Is Sarah Palin a “Trojan Moose”? Or is that just mean?

In a lead post today, Arianna Huffington — who doesn’t even try to qualify as an “objective observer” of anything — has credited Sarah Palin with an amazing accomplishment. I’ll let Huffington explain:

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.

So, is it fair to call this self-described soccer mom “Lipstick Barracuda” last week and the “Trojan Moose” this week?

(And, not so parenthetically, what were Obama’s, McCains and Biden’s nicknames last week, anyway?)

And, finally, what will Gov. Palin’s sobriquet be next week? Stay tuned… investment bankers fine

A Bridge Too Far…

The definitive word on Governor Palin’s support of – or opposition to – the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” comes from the Associated Press.  In a detailed, dispassionate manner, the reporter makes it clear that Ms. Palin supported the bridge while running for governor and upon assuming office.  The report also notes that Ms. Palin was not central in halting the bridge but rather  acquiesed to a decision already made by others.

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From Our House to Yours…

To be filed under the category of “unhelpful help” is the endorsement of the McCain/Palin ticket by the current administration.  Both President Bush and Vice President Cheney think the choice of Governor Palin was just great.

These words of support, coming from two guys who collectively got 8 minutes of non-primetime exposure at last week’s GOP extravaganza, is about as welcome as finding something gross and unpleasant you thought had been safely flushed away has come bubbling back.

I’m guessing this news is way more likely to get picked up in a Blue Team ad than a Red Team one.

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OK, communications mavens, let’s all pull up from our suicide plunge into politics long enough to look at the much hyped new ad from Microsoft.

Supposedly, this is the Gang of Redmond’s response to the long-running Apple commercials featuring Justin Long (the Mac) and John Hodgman (the PC).  Apparently, after three years of letting Apple poke fun at them (and revitalize Apple’s computer sales), the Microsofties think it’s time to respond.

I’m underwhelmed.  In fact, other than generate buzz about how bad the ad is (Google “Microsoft” and “Seinfeld in the news section for a smattering of opinion on that question), I’m not sure what it accomplishes.  Generating headlines that read, “Microsoft’s new Seinfeld and Gates ad is beyond bad” or “Is Microsoft’s Seinfeld spot the worst TV ad ever?” can’t be good, can it?

Not that I’m an ad person at all.  I’m sure there’s a whole document that lays out the goals for this advertising – first in a series – and the big tactical and strategic objectives for the campaign overall.  The agency responsible – Crispin Porter + Bogusky – is widely credited with helping revitalize the Burger King brand among others.  Supposedly they’re a hot shop and presumably knows what it’s doing.

Or do they?

I dunno, but I found the ad to be incredibly dumb.  If they are truly meant to be responsive to the Apple commercials, they miss on the level of being instantly understandable and focused that the Apple ads address. That can’t be a good place to start.

What do you think?

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Boo-Ya! We Got Ourselves a Race

Today’s polling numbers – showing McCain/Palin leading Obama/Biden in national polls – mean that we political junkies are going to have some fun over the next fifty-seven days as the campaigns race to the finish.  National polling numbers are less important than state-by-states but we won’t see those numbers for a few more days or weeks (the campaigns certainly are, particularly in the battleground states).  Nonetheless, there’s no reason to believe those polls won’t reflect the same post-convention, Palin-driven bump.

Look for Team McCain to try to keep the momentum going by keeping their two candidates appearing together as much as possible (one reason why their campaign schedule seems to be changing minute by minute) and look for Team Obama to look for ways to derail that momentum (a Colin Powell endorsement is widely rumored).  The Obama campaign will – if they’re smart – leave the attacking of the Palin record to the media and campaign surrogates.  Instead, somebody at the posh Chicago headquarters of Team Obama has no doubt found or recreated Carville’s old sign – “It’s the Economy, Stupid” – to remind them that their message is all about the dismal state of the economy and the GOP’s (including John McCain’s) responsibility for it.

Upcoming Key Events:

Soon: Look for Obama fundraising totals for August.  Senator McCain has already announced bringing in $40 million during the month.

September 15ish: Sarah Palin interview with ABC’s Charles Gibson

September 26: Presidential debate

October 2: Vice presidential debate

October 7: Presidential debate

October 15: Presidential debate

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Governor Palin’s First Interview…

Three weeks after being named to the ticket, Governor Palin will sit for her first major interview with ABC’s Charles Gibson.  Not quite the Sean Hannity I had predicted last week, but not the toughest interview she could sit for either.  Mr. Gibson will show her lots of fast balls but will also give her lots of room to talk and – as noted by several media watchers – both the format and Mr. Gibson’s performance with Senator McCain at the convention lead one to believe it’s not going to be a hard interview.  A good choice by the campaign.  Expect her to be messaged to within an inch of her life.

The timing of the announcement was also well-chosen, coming as it did after a weekend when Senators Biden, McCain and Obama all did lengthy appearances on the Sunday talk show circuit.  Governor Palin’s absence from the forums was a negative and drove the “Where’s Sarah?” buzz into a frenzy.  This let some of the air out of the tires.

– Austin

PS – Refresh my memory; who’s the Washington insider?  The LA Times noted that yesterday marked Senator McCain’s 65th appearance on Face the Nation, making him the all-time most interviewed guest, breaking the record previously held by Bob Dole. new business loans fine

Political Alchemy

Tracking polls are showing that a presidential candidate who supports President Bush 90% of the time is convincing voters he is the best option to reverse Bush policies. Given that piece of political alchemy, it may be reasonable to expect that Norm Coleman – the guy who made a name in DC by traveling the country bashing Democrats as part of Bush’s “Truth Squad” – can reframe himself as the preeminent non-partisan.

Senator Coleman’s latest bowling ad:

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