Bubble Burst.Posted: September 2, 2008
The excellent daily bulletin “First Read” (by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro) has this to say this morning:
*** Looking like an ordinary politician? On Monday, the papers were full of stories about how Palin was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it. Also yesterday, we found out that Palin worked for a 527 group organized by Ted Stevens, who is now facing trial on corruption charges. Then came the news that she has retained an attorney for that Troopergate ethics investigation. And finally is today’s Washington Post story noting that Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure earmarks — which are taboo in McCain World — for Wasilla while she was its mayor. More than any new revelations about her daughter, the bigger drip-drip danger for the McCain campaign could be more signs that Palin begins to look like your average politician…If the person the McCain camp has branded as a outsider-reformer no longer appears that way, that could be a problem. It doesn’t matter how well they explain away each little issue. It’s the bigger “she’s just another pol” picture that could make all the other issues regarding the pick become a problem.
It was probably always too good to be true that Sarah Palin was the Frank Capra heroine, the Mrs. Smith who (no matter how much you disagreed with her policy positions) embodied an American archetype. The “always” in this case lasted about four days.
Having been raised on that powerful, uniquely American myth, I’m in no hurry to give it up. Nothing would delight me more than to see Palin reclaim it as her own. Let’s just say that as of this morning, the burden of proof rests on her.
And while we’re talking about myths, let’s not lose sight that the leader of the Democratic ticket is also the beneficiary of a powerful American myth, one that most of us want to embrace. It’s just that, as of this morning, he’s doing a better job of validating his.