Palin - fake bikini shotA comment left on Crawley’s blog asks if I still like McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin:

John Wright gave Palin a thumbs up on his webpage following her convention speech. I think that John Wright clearly disagrees with her anti-abortion and creationist views. However he felt that she was ‘genuinely capable of appealing to the world at large’ and ‘is as libertarian a candidate as we are likely to get’. As regards the first point, it is fairly obvious that much of the foreign media and public (especially in Britain and Europe) view Palin in a cynical light. They clearly feel her appointment was political, they don’t buy the whole ‘hockey mom’ thing and find her bumbling interviews cringe worthy (though in this respect Biden is also susceptible to criticism). In my opinion, I feel she is a brand perfectly designed for American consumption, but is not capable of ‘appealing to the world at large’. I wonder if John Wright still feels the same about Palin now that some time has passed and we have not really been given the chance to know her better. I wonder how he feels about how carefully she is being managed and if this raises any doubts in his mind.

It’s a good question, actually, since a lot has changed in the past two weeks and I’m sure I’m not alone in what I’m about to say.

Yes, I did regard Palin as a breath of fresh air; that’s a good way to put it. I tend to think someone more ‘normal’ is necessary to break the elitism and cronyism in Washington, and I thought it could be Palin. Maybe the only thing worse than someone with no experience in the White House is someone who’s actually skilled in the art of spending my money and legislating against me!

You’re right, though, to suspect that I may have lost my zeal, particularly after seeing the interview Palin did with CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric. (By the way, did anybody see Tina Fey’s parody of the interview on Saturday Night Live? It contains a whole section of Palin’s actual responses, which is SNL’s way of saying that Palin does a better job of sending up herself than they could by writing parody. See it here.) It was a horrible appearance for Palin, and I’m hoping for her sake that it was just a bad night. I’ll reserve some real judgement for the debate this Thursday, where she could really get her ‘clock cleaned’, so to speak, or come back spectacularly and surprise us all.

With regard to her appeal to America, I’m not sure even that remains. The Daily Kos research tracker has Palin going from +17 around the time I wrote my ‘Palin thumbs up’ to -10 today. That’s a shocking slide in the polls. I have some hopes she’ll pull out of it, but really, who wants a VP who has chances of an approval rating not unlike that of the old president?

(By the way, the photo accompanying this post is faked. But honestly, if she wants to affect those Kos figures, she may consider treating Thursday’s debate like the beauty pageants she used to appear in and doing the bikiniwear for real…)