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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Palin Does SNL, But Not MTP

Give Sarah Palin cred for good sportsmanship for showing up on SNL and taking some sharp zingers. But her remark, scripted or not, about Tina Fey’s Palin press conference skit was a little strange. “I didn’t think it was a realistic depiction of the way my press conferences would have gone.” What press conferences? We’re still waiting.
Fey has scoffed at the suggestion that she has any influence on politics (see her funny Letterman appearance, for example). But I wouldn’t be surprised if her dead-on impersonation of Palin, in combination with the on-demand availability of internet re-runs, did more to wake people up to Palin’s lack of qualifications than all journalists and the Obama campaign put together. You just can’t buy that kind of water-cooler buzz.
I tuned in to Meet the Press next morning, wondering if maybe, just maybe Palin would show. To my initial disappointment, they had former Secretary of State Colin Powell instead. But Secretary Powell delivered the most eloquent, well-reasoned political endorsement I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t seen it, click here, and if you know any sane voters still undecided, Powell’s endorsement is as good an argument for Obama as you are going to find.
I assume Tom Brokaw and staff are still negotiating with Palin’s campaign about getting her on MTP. If McCain and Palin are still lagging badly in the polls Sunday before election day, my guess is that’s when she’ll appear on the show — if ever.
Hard to say if McCain would have done better with a different VP nominee. Carly Fiorina would have been an even greater break for Dems, given her $42 million golden parachute and the breaking of the bailout story.
Two weeks out from V-day, it looks like the Palin VP nomination may be a net minus for the GOP ticket, although Republican turnout in conservative strongholds will be the best measure of that. Either way, don’t be surprised if she is back in 4 years, as a better-informed, stronger candidate for President, ready to rumble in the Republican primaries.

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