thing. Just kidding. These people vote!

    Vermont Neighbor (a066ed)

  3. If the I-4 turnout is anything like tonight, JSM takes the state in a walk.

    Ed (f35a20)

  4. “I know it’s ideologically off but imagine what a Bill Clinton-Sarah Palin ticket could have done.”

    Well if Bill had any self-control over his base desires, it might be something spectacular given their natural gifts in connecting with people but given Bill’s utter and complete lack of said self-control, Palin would have to pack a gun to the office everyday just to be safe. That or be continually calling Hillary on the phone to come whip her boy into submission.

    Dana (4d3ea0)

  5. The demographics of The Villages are less Republican than the AP would have us believe.

    A lot of transplanted northerners from western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Just run Interstate 75 North and see where you land.

    vnjagvet (d3d48a)

  6. Here is another analysis that is not reassuring but sounds realistic. This will take a while to work through the system.

    McCain is far better prepared to deal with the next four years. We’ll see if he gets the chance. Palin will help. Biden is a hack. Obama is a nonentity. The debates are all important. The first one is Friday. I wish it was the one on economics.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  7. Andrew Sullivan hates the Palin pick, says it makes McCain unqualified to be President. Yet this is what Andrew Sullivan said in July 2004 regarding Kerry’s pick of John Edwards:

    THE RIGHT CHOICE: Well, this is just what I had hoped for – and it’s easily the best choice available to Kerry, who now passes his first presidential judgment test. Edwards is uplifting, while Kerry is a downer; he can touch the Democrats’ heart, not just their minds and their wallets; he’s fresh and youthful in a way that will only contrast sharply with Cheney; he can speak – and we need more in politics who have his kind of rhetorical skill; he’s positive, which is important in a rancid political atmosphere. Substantively, I don’t like his background among the trial lawyers, nor his protectionism. But I’ve come to think of him as a decent man, who shied from the easy snarl in the primaries, and who believes in this country’s promise in ways that some on the left have lost touch with. He’s the anti-bitterness candidate. And his presence will change the dynamic. The trouble with Bush’s and Cheney’s fundamental position – you cannot trust anyone else to wage this war – is that it must inevitably conjure fear and danger. Americans also like broad grins and happy futures. Edwards will give them plenty.

    – 11:29:35 AM

    If for some reason John McCain and Sarah Palin actually win, perhaps Andrew Sullivan should start questioning his own judgment and integrity.

    Joe (8102a5)

  8. “…perhaps Andrew Sullivan should start questioning his own judgment and integrity.

    Oh My Gawd. The Humanity!

    Another Drew (551fef)

  9. “imagine what a Bill Clinton-Sarah Palin ticket could have done”

    So much I want to say…

    …so much I’m not saying.

    Teflon Don (0d1e49)

  10. The fire chief estimated the crowd at 60,000.

    It likely broke all records. No doubt about it.

    From Politico:

    “The St. Pete Times’s Adam Smith had another fire official in the crowd say it was about 25,000.”

    Tampa Tribune:

    “…security officials at the scene estimated at 25,000 or more.”

    MyFox Orlando [WOFL]:

    “More than 17,000 tickets had been handed out for the event and an estimated 25,000 people attended.”

    steve (8ea3bc)

  11. steve,

    I guess that makes 75,000! (25,000 + 25,000 + 25,000)

    DRJ (0754ed)

  12. (And, yes, I’m just kidding.)

    DRJ (0754ed)

  13. Maybe those extra people can offset some of the votes from Berlin.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  14. You would almost think old Bill would like to see Obama lose! Now why would he want that!!??

    Philip (8b246e)

  15. DRJ wrote,

    I know it’s ideologically off but imagine what a Bill Clinton-Sarah Palin ticket could have done.

    I tried to imagine that, but couldn’t get my mind around it.

    I think both Bill Clinton and Sarah Palin can accurately be described as “naturals” as campaigners, but I don’t think the traits which account for that are remotely the same.

    Clinton’s natural skills are precisely what George Burns was speaking of when he explained the secret of great acting: the key is sincerity — because if you can fake that, you’ve got it made. From at least high school onward, Bill Clinton evolved himself into someone who make voters believe he “could feel [their] pain.” His is an emotional alchemy: So intense was his desire for political success that if being empathetic was what it took to succeed, he became indistinguishable from someone who was genuinely empathetic. How little he actually cared — about anything, or anybody, and especially about the responsibility and dignity of being the President of the United States — is proved by what he did “off-stage,” with an adoring intern in the Oval Office, with less remorse or comprehension of the magnitude of his misconduct than the average dog has upon soiling a rug.

    What’s going on with Sarah Palin now is completely different. I’m not saying she’s not ambitious too — clearly, she is. But ambition is not what defines her. To the contrary, what people are reacting to is the fact that yes, she really is a hockey mom — a smart, articulate, principled, energetic, and yes, ambitious one, but still an ordinary and non-synthetic person to whom tens of millions of Americans can instantly and viscerally relate.

    Beldar (c63002)

  16. Don’t ever underestimate the American People when they find someone they like.

    Another Drew (551fef)

  17. Beldar,

    I’m glad you’re powered-up again. I know this has been a difficult period for you and lots of South Texans. Hang in there. We’re really proud of you guys.

    DRJ (0754ed)

  18. I am glad to see that Clinton still has well-functioning natural reactions.

    DN (32765a)

  19. OK, I’ll bite too. – imagine what a Bill Clinton-Sarah Palin ticket could have done.

    Could’ve done got Bill into lots more trouble.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  20. Oh, you just know what Bill really thinks about Palin.

    Kate (91ca17)

  21. I was a Clinton advocate then (late 80’s) and am a Palin advocate now. In both cases, the reaction of the opposing party tells you all you need to know about how talented they are.

    I’m a little concerned, however, that the Dems have a lot more barrels of ink and MHz of bandwidth than the Reps had then. If Palin can survive, we’ll have a keeper.

    David Warner (569e58)

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