In Tampa, FL Sarah Palin launched into in attack on the media and Barack Obama. She claims that the media and Obama are acting like the race is over.
“You kinda get the feeling that the Obama campaign thinks this whole election process is just a formality. They’ve overlooked, though, the minor detail of earning your confidence and your trust and winning your vote. And judging from the media coverage, it does seem the coronation is already set,” Palin said. The rouge running mate seems to be overlooking the fact that the Obama campaign is going out of its way to guard against overconfidence. They constantly are reminding their supporters that this race is far from over.
Palin also defended her negative style of campaigning, “It is not mean-spirited and it is not negative campaigning to call someone out on their record, and their plans and their associations. It is not negative campaigning. It is fairness to you, to the voters, that we talk about this.” So saying that your opponent palls around with terrorists is not negative campaigning? That’s a new one to me. With or without the full blessing of the McCain campaign, Palin has run a negative campaign against Obama that has harmed her more than Obama.
There is a two part strategy behind Palin’s remarks. First, she wants to motivate her fellow Republicans with the potential for Democratic control. The second part of this is that she is trying to inspire a false sense of confidence in Democrats and deter some Independents from showing up on Election Day. Maybe the last best chance that McCain/Palin has of winning the election is to motivate their base while discouraging the Obama supporters from voting. Their hope is that if Obama supporters think that their vote isn’t needed, they might not bother to show up.
It is always a bad sign for any campaign when they have to try the rally the troops by telling them not to pay attention to any of the polls. If anything, the polls underestimate Obama’s strength, because first time voters are not being polled. As far as the media is concerned, generally speaking, they are not covering the close of this race with the same kind of intensity that has existed for the past 20 months.
In part this is because both campaigns are playing it very safe down the stretch. There isn’t much news being made, but also, it is clear that this election is going in a single direction, and the polls aren’t moving much. Palin is trying to rally the base, because that is all she is good for. She has no popularity, credibility, or purpose. Every time she speaks, one can never be sure if she is helping or hurting the campaign. Either way, I suspect that her claims of Obama overconfidence are not being taken seriously.