I forget who I was talking to last week, but I predicted this as well:
Sarah Palin plans to go on the attack in tonight’s debate, hitting Joe Biden for what she will call his foreign policy blunders and penchant for adopting liberal positions on taxes and other issues, according to campaign officials involved in prepping her for tonight’s showdown.
The Palin camp is projecting surprising self-confidence in the pre-debate hours, despite the vice presidential nominee’s uneven — and, at some points, peculiar — performances in recent television interviews, the officials say. Top advisers to John McCain privately say Palin’s recent CBS interview was a borderline disaster, especially since it played out in several segments over several days. Tonight will be different, they say.
“This is going to finally put her back into a position where we see her like we saw her the first couple weeks,” a McCain official said. “She was herself. She was authentic, and people related to that. … Tonight, she’ll get into a rhythm. You’re going to see her in a way that you haven’t seen her yet.”
Of course she is going to go on the attack tonight. She can’t answer questions, so all she can do is attack. Additionally, it is easy for her handlers to give her a bunch of talking points to go after the other guy, but it is not so easy to fashion pre-planned thoughtful responses.
This will accomplish several goals:
- First, and most important, it will steer her away from where she is at her shakiest- thinking. She is horrid when required to process a question, and then formulate and provide a coherent response. See the Couric and Gibson interviews.
Second, it will allow the bobble heads in the media to talk about something other than her answers. The narrative among some in the media will be “What a fighter,” and she “sure showed spirit” and “Sarah Palin was all pitbull, no lipstick tonight.” Expect that kind of idiocy in the media.
Third, it will shore up the base, as Palin’s support has dropped in recent weeks as it has been exposed she is a know-nothing. Among many in the base, being a combative asshole is a feature, not a bug, and more than makes up for being ill-informed and inexperienced. Among the online right, what matters is not the quality of your response, but how much of a jerk you were to those evil liberals.
Finally, it may piss off Biden and he may over-react and produce his own gaffe (which he has done quite a bit of, lately).
And, of course, if Ifill presses her on responses when she refuses to answer and instead launches into an attack, all we will hear about for the next month is nonsense about liberal media bias.