COMMENTS: The Palin Effect

What accounts for the post-convention bounce in the opinion polls? The Palin Effect. What accounts for the newfound enthusiasm for John McCain on the stump? The Palin Effect. What accounts for Barack Obama's apparent confusion? The Palin Effect. Why are undecided white women voters making up their minds? The Palin Effect. Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska and Republican Vice Presidential nominee, seemed ubiquitous on this heavy day of campaign coverage. The three newscasts combined to fill 59% of their newshole (33 min out of 56) with the Presidential election. ABC led with McCain on the stump in Pennsylvania; NBC and CBS with Obama in Virginia.

"Palin is generating all kinds of enthusiasm and all kinds of support on the stump and in the polls," declared ABC's Ron Claiborne. "Call it the Palin Effect." On NBC, Kelly O'Donnell showed us handwritten Palin signs waving at McCain rallies. His strategy is "to be seen with Palin often. Advisors call it Running as a partnership." As for the Democrat, "Sarah Plain has shaken up this race," stated Dean Reynolds on CBS. "For days Obama's campaign has tried to deal with what is seen as the Palin Puzzle." The candidate summed up the Alaskan's biography: "Mother! Governor! Mooseshooter! I mean it is cool." When Obama made a speech on education reform, ABC's Jake Tapper (at the tail of the Claiborne videostream) explained that it was an issue designed to appeal to women "who may have switched support to Sen McCain because of the so-called Palin Effect." The Obama campaign, judged NBC's Lee Cowan, "seems frustrated that for all the holes it sees in her resume she is still getting so much play." Must be the Palin Effect!

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