A Very Good Strategy for Countering Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin: A Trojan Moose Concealing Four More Years of George Bush
by Arianna Huffington
Huffingtonpost.com - September 8, 2008
Did Sarah Palin wrongfully push to have her ex-brother-
in law fired? Was she really against the "Bridge to
Nowhere?" Did she really sell Alaska 's plane on eBay,
or just list it on eBay? Did she actually have any
substantial duties commanding the Alaska National Guard?
The correct answer to all these questions is: who
cares? Which isn't to say these aren't valid questions,
or that Palin and the McCain camp aren't playing it
fast, loose, and coy with each of them. The point is
that Palin, and the circus she's brought to town, are
simply a bountiful collection of small lies
deliberately designed to distract the country from one
big truth: the havoc that George Bush and the
Republican Party have wrought, and that John McCain is
committed to continuing.
Every second of this campaign not spent talking about
the Republican Party's record, and John McCain's role
in that record, is a victory for John McCain.
Her critics like to say that Palin hasn't accomplished
anything. I disagree: in the space of ten days she's
succeeded in distracting the entire country from the
horrific Bush record -- and McCain's complicity in it.
My friends, that's accomplishment we can believe in.
Just look at the problem John McCain faced. George Bush
has a disastrous record, and the country knows it. John
McCain -- the current one, not the one who vanished
eight years ago -- has no major disagreements with
George Bush (and I'm sorry, wanting to fire Donald
Rumsfeld a bit sooner doesn't qualify) and wants to
continue his incredibly unpopular policies for another
four years. The solution? Enter Sarah Palin, a Trojan
Moose carrying four more years of disaster.
And the plan has worked beautifully. Just look at
what's being discussed just 57 days before the
election. Is it the highest unemployment rate in five
years? The bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? The
suicide bombing yesterday in Iraq that killed six
people and wounded 54 -- in the same market where last
month a bomb killed 28 people and wounded 72? That the
political reconciliation that was supposedly the point
of "the surge" is nowhere near happening? That Iraq 's
Shiite government is now rounding up the American-
backed Sunni leaders of the Awakening? That the reason
8,000 soldiers may be leaving Iraq soon is so more can
be deployed to Afghanistan where the Taliban is
steadily retaking the country?
No. We're talking about whether Sarah Palin was or was
not a good mayor, whether she was or was not a good
mother, whether her skirts are too short and her
zingers too sarcastic.
Contrary to what we're hearing 24/7 in the media, the
next few weeks are not a test of Sarah Palin. The next
few weeks are a test of Barack Obama.
He needs to dramatically redirect this election back to
a discussion over the issues that really matter -- the
issues that will impact the future of this country. A
presidential campaign is a battle and this is the time
for Obama to show some commander-in-chief skills. I'm
not talking about calling Palin out for lying about his
record and demeaning community organizing. I'm talking
about grabbing the political debate by the throat. The
country is already angry about what's happened over the
last seven-plus years -- he shouldn't be afraid to give
voice to that anger. Obama has spent years adopting a
non-threatening persona; but he can't let his fear that
appearing like an "angry Black man" (a stereotype not-
too-subtly fueled by Fox News) will turn off swing
voters keep him from channeling the disgust and outrage
felt by so many voters --swing and otherwise.
McCain's team, in an effort to distract, is going to
keep doing what they're doing -- diverting voters and
the media with a tantalizing combination of personal
trivia and small lies. It doesn't matter if they're
caught in them -- in fact, all the better. Because they
know there is no way in hell they can win if this
election is about the big truth of the Bush years.
McCain's real running mate is George Bush and the
failed policies of the Republican Party. Even if they
are dressed up in a skirt, lipstick, and Tina Fey glasses.
[Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and editor-in-
chief of The Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated
columnist, and author of twelve books. She is also co-
host of "Left, Right & Center," public radio's popular
political roundtable program.
In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news
and blog site that has quickly become one of the most
widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media
brands on the Internet.
In 2006, she was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine's
list of the world's 100 most influential people.
Originally from Greece , she moved to England when she
was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an
M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the
famed debating society, the Cambridge Union .]