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November 13, 2009


Another problem with Continetti's column is that he seems to mix two types of polls: Presidential and favorable/unfavorable. I can imagine Palin reaching positive territory on favorability, but not on qualified to be President.

For purposes of comparison, I was curious to see how well Obama did on the qualified/not qualified scale well before the 2008 election. I couldn't find a Gallup poll that put the question in those terms, but there was a Fox News poll that asked the question. To my surprise, even in February 2007, only 32% of respondents (41% of independents) said Obama was very or somewhat unqualified; 52% of respondents (46% of independents) said he was very or somewhat qualified.

The poll about whether Palin is qualified is further out from the Presidential election than the February 2007 poll was, but still the disparity in perception between her and Senator Obama suggests that, like Lucy Ricardo, she's got a lot of splainin' to do.

As an aside, is it possible for somebody to have cancer and not "battle" it? I've known people suffer from, endure, and even simply give up and die from cancer. "Battle cancer" has become one of the laziest cliches in journalism, and it denies the uniqueness of each person's suffering and struggle.

IMHO Palin's negative image was substantially due to unfair treatment by the media. One reason she won't be able to reverse her image is that the media aren't going to stop.

An Associated Press article yesterday claims to have "fact-checked" Going Rogue. Their apparent goal was to write an article saying that the book is inaccurate. They found few if any significant errors. Nevertheless their article is entitled "FACT CHECK: Palin's book goes rogue on some facts."

The AP article lists only a handful of supposed errors. Not only are the "errors" trivial, several of them are not errors at all. E.g., Palin said that she did not often stay at high-end hotels. The AP "disproved" this assertion by pointing out that she once stayed at a high-end hotel.

Another "error": Palin says she ran for office out of altruism rather than ambition. The AP's entire "proof" that Palin's statement is erronious is
THE FACTS: Few politicians own up to wanting high office for the power and prestige of it, and in this respect, Palin fits the conventional mold. But "Going Rogue" has all the characteristics of a pre-campaign manifesto, the requisite autobiography of the future candidate.

To be fair to Edwards, at least he didn't discuss divorce with his wife right after cancer-related surgery, like Newt Gingrich.

Newsweek has joined the sliming of Palin, putting a most un-Presidential picture of her on the cover, with the caption SHE'S BAD NEWS FOR THE GOP - AND FOR EVERYBODY ELSE, TOO

Brendan's poll comparison shows that Palin's reputation will not recover sufficiently to be elected President. A challenge for political science would be to measure the causes. To what degree is Palin's hopeless situation a result of public opinion being set and immutable? How significant are the continuing media attacks?

In other words, if a potential candidate had Palin's numbers, but the media starting treating him fairly, could that candidate make a comeback?

I'm curious about why Palin felt the need to say that she didn't stay often at high-end hotels in the first place. Does she feel that it is wrong for people who can afford such a luxury to do so, and if so, why?

daniel, I believe she was talking about official trips paid for by the State of Alaska. From everything I know, she is rightfully proud of giving up the Governor's airplane and practicing various other economies.

A fair-minded fact check would have compared her expenses with her predecessors' expenses. I believe that such a comparison would have validated her claim to saving the State's money. The AP gave considerable details on one occassion when she did stay at an expensive hotel. They gave no examples of all the ways that she saved the State's money. As a result, I think a reader gets the false impression that she was lying about being economical.

I am particularly tired of hearing that Ms. Palin has an "image" problem or a "perception" problem. What she has is a substance problem, or, one might say, a lack of substance problem. If the country has come to see her as a mendacious small-time operator with a poor grasp of policy, that is largely because she is in fact a mendacious small-time operator with a poor grasp of policy.

But, as Napoleon is said to have observed, you should never interrupt your opponent when he is making a mistake. Palin/Bachman 2012, anyone?

Some of Palin's opponents are interrupting her. Newsweek and the AP made outrageously unfair attacks, which give her talking points. Now someone named Max Blumenthal is unfairly playing the race card as well as the homophobe card. Blumenthal's attack led to a sympathetic article in Politico, a somewhat left-leaning organ.

I agree with Craig that it will be a disaster for the Republicans if Palin runs for President, since she's obviously unqualified. However, right now I think she's doing some good for the Party and for the country by pointing out weaknesses in the Health bill and other Demoratic policies.

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