“Worst Possible Backdrop … No Worries”

Funniest thing I saw all day:

Snub or Choice?

Steve Benen at Washington Monthly believes it likely that Sarah Palin’s failure to emerge from last week’s Republican Governors Association’s meeting with a leadership post represented a snub by her colleagues. I’m not so sure. Who’s to say she wanted one? Her track to higher office rests on her populist appeal, not on her ability to play the insider.

Like I Said …

Republican women and Democratic women just don’t mix. The Washington Post:

In the new poll, it is underlying political attitudes that appear to dominate, just as they do in ratings of Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee. Eighty-five percent of Republicans view Palin favorably, and nearly nine in 10 approve of her selection as Sen. John McCain‘s running mate. Among Democrats, 24 percent view her favorably and 57 percent disapprove of her selection.

Told ‘Ya

CNN’s Anderson Cooper and his crew scored an interview with Sarah Palin’s former brother-in-law. As I expected, he comes off as a real shit.

Sharpening Divides

David Frum offers up a letter from an anti-abortion independent:

Obama’s campaign has been premised on an appeal to voters exactly like me -– voters who want a politics that does not so obviously delight in wallowing in the mud.  If there are a lot of Independents like me, Palin is a disaster.  She’s just performed what it is that is driving us from the Republicans.  She’s running against hope and the notion that we need civility in our political life.  She’s running against the notion that we ought to hold our fellow Americans in respect whether they come from small towns or big towns. 

I’m hearing some of the same concerns from swing voters in my circle. They heard from the GOP false notes, and far too many claims that implied a divine right to rule.

Meanwhile, my own read on Palin’s Wasilla career is coming around to a sense that she’s a pure opportunist. More on that over the weekend.

Executive Presidents

Lisa at Ramblings of a Pseudo-Intellectual is going through the list of the country’s presidents and trying to judge whether their particular background, experience-wise, contributed to superior performance in office. So far she’s through Fillmore. Her most controversial judgment so far would have to be her conclusion that Andrew Jackson was not a good president. The mere fact ol’ Andy told John C. Calhoun to get stuffed tips the meter to the “good” side for me.

Rural/Urban

Daniel Drezner gets it:

Forget red state/blue state cleavages; the cultural divide in this election is urban/rural.  There was very little about Palin’s speech to like if you lived in a large metropolis, but plenty for rural citizens to appreciate. 

Speech Service

Around the ‘sphere, it’s all very predictable as people assess Palin’s speech and the rest of GOP Night #2. Personally, I find the liveblogs at 538 most interesting. I’ve been reading Nate Silver for years, albeit while he was still writing just about baseball. But I learned a lot about baseball from him and he’s showing a lot of promise as a politics guy. Best moments tonight: when he and co-blogger Sean Q. queried some false notes on the question of service.

Nate, talking about Palin’s community-organizer slam:

We’ll see how well she is able to deliver this line — it is sure to get big applause in St. Paul. But it seems awfully petty for a party campaigning on the theme of service (of which there are other types apart from enlisting in the military).

Sean, reacting to Giuliani’s keynote:

9:11 CDT: [Sean] Open contemptuous mocking of community organizing. Wow, terrible read of the national mood.

Palin Kids

I haven’t a thing to say about the Palin family’s varied offspring for the simple reason that their personal decisions don’t affect me. Live and let live, is my attitude. The world would be a better place if a few more preachers and politicians would act on that sentiment.

Thumbs Down

North Carolina’s two favorite blogging political heavyweights, Gary Pearce (aide to former Gov. Jim Hunt) and Carter Wrenn (aide to the late Sen. Jesse Helms) are not impressed by the Palin selection. Their reasoning differs slightly, but agrees on McCain’s weakness.

Pearce:

McCain panicked after the Democratic convention and Obama’s speech. He wanted to stop the momentum. He did. The wrong way. … Show me a party that worries about revving up the base at this point in the campaign, and I’ll show you a party that’s losing. It’s another iron law of politics.

Wrenn:

McCain’s campaign got caught flat-footed, fumbled, and looked just plain silly … This constitutes a whole bunch of fumbles –- in five days –- by folks who were supposed to know better. Governor Palin has a lot going for her and right now she ought to give some thought to telling the political gurus she’d just as soon decide how to handle the next crisis herself.