Should Obama look to Alaska?
The chattering classes now wonder what Christine O'Donnell is going to say about dabbling in witchcraft.
The rest of the country is not worried about witchcraft and doesn't know who O'Donnell is.
You might think that O'Donnell capturing the GOP Senate nomination for Joe Biden's old seat would give the Democrats a boost: Not just in terms of winning Delaware, but in painting tea party candidates as kinda eccentric--you know, more worried about opposing masturbation than mainstream issues.
That won't work, no matter how many clips of O'Donnell that Bill Maher releases. She's not a big enough target. Most voters are more worried about the economy. And it would take a sorcerer's spell to get them to stop blaming the Obama administration for our current doldrums.
What's a president to do? Atlantic's Marc Ambinder says Obama needs a new target:
"That person is Sarah Palin."
"All that's required is for the president to utter her name a couple of times. The Fox-Rush-Redstate nexus would explode. Palin would bask in the attention and respond. And respond. And respond.
"The press would cover the story and ask why the president would elevate Sarah Palin? David Broder might write a column bemoaning the fact that the President chose politics over the institution of the presidency, which is supposed to respect the dignity of all Americans.
"Elevate Sarah Palin? How much higher can she go? Everyone knows her. Some of Obama's advisers have argued in the past that the attention paid to Palin by Americans in the last stages of the 2008 campaign is one reason why Obama was able to win so cleanly...
"Yes, the election is about control of Congress. But at a larger level, it's about competing visions of the world. John Boehner v. the Democratic agenda is a boring contrast. Many Democrats couldn't tell a Boehner from a Cantor. But everyone knows who Sarah Palin is."
It would certainly be a better story line for the media. But I'm not convinced it would work.
Palin, whatever her future plans, isn't on the ballot for 2010. She can just sit back in Wasilla and jab away through her Facebook page, with the media panting over every status update. Obama will seem mired in the muck of politics, swinging at Sarah Barracuda instead of the unemployment rate. And I don't see how that helps rank-and-file Democratic candidates.
Sure be fun to cover, though.
In a story that's very much related, the NYT reports:
"President Obama's political advisers, looking for ways to help Democrats and alter the course of the midterm elections in the final weeks, are considering a national advertising campaign that would cast the Republican Party as all but taken over by Tea Party extremists, people involved in the discussion said."
Something like Tea Can Be Hazardous To Your Health?
| September 19, 2010; 8:24 PM ET
Categories: Latest stories | Tags: Christine O'Donnell, Obama, Sarah Palin
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Posted by: ohioan | September 20, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse