Willie Brown: How Does President Palin Sound?
by Willie Brown
Thanks to Sarah Palin, this is no longer a contest between Barack Obama and John McCain - it's between Brother Barack and Sistah Sarah. Rock star vs. rock star. Inexperienced vs. inexperienced. Newcomer vs. newcomer. Change vs. change.
His "change" is East Coast intellectual. Her "change" is NASCAR.
His change is wine and cheese. Her change is mayonnaise by the gallon.
And notice how everyone is calling her Sarah Palin - not Gov. Palin. That's not good for the Democrats. It shows a certain familiarity that goes beyond just issues or her knowledge of the "Bush Doctrine.
Heck, even I didn't know what the Bush Doctrine was when Charlie Gibson asked her about it the other night on her first national TV interview.
The Democrats have got to get to the core of this new campaign. It's not a pretty thought, but somehow Democrats must plant in voters' minds that, given McCain's age and his health history, he might not make it through the term if he's elected.
Even if McCain does make it through a term, it's not likely he'll seek re-election and she will be the natural successor.
In other words, Sarah Palin may indeed be president someday.
Then there is the question of how to boost the turnout in key states.
Palin has become an instant heroine with the Wal-Mart crowd in Ohio, Nevada, Pennsylvania and other critical states. And Wal-Marters are a lot more likely to volunteer or show up at the polls than the younger people Obama has attracted.
Right now, the best shot Obama has of winning is to get out and register 12 million or so unregistered blacks, especially in the South. But he has got to do it without anyone noticing.
Palin will have no problem signing up new voters in her group. She can go to the Mountain Dew 250 in Talladega, Ala., and pitch for votes, and no one will bat an eye.
But Obama can't go to a meeting called by Al Sharpton to get out the black vote, because if he does there will be a backlash.
He's got to do it under the radar.
And forget the comedy, Barack. You are not naturally funny and you do not speak "street." You speak like a professor. And you do not know how to set up a joke.
That "lipstick on a pig" line clearly backfired.
If you had said, "As John McCain said about Hillary Clinton's health care ... lipstick on a pig is still a pig," at least you would have had a frame of reference to fall back on.
You didn't, you left yourself left wide open and you got nailed. Now everything you say will be double-examined for sexism.
On the bright side, as far as Obama is concerned, is that the Susie Buells of the world - the hard-core Hillary supporters - are starting to get worried. That might translate into some action.