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Palin And The Hillary Factor

I've been thinking more and more about just how the presence of Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate might affect those people who sway the most staunch of Hillary Clinton's supporters. It's something that a lot of others have discussed, and I have to agree that, logically, it makes no sense.

When you look at the positions of Clinton and Obama, they really aren't that different. There were very few issues where they differed, and mostly those were very, very fine distinctions. If one looks at things logically, if you backed Hillary over almost any issue, you'd be very well served supporting Obama.

But that's the flaw. The Hillary/Obama fight was almost never about logic. It was about emotion.

Most of the Hillary supporters I listened to during the very bruising primary season were angry. They were wrapped up in the idea of Hillary being president, of the symbolism of that, more than they were about any issues. They saw the nomination as Hillary's, and were angry that Obama not only had the effrontery to challenge her, but to beat her.

And make no mistake about it. Obama beat her, and beat her soundly. Hillary's supporters boast about how she won 18 million votes, how she got about the same number of votes as Obama did, but that doesn't matter. Obama's campaign looked at the rules of the primaries, and never took their eyes off winning by those rules. In a way, it's a presidential race in microcosm -- the popular vote is irrelevant, it's the electoral vote that matters. Instead, here, it was delegates -- and Obama won the perquisite number to claim victory.

So all along, it was never about issues to most of the Hillary supporters. It was about respect -- or, at least, what they considered "respect."

And at pretty much every opportunity, Obama seemed to give them (and, by extension, women in general) the back of his hand.

One incident that galvanized a lot of them was Obama brushing off a reporter with a "hold on one second, sweetie." Being dismissive to the press is no big deal. Hell, it often scores politicians points with the public. But to use a condescending, sexist diminutive term like "sweetie" was, to them, a glimpse into Obama's character -- he didn't really take women seriously.

When it came time for Obama to name his running mate, they thought that Hillary deserved the slot -- or, at least, serious consideration. They didn't think it through -- Hillary was one of Obama's harshest critics, his most persistent rival, and possesses in spades the last things any president would want in a veep: ambition and a serious hunger for the top job. It would have been a serious disaster for Obama to bring Hillary back into the White House, especially with the baggage (especially that steamer trunk of a husband of hers) she brings.

But that didn't matter to the Hillary backers. Not in the slightest.

They might -- might -- have been mollified by getting the #2 seat. (I tend to doubt it, though.) That simply was never going to happen. So they had to find the point where they said "we've had enough." It turned out to be when it was revealed that Hillary didn't make the final cut, wasn't even fully vetted by the Obama camp.

That would have been nothing but a huge waste of time and energy and money. Hillary's been as thoroughly vetted as anyone already (although that didn't catch the frequent presence of Norman Hsu, Democratic fund-raiser and wanted fugitive -- I STILL wanna know how he got past the Secret Service repeatedly!). There was no way Obama would choose her. Had he put her on the "short list" and vetted her, that would have simply led to cries of "why did you put her though that when you KNEW you wouldn't pick her! Why did you humiliate her so?"

So we have this sizable chunk of Hillary supporters who find that they agree with Obama on most issues, but are furious with him. And they are more involved in their emotions than they are with any issues. What will they do?

Well, they could just sit out the election. That fits the passive-aggressive mold quite nicely.

Some of them may do so -- and quite loudly. But that won't be enough for some of them.

That's when Sarah Palin comes in. She's ONE OF THEM.

She's a woman, she's a working mother, she has gone into the "man's world" of hardscrabble politics, and she's prevailed. They might not liker her stance on issues, but that's OK -- they know her type. She's not one of those sanctimonious "better than thou" religious types. She's the hockey/soccer mom, running in seven directions at once, juggling her commitments all over the place, and somehow managing to not fly completely apart.

And, from the outset, she says nice things about Geraldine Ferraro AND Hillary Clinton.

(THAT, folks, was a stroke of genius. On the surface, it was almost obligatory, to curtsy to the first woman to run for vice-president and the first woman to ALMOST win a presidential nomination; just below it, it was a quick shout-out to two women who have been very vocal critics of Barack Obama. This is a lady who knows how to play hardball without wrinkling her dress.)

At that point, a vote for Palin (well, a vote for McCain and Palin) becomes less about issues, less about the direction they want the country to go, and more of a colossal "FU" to Barack Obama, the MAN who stole Hillary's nomination and is KEEPING WOMEN DOWN.

No, it's not logical. It's emotional. It's short-sighted. It's foolish.

But it just might be the one thing that could tip the election in November.

For McCain and Palin to not recognize it, to not use it to their advantage, would be beyond foolish.


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Comments (39)

You miss one point that mig... (Below threshold)

You miss one point that might add extra appeal to Hilary backers, though it's one I've not seen elsewhere yet, either.

If McCain wins, it's quite possible that BOTH tickets will be headed by women in 2012.

I know McCain recognizes it... (Below threshold)

I know McCain recognizes it, but he still may not use it to his advantage.

You logic seems sound and I... (Below threshold)

You logic seems sound and I'm tempted to think that way myself. The latest Gallup poll somewhat suggests the opposite:


Now, this may indeed come down to a matter of percents. If 5-10% of Clinton supporters swing to McCain because of Palin, that is still a huge change. But when it comes down to it, asking people who are socially very left to support a candidate that is socially very right is a hard sell. Some will want to stick it to Obama as you suggest above. Just how many remains to be seen.

"Your logic..."Sor... (Below threshold)

"Your logic..."

Sorry, I hate that typo and had to correct myself.

Nice commentary, Jay. Here... (Below threshold)

Nice commentary, Jay. Here's an additional point: Conservative women like myself have a huge opening to convince our liberal-leaning friends to vote for McCain-Palin.

I had a talk with a Democrat mom when I picked up my son from a sleepover. We agreed that Hillary was the better candidate and it was just like the old stereotype where the younger, underqualified man gets promoted over the older, smarter woman. I buttered her up like a nice dinner roll and then turned the talk to Sarah Palin. Wow, we agreed, she's amazing. And the Democrats are trying to tear her apart. Isn't that just what Obama did to Hillary?

I couldn't have had that talk if Lieberman or Pawlenty were the Veep choice. I know there are lots of women just like me, gently nudging our liberal friends into voting for Sarah Palin.

Did any men vote for Hillar... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

Did any men vote for Hillary? Or did she just receive the votes of 18 million females?

And Frazetta tells t... (Below threshold)

And Frazetta tells the truth and by so telling adds dimension to Jay's diatribe. See, it is that women are the true culture warriors. They talk. They talk and talk and talk amongst themselves. Some even try to talk to their husbands. Women WILL communicate. And they will sort their emotions out by so talking and listening and talking some more.

There is high resentment that Obama won by not playing fair. He loaded up the caucuses with a bunch of no-nothing fresh out of grammar school. He cheated, right? Fair is a big deal with women, er, on the losing side. And women do know how to hold their grudges. Women can hold a grudge and not even remember what it was all about.

Seriouis Clinton Women will vote for Obama 1)because of Michelle's makeover, 2) they hate a pretty woman, 3) they are finally swayed by the political position and 4) take your pick of any other reason you want. BUT, enough will decide to sit this election out or get drunk and vote for McCain to maybe make a difference, especially if the Dem attack machine continues to trash Palin. Just my opinion.

I love the wacky lefts argu... (Below threshold)
retired military:

I love the wacky lefts arguments that Hillary voters wont vote for McCain because they are issue voters.

They forget that WOMEN ARE SMART TOO.

Women are so smart in fact that when McCain gets elected that in order for abortion rights to go away several things have to happen.

A. A case has to come up before the Supreme Court that would cause a ROE V Wade reversal. Not very hard but hard enough that it will take years to go through the courts to get there.

b. A supreme court justice position has to be opened to be filled by a McCain nominee. That may happen.

c. The supreme court nominuee has to be Prolife to vote against Roe V Wade. Okay that is possible

D. That nominee has to get past what is being touted at what may be a near 60-40 majority for the dems in the Senate.

E. That nominee once they are selected has to hear a case to overturn Roe V Wade and vote against it (can we say Kennedy anyone (What a suprise he was for the right))..

F. That even if overturned ROE V Wade was overturned abortion would be legal in some form or fashion in probably at leaset 45 of the states as it goes back to a state matter.

The leftists screaming that woman are too smart to vote for Palin seem to think that those extra smart women are too dumb to realize A-F above. And the far far left who are trying to drag Palin through the mud so far with their extreme crap are possibly t ticking off a lot of women who may have voted for Obama despite Hillary being snubbed but are now seeing that their gender is being dragged through the mud.

I'm not normally one to poi... (Below threshold)

I'm not normally one to point to polls as evidence of anything, but I know a trend when I see one. Here's today's national polls from RCP:

National Gallup Tracking - Obama 50, McCain 42, Obama +8 National Rasmussen Tracking - Obama 51, McCain 45, Obama +6 National USA Today/Gallup* - Obama 50, McCain 43, Obama +7 National Hotline/FD - Obama 48, McCain 39, Obama +9 National CBS News - Obama 48, McCain 40, Obama +8

Don't see much of a Palin bounce. Haven't looked at all the poll details yet, but I doubt McCain is pulling too many Hillary voters over with his choice. And if it didn't happen immediately, my guess is it's not going to once those voters learn more about her.

D. That nominee ha... (Below threshold)
D. That nominee has to get past what is being touted at what may be a near 60-40 majority for the Dem's in the Senate

I don t thin that is gonna happen. Why you may ask. Well for one thing the Democrats insistence on the no drill anywhere policy .This has been the albatross that has been hanging around their necks, every since Pelosi and Reid adjourned the Congress for the August recess without doing anything about the oil crisis.

What is most unsettling to ... (Below threshold)

What is most unsettling to me about Palen on anyones ticket is the "maverick" way it happened ... we are supposed to trust McCain's intuition .....a spur of the moment action that could affect all of our lives. For him to be a maverick with his own life is one thing to be one with mine is something else again and I do NOT like the prospects of it. If then we have two of them ... mavericks ....calling the shots about going to war what do you reckon will happen. She enjoys the kill, she is a hunter, not for food or to protect the self ...but just because her ego enjoys the power over the animal ....."look at me and how big and strong I am" .....I wonder if she would ever ask Jesus to join her on a hunt and what His answer would be? I think for decisions about entering a war, the economy, etc ... I want someone who thinks things through and does not "shoot from the Hip at anything that moves" ... one of them in power is scarey ...two of them is terrifying.

The "palin bounce" is repre... (Below threshold)

The "palin bounce" is represented by the stunted DNC bounce. Front page news today is how Obama's convention bounce is substandard and already fading.

Oh, and "(women) hate a pretty woman"? yeah, this is someone I want to get campaign insight from.

No, it's not logic... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
No, it's not logical. It's emotional. It's short-sighted. It's foolish.

Change you can believe in. It's not logical. It's emotional. It's short-sighted. It's foolish.

Obama has never been running a campaign on issues. It was about celebrity, well until McCain's ads showed how ridicules that was. It's was about novelty, well until McCain's VP pick took the air out of it. It's was about voter intensity, well until McCain's VP pick energized the right.

Now the campaigns can finally get on with the issues that face America. Lets hear the plans for energy, national security, taxes, health care, Social Security, the housing market, the credit market, trade, etc.

What are the odds that the left will now focus on the issues?

Jay,Excellent post... (Below threshold)


Excellent post. I like how you distilled the essence of the democrats in nine short words:

"it's not logical. It's emotional. It's short-sighted. It's foolish."

That even if overt... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
That even if overturned ROE V Wade was overturned abortion would be legal in some form or fashion in probably at least 45 of the states as it goes back to a state matter.

While a popular idea, it may not be the case. One of the weaknesses of Row vs. Wade is that, in deciding the case, the Supreme Court could find no reliable scientific standard that defines a person as opposed to just a collection of living cells. Since that time, however, the scientific standard has become brain activity. If some state were to define a person, born or unborn, by the same brain activity standard it would have the effect of outlawing many abortions. If the Supreme Court upheld such a law it wouldn't overturn Row vs Wade in principle, just bring it into the 21st century. The effect, however, would be to outlaw a large number of abortions. No state action would be needed, nor could states overrule it.

MacLorryThe genera... (Below threshold)
retired military:


The general logic is that if ROE V Wade is overturned the matter will go back to the states. I think 34 states have it in their constitution already on how to deal with this if ROE V Wade is overturned. Most likely a Supreme Court would return it to the states instead of adding any new rulings on top. It would of course depend on the case that was before it and their opinions on it.

Either way abortion would still be legal in a lot of the US. Women know this even though NAG, NOW and NARAL never mention it. And they dont mention it deliberately instead they simply put out the mime that all abortion would be illegal. The same way they put out the lies about the number of women who died from illegal abortions and why they died. The truth doesnt serve their purpose.

to distill ... (Below threshold)

to distill the essence of the Pepublican mind set: 1. me and mine and no one else 2. go find a boot strap and then pull yourself up with it 3. love what? What is a neighbor 4 don't disturb my "wah" with facts that don't affect me personally 5 "Let them eat cake"

Wow, the Palin pick was lik... (Below threshold)

Wow, the Palin pick was like jamming a giant stick into a nest of really stupid trolls and giving it a good stir.

According to the back stori... (Below threshold)
Roy Lofquist Author Profile Page:

According to the back stories, McCain met Palin at a February meeting of governors. He was so impressed that he had a fifteen minute private meeting with her. Culvahouse had a three hour meeting with her a couple of months ago. I think McCain made his pick in February. He found his wingman.

Why do I get the impression... (Below threshold)

Why do I get the impression that unci is a member of a teacher's union?


Well, I for one, couldn't b... (Below threshold)

Well, I for one, couldn't be happier with Palin as McCains running mate. She will virtually guarantee an Obama victory.

And it's truly entertaining watching JT claim to know intimately the mind of the typical Hillary voter. Funny, funny stuff.

Oh, and by the way J, whatever happened with all that "Recreate '68" bullshit you were humping so hard before the Dem convention?

Geez, J, i was wondering wh... (Below threshold)

Geez, J, i was wondering what language that was.

max, you're right and I apo... (Below threshold)

max, you're right and I apologize. I should have realized that the Democratic activists would be absolutely inept at even pulling off some decent rioting.

How could I forget that they're all talk, no action -- much like their nominees?


Palin v Clinton? Honey v I... (Below threshold)

Palin v Clinton? Honey v Invaders from Mars--ack ack ack ack ack!!! Maybe a good dose of Slim Whitman'll do the trick!!

If you have never had to li... (Below threshold)
Lois Jean Hutrson:

If you have never had to live on less than $20,000 a year ... if you have never skipped medical treatment because there was no money for it .... if you have looked for work and there just wasn't any to support a family on .... if you learned at mama's knee that you are not important and never will be .... if you have not experienced any of that then you will be ignorant about what some folkes have to deal with ... if on the other hand you came from an affluent family ... and received all the newest "goodies" just because you wanted them ...were provided with all of the necessities plus the eztras .... you do not have enough experience to vote for ALL of the people and you have the misfortune of a sick ego and you have learned to live off of those less fortunate than you with no sense of guilt .... and you know .... I feel sorry for you your ignorance makes you a very shallow person. Thank God there are many affluent folks who see to the needs of others they have room in their hearts for all mankind and serve them.Not so others ...this is directed to you J .....

20. "Why do I get the impre... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

20. "Why do I get the impression that unci is a member of a teacher's union?" J.

22. "Geez, J, i was wondering what language that was." Tango

Awwh, Tango got there first. Clearly, the answer to Jay's question is: Because unci can't write worth a s**t

P.S. #25? Awwh again, now we've got a poster that writes like Lee Ward!

Wow, the Palin pic... (Below threshold)
Wow, the Palin pick was like jamming a giant stick into a nest of really stupid trolls and giving it a good stir.

LOL!! Awesome!

Speaking of...

Oh, and by the way J, whatever happened with all that "Recreate '68" bullshit you were humping so hard before the Dem convention?
Good god, someone let nogo ... (Below threshold)

Good god, someone let nogo postal back in here.

Quick, Henry, the Flit!

And by the way, Lois, I've been through the first three conditions you outlined, some more than once. I just don't whine about it and try to capitalize on some "victimhood" status.

Oh, and by the way... (Below threshold)
Oh, and by the way J, whatever happened with all that "Recreate '68" bullshit you were humping so hard before the Dem convention?
Missed the news haven't you?

They have been on display in all their inglorious lunacy in Minneapolis, breaking windows, attempting murder of an innocent bus driver, etc, etc...!

to Jay Tea .......I ... (Below threshold)
Lois Jean Hutrson:

to Jay Tea .......
I have not ever experienced those conditions either Jay.... but I know many folkes who have and I have a sense of responsibility to not just stand by and do nothing..... You, my dear, have the need to realize the difference between whining and advocating .... sounds like who ever washed your brain did a good job
or perhaps that is how you make peace with yourself over the stance you take.

Mmm. Nothing makes Lois Je... (Below threshold)

Mmm. Nothing makes Lois Jean Hutrson come out and post like a woman threatening her precious O'.
Tell us, oh magnanimous one, what is it that you do to help, instead of just standing by? Aside from voting for Barrack, of course.

I help folkes that I know n... (Below threshold)
Lois Jean Hutrson:

I help folkes that I know need some help .. I clean their house or clean out their flower beds, I donate to an Indian school in NOrth
Dakota, I donate to the ASPCA,I have a prayer box in which I keep the names of folks I hear about in trouble, Ms Palen's daughter is in there ....when I am out of money I give away smiles and encouragement .... I don't know if these kinds of things mean anything to you at all ...... I advocate for animals, and habitate for humamity ....I am 80 years old and so physically I can't do as much as I would like ..... but I never, never walk away from a call for help. I would like to hear your contribution for the great good fortune of livng in a (so far) free country.

I forgot to ask ... what is... (Below threshold)
Lois Jean Hutrson:

I forgot to ask ... what is a precious O ? Never heard that one before.

Hey, Lois, you wanna play t... (Below threshold)

Hey, Lois, you wanna play the karma game? I am closing in on seven gallons of blood donated to the Red Cross, and I have an incurable medical condition that will eventually kill me in a truly miserable manner -- once it's done making my life hell, and it's already started.

Don't waste your sympathy on me. I don't want it. I don't need it. I accept my problems, I deal with them, and I go on despite them.

I'll also help those who I can when I can. I don't need the government to tell me how to be compassionate.


as you wish J.<br ... (Below threshold)
Lois Jean Hutrson:

as you wish J.
No need to answer, I am going to bed now.

"Missed the news haven't yo... (Below threshold)

"Missed the news haven't you?" - marc

Nope. And not only do I watch the news, I can also comprehend the news. The Recreate '68 wackos were supposed to disrupt the DNC, dumbass. They're totally different from the Minneapolis wackos.


Try to pay attention, marc.

Go Sarah Palin!!

EVEN HILLARY SAID MCCAIN WA... (Below threshold)

Obama's so called centrist positions came about rather quickly, about a year ago, after 20 years of embracing the far left, Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Father Phfleiger, Ayers, etc.. Everyone knows this disingenuous move to the center was to get votes ... not because Obama all of a sudden had a true change of heart, and abandoned 20 years of his true beliefs. So, why does a good portion of the American public buy into to this?
What makes these gullible people think that if he gets elected, we won't be stuck with a bunch of far left extremist socialist policies? After all, Obama has been the most liberal senator in congress, and Joe Biden has been the third most liberal senator in congress. Most, and third most, out of 100 senators are bad odds. Wake up American ... keep America strong, elect McCain/Palin to the white house in November.

Palin IS NO Hillary Clinton... (Below threshold)

Palin IS NO Hillary Clinton. The only thing they have in common is that they are both women, that's it. The only thing Palin is certain to get with her pregnant teenage daughter is the white trash vote. It's a very strategic way to get those red states all right. i was a staunch Hillary supporter but with Palin in the picture I will definitely vote for Obama.

Obama was the one who focus... (Below threshold)

Obama was the one who focused on personality when he put his "judgement and change" against Hillary's experience.

Now he is in trouble.

Equally charming, Sara Palin has better judgement and has actually changed things. McCain has more experience and has actually reformed things.

That leaves him nowhere but out!

The Dems should have stuck with Clinton as President. Tsk Tsk Tsk.






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