Since the announcement of Sarah Palin as John McCain's vice-presidential choice for the 2008 election, there has been a Palin-mania across the country, and a Palin Derangement Syndrome brewing in the media and in leftist circles and think tanks (the jury remains out on the whole "think" part of that phrase). Conservatives of all stripes have seen an ignition of excitement in political activism in the last two weeks. Those who once held defeatist attitudes and silently wept to themselves to the seemingly inevitable Barack Obama presidency have had their hopes inflated, their wishes and prayers now answered. Sarah Palin has injected a healthy dose of enthusiasm and strength into the conservative base. The conservative base is now united around a single ticket, unlike the Democrats who, with a bright smiling face, tell us everything is alright, and that the party is united, even though the turmoil runs deep within their ranks. This is a clear advantage for the Republican party.
The McCain campaign must not squander this enthusiasm and unity advantage over the Democrats. Unfortunately, as of late, the McCain camp has put out ads and statements complaining about the media's sexist treatment of Sarah Palin, and the age discrimination from Democrats directed at John McCain. Of course these allegations are completely well-founded and completely true. However, this should not be a campaign mantra of the McCain camp. They must ignore these attacks and smears, and end the whining about sexism and "ageism." They must step above the atmosphere of desperation that emits from the Obama campaign, and focus on the stark contrasts between the two tickets.
The RNC and the McCain camp must begin focusing on the stories between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin. They have to draw contrasts between Sarah Palin's rise to power through clearing Alaska of corruption and Barack Obama's rise to power by riding the corrupt waves of the Chicago political machine. The McCain camp must draw the comparison between Joe Biden's years of being in bed with lobbyists, his obsession with earmarks, and McCain's long-standing campaign against wasteful government spending and earmark reform.
In sum, the McCain camp must get to specifics. The POW story, the jet on E-bay, those are all good things, but the American people want to see the entire picture. Draw the contrasts. Draw the lines in the sands. Use the records of your candidates, because they far out-shine the records of your opponents. If they do not do these things properly, it is possible the McCain camp will suffer an unsavory conclusion in this year's election.
The RNC and McCain camp must get down to the nitty gritty specifics of these two presidential tickets. If not, all the banners, the fliers, the tears, the energy, the convention bounces, rallies, all of it, all of it will be for nothing.
John McCain, Sarah Palin:
You both have incredible records. Use them.