"This is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America," she told the Clearwater crowd. "I'm afraid this is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to work with a former domestic terrorist who had targeted his own country." The crowd replied with boos.Milbank doesn't repeat the charge that it's somehow racist to talk about Obama's association with Bill Ayers, but he does immediately start talking about how it's racist to make anything out of Obama's association with Jeremiah Wright:
McCain had said that racially explosive attacks related to Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, are off limits. But Palin told New York Times columnist Bill Kristol in an interview published Monday: "I don't know why that association isn't discussed more."Either Palin's political judgment is different from McCain's or her judgment is being exercised at a different point in time. Is it racist for her to want to use this material? But Milbank doesn't say it is, only that the material is "racially explosive." If Palin dares to talk about such things, what bad things people might think.
Worse, Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."Hmm. I'd like to see the video of that. Now that the press has been attacked as biased, how will it defend itself? By connecting the candidate to the "ugliness" of the gathered throng, which it will describe: It shouts abuse, and some hurl obscenities. (Obscenities are always hurled, never merely thrown, tossed or lobbed.) The press will find that one guy who "shouted a racial epithet" and called a black man "boy." (Do we really know that guy is a Palin supporter and not a dirty trickster?) Look out, Sarah, if you inspire noise from the crowd, the press will choose which words to report. You might want to keep them soothed and calm.
McCain's swoon is largely out of his control...Swoon... McCain's the girl around here. Palin's the real man. Is Milbank making a gender-tinged remark?
... the result of an economic collapse that ignited new fears Monday when the Dow Jones industrial average closed below 10,000 for the first time in four years....Yes, dammit, why can't Palin simply resign herself to the fate of the campaign? The stock market has crashed, therefore Obama's time has arrived. Yet Palin responds with "rage." Anger is stage 1. Get with it, lady. You belong at stage 5, resignation, where the nice, genteel Mr. McCain is.
But the campaign has reacted with recriminations (the St. Petersburg Times reported that the Florida Republican Party chairman, after questioning Palin's aptitude, was told that he couldn't fly on her plane) and now Palin's rage.
"One of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers," she said. ("Boooo!" said the crowd.) "And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,' " she continued. ("Boooo!" the crowd repeated.)If Palin excites the crowd, the press will listen hard for the nastiest remark. She'd better rein it in then, Milbank hints, or the press will keep hearing these things and calling her ugly. She needs to be more like McCain and back out of the states that the polls show they are losing. Obama has won the election, and it's long past time for the little lady from Alaska to accept defeat gracefully.
"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.
By the way, should we assume that Palin didn't realize that McCain had declined to use Jeremiah Wright against Obama? Maybe she did know, and she intended to imply that McCain has not run a sufficiently vigorous campaign and to set herself apart as someone who could have fought to a victory but came in too late and weighed down by an inadequate running mate.
Her political interests are different from him, and I've been getting the impression that she is running with her eyes on 2012. (And with this post, I create the "2012 campaign" tag to go with the old "2004 campaign" and "2008 campaign" tag. The campaign blogging never stops.)