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Larry Kudlow: The Sarah Surge in Black and White

Caught by surprise, the Palin pick leaves Obama spinning.

By Larry Kudlow |

[Editor’s note: Beginning this week, Noozhawk is welcoming syndicated columnists Larry Kudlow, Michael Barone, Susan Estrich, Jim Hightower, Michelle Malkin and Robert Scheer to our nest. Click here for more information.]

It’s so much fun reading the newspapers these days. The Sarah surge continues to dominate all the political news, while the Palin-McCain — er, McCain-Palin — ticket is forging ahead in the polls.

Larry Kudlow
Larry Kudlow
But let’s be fair. Even though Sen. John McCain is now riding Gov. Sarah Palin’s skirt tails, he was the one who made the brilliant decision to put her on the ticket. And the louder the left screams, the better Sarah seems to do. So much better that for the first time the Intrade pay-to-play prediction market — which long has had Sen. Barack Obama winning by 20 to 25 points in November — now shows a McCain lead. Unbelievable.

And look at all these headlines. The Washington Post has “Palin Energizing Women From All Walks of Life.” In particular, white women with children at home give Palin a favorable rating of 80 percent.

Then there’s this lead story in the Wall Street Journal: “Palin Lifts McCain’s Support.” A WSJ-NBC poll now has the presidential race even, and it’s the Palin effect that explains the shift.

One in four Hillary Clinton voters now says the Palin pick makes them more likely to vote for McCain. And traditional Republican states like Georgia, Montana, North Carolina and Alaska — which Obama thought he’d fight for — are now safely back in the McCain camp.

A Bloomberg news article is titled, “McCain Poll Surge, Fundraising Give Democrats Election Jitters.” It talks about how Democrats now worry they’ll lose the election. Rep. Artur Davis, the Alabama Democrat who was Obama’s Harvard Law classmate, says the GOP just had its best week in four years.

And Obama & Co. are completely flummoxed as to what to do about the Palin phenomenon. The normally unflappable Obama actually said, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” Whew. That one will add several points to the McCain-Palin column. “Holy Sow!” reads the New York Post headline, hammering home the mistake.

Even Camille Paglia, a strong Obama supporter, is waxing rhapsodic over Sarah Palin. Paglia calls her “a new style of muscular American feminism”; a “brash ambassador from America’s pioneer past”; an “optimistic pragmatist like Ronald Reagan.” Following Palin’s Republican convention speech, I compared the governor to a Western pioneer version of Margaret Thatcher. I’m glad to see Paglia pick up on that.

An op/ed piece by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., in The Wall Street Journal is titled, “Yes, Palin Did Stop that Bridge.” DeMint says Palin may once have supported the infamous Bridge to Nowhere, but she then killed it.

And let’s not get into the flip-flop argument. Both Obama and McCain have flip-flopped this year. And anyway, who cares if you flip-flop if you land in the right place? DeMint notes that Palin cut nearly 10 percent of Alaska’s budget. And he should have reminded folks that Obama voted for the pork-barrel farm bill — chock full of earmarks and waste — and then voted again to overturn President Bush’s veto of the bill.

A USA Today headline says “Palin Did Not Ban Books in Wasilla as Mayor.” After interviewing a bunch of local folks, the author simply could not confirm the charge made by left-wing bloggers.

In “The Hunt for Sarah October,” the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund writes about a 30-lawyer S.W.A.T. team of Obama Democrats descending on Alaska in search of dirt related to “Palin’s troopergate.” They found nothing that hasn’t already aired about Palin’s alcoholic ex-brother-in-law who Tasered his stepson.

Over in the Journal’s Political Diary, Steve Moore says Republican House members back from vacation are actually talking about picking up seats in November, with a recent USA Today poll putting GOP members up four points on the question: Who do you support, the Republican or the Democrat for Congress in your district?

Even the financial pages are looking better. Oil is about to drop under $100 a barrel. Gold is plunging. And the greenback continues to rally in true King Dollar fashion. Is there a Sarah Palin effect here, too?

On the campaign trail, Palin says, “We’re going to drill now to make this nation energy independent.” And she adds that she’s “ready to help John McCain bring tax relief to all Americans.” That’s the disciplined Sarah on message. She signaled this in St. Paul when she said the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is lipstick. Obama picked up on the dark side of that metaphor. But Palin’s really saying: Don’t tread on me. Don’t try to intimidate me. I am a strong, tough mom who is determined to succeed in politics.

That’s just what she’s doing.

Larry Kudlow is the founder and CEO of Kudlow & Co. LLC, an economic research and consulting firm in New York City, and host of CNBC’s Kudlow & Company. Click here for more information, or click here to contact him.




comments powered by Disqus

» on 09.12.08 @ 02:30 AM

ALL YOU GUYS PUBLISH ARE RIGHT-WING COLUMNISTS.

[Editor’s note: Where have YOU been the last three days?]

» on 09.12.08 @ 10:28 AM

It amazes me that so many people have bought into the same Rove tactics that brought us the last 8 failed years under Bush. If anyone watched the Sarah Palin interview last night you should be very upset that McBush picked her. She is clueless and one heartbeat away if something should happen to McBush.

Please do not be fooled again. McSame will bring the same big business and military industrial complex leadership we have had for the past 8 years. Look at the state of America today: record deficits, credit crisis, housing crisis, energy crisis,cronism, corruption,  international crisis, education crisis and endless fighting overseas. Look at all the lobbyist running McSame’s campaign. Look at McCain’s voting record. It is the same as Bush. Anything he used to disagree with Bush like tax breaks for the rich and torture he is now in alignment.

Please wake up for the good of your children and middle class and the country.

» on 09.12.08 @ 11:23 AM

The liberal complaints about these commentaries are really getting tiresome. Show some imagination and make a point about the article but don’t just complain that it’s even there. I appreciate Noozhawk’s new lineup and I’m happy to read points of view that are different than my own. I guess I’m old enough to remember when that would make me a liberal.

» on 09.12.08 @ 12:31 PM

By printing this column, Noozhawk is filling screen space with irrelevancies. I don’t care at all about Intrade, popularity polls, pundits revising their previous unfounded claims in shifting winds, politicians fretting about pundits, pigs, lipstick, or even an offensive definition of “new feminism” that somehow allows for undercutting women’s rights.

What I care a lot about is a failing economy, inadequate health care, a lack of governmental concern for the importance of an educated citizenry, an endless war, and an approach to foreign policy that ignores decades of lessons learned in favor of catch phrases.

Worse than just wasting my time and your money, opinion pieces like this (with either a conservative or liberal slant) distract from the important issues, and are a disservice to your readers and to the future of this country.

» on 09.12.08 @ 12:34 PM

What’s the old lawyer’s saying? “When the law is on your side, argue the law. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. And when neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table a lot.” The lef side sure seems to be pounding the table a lot.

» on 09.12.08 @ 07:29 PM

They love to spend your hard earned money, and tell you how we should live—Vote the tax and spend Libs out of office and take your country back.

» on 09.12.08 @ 08:31 PM

I agree that these columns are basically filler, which should be allocated to local news. I understand that you can’t pay local reporters from online ad revenue, but newzhawk will never a national or state-wide site so PLEASE keep it some what local. Kudlow is on TV every night, the last thing we need is more of the same voices just packaged differently.

[Editor’s note: Thanks for the comments, Tim. We would like nothing more than to receive a balance of local political commentary and, if we had it, I absolutely would drop the syndicated columnists — which are only intended to even things out until we get it. Noozhawk’s intention is to have the full and site-wide involvement of this vibrant and knowledgeable community to supplement the news reporting our professional reporters do. Please e-mail me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you can help me find those local writers. Thank you again.]

» on 09.13.08 @ 12:17 AM

Thank goodness the Noozhawk tries to balance things. As a non-subscriber to cable or newspapers, I enjoy reading a variety of opinions. Unfortunately the Independent is too liberal, they spend way too much time writing liberal rhetoric, trying to make all republicans look like the anti-Christ, no kidding right? Writers like Nick Welsh and co. come off as elitist. I’d like to know where he shops and where his kids go to school. The fact is they preach to the elitist choir here in SB, they wouldn’t last one day in any other environment, so they can rip on republicans without much grief. I could care less about Obama or McCain. They are good people, but they’re both politicians who will do anything to get elected. Keep it up Noozhawk.

» on 09.13.08 @ 03:02 AM

John McCain picked a person to help his campaign, and from that perspective it was a good choice because his campaign didn’t stand a chance at that point. The problem is he picked a person completely unqualified to be part of the executive branch of the United States. I’ll give Sarah Palin kudos for playing a poor hand well, but she’s still got nothin’ in her hand and if we put her in office behind McCain there’s a very good chance she’ll be President. President Empty Handed. Barack Obama, on the other hand picked a person for the job of Vice President. Joe Biden may be a beltway regular, but that’s a practical move by Obama to bring someone with connections and institutional memory on his team. It’s not a campaign move, it’s a governing move. Obama cares about how this country is run, while McCain only cares about how his campaign is run. Biden will be an asset in office, Palin will be a dangerous embarrassment.

» on 09.13.08 @ 03:37 PM

MKT, there is not much difference in the experience of Obama and Palin and yes both Biden and McCain have been around the Beltway a long time, so your point is Obama recognizing his lack of experience and connections picked a presidential candidate. Hmmmmm, well why did the Dems pick Obama in the first place if he wasn’t qualified and had to pick a VP to make up the difference? On the other hand, McCain having the experience, connections and command know how, picked a VP that accentuated his core beliefs, namely, reforming the old boy network in Washington. Seems its McCain making the command decisions here and Obama trying to cover his inadequacies. Your rational is not validated by the facts, a common mistake the left keeps making these days. Had the DNC given Hillary here due and had she picked Obama as her running mate the election would have been over right then and there. Only now has it become apparent that following Hollywood’s lead was possibly a fatal mistake for the Democrat party.

» on 09.13.08 @ 04:54 PM

Larry ...Pull the blinders and get off your idiotic narrowminded path. I guess that there are a few that will listen to your rediculous rhetoric but most citizens are more informed than what you think, or hope. The McCainbush/Palin ticket reminds me of Bush’s minister of gynecology that had to retreat to obscurity after his wife found him doing her in the wrong orifice while she slept.  His excuse was that he missed….a gynecologist that can’t tell an innie from an outie!!!! McCainrove/Palin are just two more examples of politics as usual…lies and excuses instead of facts and solutions.

» on 09.13.08 @ 07:19 PM

Here you are again Timmy spewing your stupid idiotic parroting. You are not Jon Stewart and therefore not the least bit entertaining.  What are your solutions Timmy, besides killing anyone that doesn’t agree with what you think you should believe? You say the other side is a liar but site no cases and no supporting evidence. Your assumption is that your side is not lying and always tells the truth. You say you are more informed than what anyone thinks but sound like someone who isn’t very sure of that.

» on 09.13.08 @ 10:52 PM

» TIMMY D. wrote on 09/13/08 @ 11:54 AM
“The McCainbush/Palin ticket reminds me of Bush’s minister of gynecology that had to retreat to obscurity after his wife found him doing her in the wrong orifice while she slept.  His excuse was that he missed….a gynecologist that can’t tell an innie from an outie!!!!”

What the heck is THAT all about???

I’ve been reading Noozhawk’s guest columns, from both liberal and conservative writers, and I’m amazed at the responses from the liberal supporters. Virtually nothing about the issues; just venomous rants.

That tells me a LOT about the people making those kinds of inputs…

» on 09.14.08 @ 07:36 PM

AN50 wrote:“Hmmmmm, well why did the Dems pick Obama in the first place if he wasn’t qualified and had to pick a VP to make up the difference?” Obama was picked by voters, people like you and me, people you work with and live near. You remember the primary, right? The DNC did not “pick” our candidate, we did, and plenty of Republicans voted for Obama, too. Please think carefully about this: we are tasked with choosing, or helping to choose the next leader of the free world. This jibjabbing about the VP is secondary to the choice we all must make pretty soon. If you believe the bush administration did a good job of governing this country, then by all means vote for McCain. Realize, though, that his “maverick” persona is purely marketing. He’s voted with Bush over 90% of the time, and the rest of the world knows it better than many Americans. For McCain to claim that he is the “change” candidate, or for Palin to claim that her year and a half as Alaska’s governor qualifies her to lead the country if necessary, or for the RNC to believe that American women will vote for M-P just because a female is on the ticket just shows how empty-handed and cynical they are, and how stupid they think you are. It’s the same attitude they had four years ago. Please don’t prove them right again. We need someone with intelligence and courage and a fresh viewpoint. McCain has none of that, including I’m sad to say courage-look at how he rolled over when Bush/Rove accused of fathering a child out of wedlock when McCain ran against Bush in 2000. We’ve got to do better.

» on 09.15.08 @ 05:16 PM

MKT, you seem like a fairly rational lefty unlike some of the others, so please don’t repeat DNC talking points like “he voted with bush 90% of the time”, so did most of congress including Barack. Unfortunately you are right about the people picking their primary candidate. However the DNC put this guy out there for you to pick and that was the first mistake, him being selected by the people was the second. Now mind you, in spite of my policy, values and principles differences with the “O”, I think this guy has a lot of potential. Had he run second to a more seasoned candidate he would have been primed for the number one slot in 4 to 8 years. As it is he was swept in on star power and glib speaking abilities. His resume is way too thin for the problems he’s facing and our enemies know it. Putting aside the almost apoplectic reaction to Sarah Palin by the left, it was a brilliant move on McCain’s part. Now as far as the responsibility for picking the leader of the free world, you played right into my deepest concern with our selection process and that is any idiot can vote and most voters like it or not are idiots. Taking the extreme partisanship out of the equation we really end up picking the lesser of evils and in this election, Palin’s conservative credentials aside, the two candidates aren’t that different. So I pick experience over stardom, getter done over endless nuance, talk tough and carry a big stick over trying to be liked by half crazed idiots who hate us and hate us more when we just want to talk, someone who believes in cutting government spending rather than growing government. Now I guess you can tell Biden to come out from under his desk and stop being afraid of the poor little hockey mom.

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