Would Ms. Mooseburger be getting any of this attention, let alone, get picked as a vice presidential candidate if she wasn't "hot?" (that seems to be everyone's take on her). McCain isn't just giddy. He's crushing. Watch a video of their appearances together. I swear he's crushing. He smiles bigger, laughs bigger and is even more tongue tied. I don't think he's just excited that the base is riled up. What about this whole "drill baby drill" thing? The republicans are overheated. There's even a song!
Say Palin looked average. What if she looked like Hillary (who I think is beautiful in her way) What do you think? Would Ms. Mooseburger be getting the same attention? If not, what does this mean?
Gary Kamiya says it perfectly:
Republican strategists have made it clear that the GOP's only chance to win is by reframing the election as a battle of images. And right now, Palin is the pinup queen in that war. She's feisty, she's a mom, she's from a frontier state, she guns down wolves from the air, she's a devout Evangelical, she poses as a reformer, and she insults the Washington elites.
And large numbers of Americans think she's hot.
This latter point cannot be underestimated. Iraq may be a quagmire, a new cold war may be looming, the economy may be tanking and the world may be heading toward environmental doom, but the presidential race may be decided by the perceived doability of the governor of Alaska.
Looks have always played a major role in politics. Nixon lost the famous 1960 debate to JFK because he looked sweaty and devious and, well, like Nixon. John Kerry's resemblance to Lurch, the Addams family butler, probably did not help him. And Palin's perceived babaliciousness, as much as her considerable ability to wield a political hatchet, has brought a spark to the moribund Republican ticket.
Never mind that Palin's absurdly ballyhooed speech at the convention was just a recitation of familiar GOP culture-war clichés, with a disgraceful swipe at "community organizers" thrown in. (Odd -- I thought "big government"-hating Republicans believed in altruism, individual initiative and charity. But apparently they believe in nothing except demonizing their opponents.) Never mind that she is grossly unprepared to be president and was obviously brought in to appeal to women who will supposedly vote gender over issues, and to wield a hatchet in the great veep tradition of Spiro Agnew. Never mind that her claim to be a reformer is about as convincing as the GOP's bogus assertion that she stopped the Bridge to Nowhere.
Right now, Palin has Democrats quaking in their boots -- and with good reason. But all hope isn't lost. For even if this election turns out to be a referendum on the national libido, Palin may scare off more voters than she attracts.
Because to anyone who isn't a true believer, Palin comes across not as a fantasy pinup, but as a dominatrix. And the S/M demographic isn't going to put the Republicans over the top in the swing states.
For the die-hard Republicans who lusted over Palin at the convention, her whip-wielding persona was a turn-on. You could practically feel the crowd getting a collective woody as Palin bent Obama and the Democrats over, shoved a leather gag in their mouths and flogged them as un-American wimps, appeasers and losers. "Drill, baby, drill!" the chant ecstatically repeated by the GOP faithful during Rudy Giuliani's speech, acquired a distinctly Freudian subtext after Palin spoke. The more Palin drilled the Democrats, the more hotly the base yearned to drill her. (We will leave it to shrinks to determine whether the GOP hardcore has the hots for Palin because she's reaming the Democrats, or because authority-worshippers tend to have secret fantasies of being reamed themselves.) Read the rest cause it's the best read of the day.