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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

TMP's: The Palin Effect

Just a few days after John McCain announced first term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for his VP pick bloggers and broadcasters were buzzing about the so called Palin Effect-- Sarah's ability to, as Howard Fineman told TPMtv, energize the GOP. "Oh she'll energize it. But the energy she supplies will spread like... [eyebrow raise].. through the tentacles of the Republican party."

Palin was a surprising pick-- virtually unknown outside Alaska (including, as it turned out, by the McCain campaign itself)-- and she lacked experience (a key talking point for McCain). But her effect was supposed to be three fold-- a woman and feminist for life, she'd pick up disgruntled Hillary supporters, an avowed Christian, she'd consolidate and energize the religious right, and with her youth and self described Mavericky ways, she'd counter Obama's fresh enthusiasm.

Two months later? Not so much. The Palin Effect exists-- but it's not energizing the base. On the contrary. Of the 70 odd conservative politicians, pundits and newspapers that have turned from McCain to endorse Obama this fall, 38 of them have cited Palin as a significant contributor to the decision. Hover over for quotes, and click on the pictures for links. And enjoy.

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--Lila Shapiro

Graphic by Al Shaw & Josh Sherman

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