While many rank and file Republicans cheered John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his choice for Vice President, the members of the liberal media cabal Journo-list immediately got to work trying to discredit the Governor of Alaska. The Daily Caller got access to the files of this list and you can see how many of the the themes used to attack Palin during the campaign were developed. Very few of these themes were fair, but then again, when you read this post you will find that they even called themselves “the unofficial campaign headquarters.”
The first plan of attack discussed was her experience but that didn’t work because as Johathan Stein of Mother Jones pointed out,“Well, she has much experience as the Democratic nominee.”
Daniel Levy of the Century Foundation noted that Obama’s “non-official campaign” would need to work hard to discredit Palin. “This seems to me like an occasion when the non-official campaign has a big role to play in defining Palin, shaping the terms of the conversation and saying things that the official [Obama] campaign shouldn’t say – very hard-hitting stuff, including some of the things that people have been noting here – scare people about having this woefully inexperienced, no foreign policy/national security/right-wing christia wing-nut a heartbeat away …… bang away at McCain’s age making this unusually significant …. I think people should be replicating some of the not-so-pleasant viral email campaigns that were used against [Obama].”
That one sounds familiar. So does the theme suggested by Ben Adler, then at Politico, now at Newsweek. He suggested making baby Trig the issue.
“but doesn’t leaving sad baby without its mother while she campaigns weaken that family values argument? Or will everyone be too afraid to make that point?”
Ed Kilgore, managing editor of the Democratic Strategist blog, argued the team should not just focus on experience but warned against allowing her to seize the maverick label. “The criticism of her really, really needs to be ideological, not just about experience. If we concede she’s a ‘maverick,’ we will have done John McCain an enormous service. Notice his use of the word we. Reporters are not supposed to be on the side of one candidate or the other, they are supposed to be on the side of the people.
Chris Hayes of the Nation wrote in with words of encouragement, and to ask for more talking points. “Keep the ideas coming! Have to go on TV to talk about this in a few min and need all the help I can get,” Hayes wrote.
Suzanne Nossel, from the anti-Israel NGO, Human Rights Watch said the pick should be spun as sexist,
“Women should feel umbrage at the idea that their votes can be attracted just by putting a woman, any woman, on the ticket no matter her qualifications or views.”
Mother Jones’s Stein loved the idea. “That’s excellent! If enough people – people on this list? – write that the pick is sexist, you’ll have the networks debating it for days. And that negates the SINGLE thing Palin brings to the ticket,” he wrote.
….As the morning wore on into the afternoon, some on Journolist came to believe the Palin pick had been shrewd. Palin was coming off as appealing and a maverick, they worried.
Time’s Joe Klein who ones wrote a book criticizing the Clinton administration but didn’t have the guts to publish it under his name, linked to his own piece, parts of which he acknowledged came from strategy sessions on Journolist.
“Here’s my attempt to incorporate the accumulated wisdom of this august list-serve community,” he wrote. And indeed Klein’s article contained arguments developed by his fellow Journolisters. Klein praised Palin personally, calling her “fresh” and “delightful,” but questioned her “militant” ideology. He noted Palin had endorsed parts of Obama’s energy proposal.
All of this happened on the very day that John McCain announced Sarah Palin.
Was Sarah Palin the right pick for John McCain, probably but who can be sure. There always was a suspicion that the media conspired to attack her unfairly, now we know for sure. Sadly the public never got the opportunity for an honest vetting of the Governor of Alaska. That is America’s loss.
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