The guys and gals at The Corner got into a discussion this morning that I agree with completely. Let Sarah Palin be Sarah.
The gist of the conversation centered on the fact that it appears the McCain camp has crammed her so full of policies that she is not that confident woman we saw not to long ago:
First up is Kathryn:
She looks like a woman who’s been cramming talking points and great Matt Scully lines and Mark Salter-McCain war stories and Steve Schmidt marching orders into her head since that first plane ride from Alaska. She looks like a woman who has ceased being the confident, successful executive who got herself elected governor of Alaska without the full force of her party behind her and managed to have an approval rating of which most can’t even dream.
This seems wholly unnecessary. People love Sarah Palin when they see her. When she’s firing at full force, she comes off as authentic, self-possessed, and ready for a fight. If that is Sarah Palin, that’s the Sarah Palin who should be talking to everyone she can. That’s the Sarah Palin who should call up Rush Limbaugh. That’s the Sarah Palin who should go on The View. Heck, I thought she should have dropped in on Keith Olbermann while she was in the Big Apple and charm his official Bush-Derangement-Syndrome socks off or be cheered for trying.
Conservatives are inclined to love Palin. Hard-working, all-American family men and women who don’t have their head full of left-wing theories about Republicans are frequently warm to her — if not outright excited. Even the Left knows the attraction or they wouldn’t be going so insane over her.
She’s a rapist! She’s a fascist! She’s not a woman!
If Sarah Palin is John McCain’s secret weapon, let her go, whoever is holding her back.
On Fox News Sunday this morning Bill Kristol said let Palin go – that the McCain team is roping her off from the press and surrounding her with Bushie advisors, which sounds like the third ring of hell. She’s a talented politician, Bill advises, so let her out to do what she is good at doing. I think Bill is mostly right.
Palin is under extreme pressure. But walling her off will only increase that pressure. She needs the give and take with crowds and with the press to get her feet back under her.
I’m with the Free Sarah Palin crowd. That doesn’t mean you have to dance to the MSM’s tune. But I’ve been totally flummoxed why they haven’t been putting her on conservative talk radio and, more importantly, on local news stations. If the McCain strategists actually believe any of this elitist-vs-populist stuff when it comes to Palin, why not actually have a media strategy that conforms to that story line? The Bush campaign was very good at “going over the head” of the MSM in 2000 and 2004. The MSM even helped by shrieking their displeasure about it. Why not do the same thing with Palin? This would be a dual track strategy: it would help her get her groove on, and it would force the MSM to whine that this bumpkin from the hustings doesn’t show them due deference, which always makes the press look bad.
And finally Mark Steyn:
The Palin nomination has generated the only real enthusiasm on the Republican side and keeping her under wraps until she can mouth the appropriately nuanced platitudes isn’t worth it. There’s nothing to be gained by taking Miss Authenticity and turning her into a Foggy Bottom bore.
Plus a gazillion interviews a day with WZZZ-AM Presque Isle, Maine would lessen the Elimination Round stakes attached to the once-a-month highwire acts with Couric and Gibson. And, as Charlie Gibson’s condescending schoolmarm act suggests, the “Name the Deputy Fisheries Minister of Hoogivsastan” school of questioning is likely to wear thinner a lot quicker than any duff answers.~~~
All Governor Palin should insist on, after the desperate editing of her words by Gibson, is that every interview be live. And, if they’re all disasters, they’ll wind up like Biden’s gaffes or Clinton’s adulteries. As Stalin remarked in another context, one is a tragedy, a million is a statistic.
This is the thing. She will make gaffes. Obama has. McCain has. And god knows Biden has. She will also, but at least allow her to be herself. That is what the country fell in love with and walling her off and cramming her so full of policy positions in a few weeks so that she doesn’t appear to be herself anymore is NOT the way to win this election and prevent our country from falling to a Socialist.