Sarah…Decent Speech, But A Big Strategic Mistake

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My questions…as addressed to Sarah Palin…

  • Why give a speech that was really designed to rally the Republican base when John McCain consistently gets more Republican support than Obama gets Democratic support?
  • Why go on the attack with petty snipes at Obama when you have the chance to frame yourself as a true, transformative political figure and rise above it all?
  • Why tell everybody about John McCain? Everybody already knows about John McCain. He was a POW. He’s a maverick. We get that. But we know pretty much ZERO about you. This was your time and all we really get to know was what the McCain campaign has already told us.
  • Why not give us a sense of how you see America and where it needs to go? After all, the Republican party is supposed to be the party of ideas. I now know a lot of what you don’t like, but why not tell me what you do like?
  • Do you really think people want to vote for a pitbull? I know it seemed like a clever line at the time, but let’s not forget that the reason Hillary Clinton lost to Obama is she didn’t show her softer side. Once she did, BAM, she won New Hampshire. In other words, the “street fighter” card isn’t really working this year. We all assume you’re tough if you’re in politics, so maybe show us something different?

But Sarah, don’t just take my word for it…listen to these Independent voters in Michigan…

“I was completely underwhelmed. She was a Republican novelty act with a sophomoric script. It was not even a speech I would expect for a someone running for the local PTA, much less for vice president.”

— George Lentz, 66, Southfield independent

“Who is Sarah Palin? I’m sorry but I still don’t know anymore about this young lady tonight than I did last night … The way it looks to me, she’s the Republican vice presidential nominee for one reason: because Hillary wasn’t selected.”

— Mike Kosh, 38, West Bloomfield independent

“Sarah Palin is a self-described ‘pitbull with lipstick.’ She spent little time helping Americans learn who she is. She is a cool, poised speaker, but her speech contained few statements about policy or the party platform. … I am not convinced that Palin’s experience as a mayor or governor in Alaska meet the qualifications to be vice president much less one stroke or heart attack away from being commander in chief.”

— Ilene Beninson, 52, Berkley independent

“Nothing worked for me. I found her barrage of snide remarksand distortions to be a major turn off. She is not a class act. The most important point she made is that she will be an effective attack dog.”

— Jan Wheelock, 58, Royal Oak independent

Yes, just a few voices, but my guess is that the large majority of independents want to see a lot more out of you than the speech you gave if you have ANY chance of winning their vote. In fact, you may have lost a good portion of them last night.

And remember, Obama is actually offering “hope.” Whether it’s false hope has yet to be determined, but folks are probably more willing to bet on that then more partisan attacks from somebody who they believe has less experience than Obama.

In any event, good luck!