First, the Republican base is now energized and enthusiastic like never before in this race. If the Obama team was betting on a “turnout race” and a depressed conservative turnout, they may need to reconsider. She offers the potential to galvanize conservatives to a greater extent than anyone thought possible.
Second, Palin offers some geographic appeal and help in key swing states. If her appearance in Michigan on Friday is any clue, she may be a powerful weapon with blue collar voters there and in Ohio and Pennsylvania, the latter being places where Obama ran so poorly in the Democratic primary.
And Palin may also give her ticket heft in the west. She and McCain now present a pro-gun, pro-property rights, pro-drilling duo of westerners in contrast to the urban duo of Obama-Biden. I don’t imagine the Democrats will even try the ritual hunting expedition which has become a mainstay in presidential races. (Better not to compete against a gal who slays moose.) ...
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Former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown echoes Rubin's overall assessment of Governor Palin's effect on the race:
The Democrats are in trouble. Sarah Palin has totally changed the dynamics of this campaign.
Palin's speech to the GOP National Convention on Wednesday has set it up so that the Republicans are now on offense and Democrats are on defense. And we don't do well on defense.
Suddenly, Palin and John McCain are the mavericks and Barack Obama and Joe Biden are the status quo, in a year when you don't want to be seen as defending the status quo.
From taxes to oil drilling, Democrats are now going to have to start explaining their positions.
Whenever you start having to explain things, you're on defense.
I actually went back and watched Palin's speech a second time. I didn't go to sleep until 1:30 a.m. I had to make sure I got the lines right.
Her timing was exquisite. She didn't linger with applause, but instead launched into line after line of attack, slipping the knives in with every smile and joke.
And she delivered it like she was just BS-ing on the street with the meter maid.
She didn't have to prove she was "of the people." She really is the people. ...
In the past couple of weeks, the McCain campaign has done a masterful job of putting, and keeping, the Obama campaign on defense. McCain's choice of Governor Palin has really shaken up the race, energizing the Republican base, and rocking the Democrats back on their heels. With less than 60 days left before election day, we'll have to see whether the McCain campaign can keep the Obama campaign on defense.