The Obama camp (and his friends on the angry left) have been working overtime the past five days (actually just under five days, but it seems like months, doesn't it?) to paint Governor Sarah Palin as an inexperienced small town mayor, a bad mom, and in some extreme cases, a woman who faked a pregnancy (or who was really pregnant, but acted recklessly in the hopes of inducing a miscarriage). I am not going to bother to provide links above. They are easy enough to find.
Tuesday night, some of the anchors chose Palin-bashing over showing even just one full hour of speeches in support of the GOP. I think it might just backfire and if it does it will happen tonight. Here is one scenario for how things might unfold:
1. Obama spends almost a week talking about the issue of experience. Not something he generally likes to do considering he has none. In an attempt to downplay Palin's experience he bizarrely ignores the fact that she is a sitting governor and routinely refers to her experience as a "small town mayor" and even compares his legislative record to hers as mayor.
2. Those in the Obama fawning media spend five days talking about Palin's inexperience. The nutroots go insane (well, more insane than usual) and spin all kinds of rumors about faked pregnancy and incest and attempts at induced miscarriage, and eighth grade baby daddies. In an attempt to put to rest some of the rumors, Palin releases a statement saying her 17-year-old daughter Bristol is pregnant. The media spends part of the lone hour the GOP convention has received on network television talking Palin scandal.
3. Television viewers/voters who might otherwise have turned the channel to HGTV or Sci Fi channel or Spike when the convention airs tonight, will watch the Palin speech to see what all the fuss is about. Some will be curious to see America's hottest governor, others will watch to catch a glimpse of Bristol's baby bump in the crowd or a shot of her handsome young hockey player fiance. Others will watch to see if she is really the "Dan Quayle in a skirt" they have been hearing about. Some will even be interested in her take on the issues.
4. If Palin performs even half as well as she did in Ohio last week (without a teleprompter much less) they will find out that in addition to being a mayor she has (to paraphrase a friend of Christopher Orr) played tough with "Big Oil" as head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission negotiating a proposed Alaska natural gas pipeline, exposed corruption in her own party, cut taxes and wasteful spending, slaughtered an incumbent governor in a primary with a 30 point margin of victory and won the general over a former Democratic governor. She will no doubt list many of her other life experiences, both personal and professional, that have prepared her for the vice presidency.
5. Those viewers might just wonder, especially if they find Palin to be warm and likable, why the Obama camp didn't seem to know that she is the sitting governor of Alaska and wonder why they discounted such accomplishments. From the Christopher Orr post linked above,
Listening to the Democratic leadership respond to John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, one hears echoes of the Alaska Republican leadership from just a few years ago. Barack Obama's spokesman, Bill Burton, put it this way: "Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency." Former mayor? If you're going to skip over her job as governor and, before that, her job heading the commission that oversees production of the largest petroleum reserves in America, why not "former high school student"? Bah, what does it matter: She's just a small town mayor, just a hockey mom, just a beauty pageant queen.
6. Maybe after the viewers realize the Obama camp has been misleading them about her experience and that the caricature many Democrats have painted of her over the past week has been far from reality, they will question whether or not they can trust team Obama. Maybe they will even wonder why the media didn't seem to know any of this either. If the stars are aligned right they might even decide the media intentionally misled them.
I don't know if that will happen or if people will just tune in to see what she wears and whether or not she cries. Either way, the Obama team and the media have made sure the audience that tunes in to see Governor Sarah Palin speak will be substantially larger than it would otherwise have been. Unless she bombs spectacularly, that counts as advantage Team McCain.
Update: Thursday is the last day to contribute to McCain-Palin. If you are able, show them some love.
Update II: Ace has a great post about how the media is being forced to intrude on Bristol Palin's privacy and how it is all her mom's fault. He has some really good advice about how Bristol can make it all stop. Also, he reminds us how the media was just as intrusive into Chelsea's sex life. And John Edwards'. Read it all.
Update III: I was right about at least two voters. From the comments, "We cancelled a trip to see a ballgame tonight to watch her tonight -- and the Yankees are in town! This may be a defining moment in the election."
Update IV: More Trig trutherism.