Sitting at the Atlanta airport yesterday afternoon, I got such a call from a reporter for the Daily Beast asking me to compare Sarah Palin's appearances in the run-up to Tuesday's elections with those of Mitt Romney.
I said that was the wrong question. The correct question, I said, was to compare Sarah Palin's appearances with those of Barack Obama.
MY DEAR Mr. Mullings:
How DARE you mention Sarah Palin and Barack Obama in the same sentence, much less as equals.
The National Association to Protect the Obama Myth (NAPOM)
Yeah. Well …
Obama is bringing out huge crowds in places where people aren't going to vote. Notably college campuses. Makes for great TV, but crappy politics as we pointed out the other day.
The White House press shop breathlessly reports to an adoring press corps the size of the crowd by counting every person in the hall, every person registered to vote as a Democrat in the county, and maybe every person in the ZIP code.
The press corps, in turn, suspends disbelief and reports the number that the White House press shop gave them so that the American public can marvel about just how popular President Obama continues to be.
This is called: Intellectual Garbage Recycling.
It is no secret that Sarah Palin is a personality with enormous public appeal. Forget about the stories that show she is hard to work with because she doesn't have a huge staff helping to figure out her scheduling logistics three months in advance.
If she did have an large staff, there would be story after story about how she has surrounded herself with a posse of disciples, able and willing to react to her every whim and desire.
Sort of like the President's staff.
Because there is no Secret Service and no taxpayer-funded political advance men and women running around with ear-pieces and radios at a Palin event, it is far more difficult to judge how many people are packed into a high-school gym, or a community auditorium.
One of the reasons the Palin coverage has been reduced is because it became obvious that she was not living up to her reputation (nor expectations) of being a scatterbrained embarrassment to the Republican Party. It became much more useful for the press corps to press its case against the Tea Party movement by switching its focus from Palin to Christine O'Donnell.
You don't think there's an agenda? Let's pretend O'Donnell doesn't have a very good chance of winning the race for U.S. Senator in Delaware next Tuesday; just for the sake of my making this point.