Thursday, September 04, 2008

Palin Speech: the less said the better

I didn't actually watch it (way past my bedtime) but my wife read it this morning (and the accolades from CNN and Yahoo News) and she was pissed, saying things that if a man said it, would be considered sexist.

The blogs have been pretty quiet on the speech, but Cognitive Dissonance caught my attention.

But I don't think the speech will be effective beyond the very near term (the next 3-7 days) at moving votes in McCain's direction, if it moves them at all. And here's why:

I think some of you are underestimating the percentage of voters for whom Sarah Palin lacks the standing to make this critique of Barack Obama. To many voters, she is either entirely unknown, or is known as an US Weekly caricature of a woman who eats mooseburgers and has a pregnant daughter. To change someone's opinion, you have to do one of two things. Either, you have to be a trusted voice of authority, or you have to persuade them. Palin is not a trusted voice of authority -- she's much too new. But neither was this a persuasive speech. It was staccato, insistent, a little corny. It preached to the proverbial choir. It was also, as one of my commentors astutely noted, a speech written by a man and for a man, but delivered by a woman, which produces a certain amount of cognitive dissonance.

In exceedingly plain English, I think there's a pretty big who the fuck does she think she is? factor. And not just among us Daily Kos reading, merlot-drinking liberals. I think Palin's speech will be instinctively unappealing to other whole demographics of voters, including particuarly working-class men (among whom there may be a misogyny factor) and professional post-menopausal women.

Let's hope so. And for "if God be for us, who can be against us" (and we all know God is on the side of George W. Bush and Sarah Palin, right?) crowd, no that is the only authority that is needed.

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