The Novelty Candidate

Yes, there’s a Sarah Palin action figure doll. Those of you who still have your George W. Bush fighter pilot action figure doll will want one. Just don’t tell me what you do with them.

I don’t know if Gary Kamiya saw the Palin action figure before he wrote “The dominatrix” for Salon. Readers are complaining that the article is sexist. Personally, I think Kamiya has a point.

At a conscious level, the Republican duo are masquerading as reformers who will “clean up Washington.” But their unconscious appeal may be more important. By choosing Palin, McCain and the GOP have elbowed the Democrats off the dance floor. In a bizarre turnaround, the uptight Republicans are suddenly the party of sex, women, fun. They’re all about spontaneity, bucking convention, letting their freak flags fly. If it feels good, do it! Let Mr. Dignified, Obama, drone on about the economy or the resurgence of the Taliban or whatever boring downer of a subject he wants to lecture us on. Let that long-winded Joe Biden carry us back to that Poli Sci 201 class we fell asleep in. Hey, did you check out Palin’s rack? It’s party time in America!

Kamiya also suggests that “Drill, drill, drill” has a subtext I hadn’t thought of.

McCain’s rise in the polls appears to be almost entirely a reaction to Sarah Palin. As everyone keeps saying, she has “energized the base.” That’s another phrase that’s taken on new meaning for me after reading Kamiya’s article, but never mind. There is disagreement over how much bounce McCain got, and whether it will last. (For discussion see this and this.)

I have no doubt that the wingnuts will love Sarah Palin forever. After all, we’re talking about people who are still angry that the Senate bounced Robert Bork’s SCOTUS nomination more than 20 years ago. If the Palin-McCain ticket loses, the loss will be added to their Grievance Hall of Fame.

What remains to be seen is whether Palin can keep the affection of those swing voters who have swung in her direction. Maybe, but I think it’s more likely she’ll end up being a novelty toy that amuses for a few days but quickly ends up in that box of random junk in the basement.

As Josh Marshall points out, Palin’s “reformer/maverick” persona is built entirely on lies. And, for a change, the MSM actually is reporting on some of these lies. Current headlines:

Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home: Taxpayers Also Funded Family’s Travel” (Washington Post)

Record Contradicts Palin’s ‘Bridge’ Claims” (the bleeping Wall Street Journal, believe it or not)

I like the Obama campaign’s response ad. It even uses the “L” word — lying. Whoa!

The McCain campaign’s issue-free ads tout the ticket as a pair of “reformers” and “mavericks” who will bring “change.” All image, no substance. Will that work? I’ve seen similar campaigns fail in the past, and I’ve also seen them succeed. I think a lot depends on what mood the electorate is in.

The GOP marketing strategy is essentially the same one they used to sell Dubya in 2000. Al Gore is a bore. George Bush is fun. Hey, America — are we having fun yet?

21 thoughts on “The Novelty Candidate

  1. I seem to be a voice in the wilderness on this one, but polling and their results – other than by prospective candidates and/or candidates – should be outlawed. (Anyone divulging the results to the public would be fined big time.)

    Polling results can and often do launch the ‘band-wagon effect’ in the public arena – Palin-mania is a working example. Polling is afterall a media gimmick, a staged horserace which is always an audience draw. Voters are human beings, I think, and because we like being on the ‘winning’ side, the votes we end up casting often are based on little more than our need to join the crowd, to hop on the band-wagon.

  2. Perhaps this will make me seem like a sexist pig, but I keep looking at Sarah Palin and seeing her the way I have viewed so many other sexy women I’ve encountered. Initially, all you can see is the sex appeal. Eventually the real persona reveals itself and she’s no longer so attractive. I have a funny feeling the electorate will respond the same way.

  3. Zondervan announces a New Biography of Sarah Palin:

    “A new biography, titled Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader by Joe Hilley (Zondervan 2008), will explore themes from her career in politics, her life as a hockey mom, and her strongly held Christian faith, explaining how they influence her new style of leadership and align with our changing economy in the information age. The book is scheduled for release nationwide on October 10, 2008.

    “In Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader, Hilley explores traits from Palin’s background and experience, including her maverick integrity, electrifying communication style, career agility, and perpetual education, to establish his argument for Palin as an exemplary leader in our rapidly changing cultural landscape. By exploring the leadership principles that have catapulted Palin into the national spotlight, Hilley explains how she models a fresh paradigm of leadership that will guide the United States through the 21st century.

    “We live in an age that values relationship over authority and instant information over accuracy, so breadth of knowledge and depth of conviction are the most prized commodities for our leaders,” said Hilley. “Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin brings both of these qualities and more to her new role as John McCain’s running mate and I’m eager for readers to have the opportunity to know her and her brand of leadership more thoroughly.”

    New kind of leader? It’s amazing the extent to which the right will wrap their “leaders” with such stupifying BS to bamboozle the public. I don’t know if Zondervan has a history of these types of books – they were pretty respected at one time for bibles and study materials, more serious stuff than this sort of hype. I guess they know a business opportunity when they see one.

    nerdoff (#6) – my male reaction to Palin is seeing the sex appeal simultaneously with the many rows of sharp teeth, along with a quick and unprincipled mind. She scares the hell out of me, both for the damage she could do to this country, but also for her amped up charm and lethality. Sarah Barracuda indeed.

  4. I saw the WSJ article (and several others recently) that have been critical of Palin and McCain. None behind the firewall. I suspect even they are afraid of what a Palin victory would mean.

    After all, the economy does much better under Democratic leadership. The WSJ and others like the pendulum swings–the republicanst cuts taxes for the rich and screws up the economy, and then the democrats step in the clean it up. Meanwhile, the rich make out like bandits.

    But you can’t keep the GOP in too long, or they will totally destroy the economy–and perhaps even put some of their crazy fundie ideas into law!

  5. Since the subject at hand is the Palin phenomenon, I’ll repeat what I just posted at WaPo.

    George Orwell said, “The common man, to be controlled must remain an ignorant fanatic, whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation and orgiastic triumph.” Enter Sarah.

  6. And the Sarah buildup continues…

    From not knowing that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are are not taxpayer supported entitiestoco-writing an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal about bailing out the same…

    From a honcho in Alaska’s National Guard initially saying Sarah had no command role in the Guard’s deployments outside Alaskato …the same honcho praising her leadership role, after he just happened to receive a promotion. Get with the program, fella, will ya?

    Extreme makeover, Republican-style. I wonder how many people from “reputation management” have been assigned to work on Sarah.

  7. Yeah, nerdoff.. I know what you mean! At first they turn your head, but once you get a closer look at the personality, then they turn your stomach.

  8. Does the Palin action figure come with a field-dressed moose? I’d buy that. Without the moose, there’s no point.

  9. She’s got a real GI-Joe pair of gams, there. Neo’s coat from The Matrix, and I think that’s Megan Mullally’s head, from her Will & Grace character. Fun!

    The novelty’s going to wear off in the next few weeks, and then be ground into the carpet by Joe Biden on Oct. 2. What with all of Palin’s ludicrous bragging on herself, Joe can take the gloves off and not be seen as a bully.

  10. In regard to Moonbat’s link to Fannie Mae,Freddie Mac(Above), and the statement put out by Palin and McCain’s campaign claiming to lead the charge for accountability in financial markets.

    McCain’s son Andrew sat on the board of a failed Nevada bank that was put into receivership last week. Andrew bailed from the pending meltdown this past July, and he went running back to Mommy Dearest to score a position as chief financial officer for mommy’s and daddy’s beer distributorship. I’m sure young Andrew was able to beat the heat with his pockets loaded with adequate compensation for a failure that taxpayers will ultimately have to eat.

    The whole episode brings back memories of Silverado,Charlie Keating and Johnny the maverick McCain. But then again…that was only a few billion dollars that the taxpayer had to eat.

  11. This is a must see! Michael Palin (from Monty Python) for president.

    Makes sense to me:

  12. McCain MUST APOLOGIZE to Obama!

    In the insulting and misleading education ad that McCain ran yesterday, accusing Obama of supporting sex education for kindergartners and making the Democratic candidate seem like some sort of pervert, the campaign based on smears over issues achieved a new low.

    The fact is, the legislation that the ad referred to was actually designed to protect young children from pedophiles, and that has made me think about the reason why McCain would run such an ad. The only thing that I can come up with is that McCain supports pedophiles and is trying to protect his large body of pedophilic supporters.

    Now what else leads me to think about McCain as a pedophile supporter? As an old man who has had an obvious interest in MUCH younger women and as a man with a well-known obscene language problem, McCain certainly is not the “cleanest” of individuals. Obama, in turn, whose commitment to daughters and a single wife is well documented, has a totally above board background that McCain can’t touch.

    I think McCain MUST APOLOGIZE to Obama for this outrageous ad and the implied charge it contained. If he doesn’t it supports my theory.

    Under The LobsterScope

  13. I’ll add this to my nut cracker collection. If a Hillary action figure comes out, I’ll buy both, tie them together and throw them over a clothes line. Could be interesting………

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