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  • Jim Bennett’s comments on Gov. Palin

    Posted by Lexington Green on August 31st, 2008 (All posts by )

    Jim has been quiet lately, and his insights have been missed.

    His analysis is too good to be left buried in the comments:

    The McCain-Palin campaign needs to address the experience question head-on, and they need to do so by working from Palin’s strengths, not by sweeping objections under the rug. This should be done by announcing several areas in which she would take the lead within the administration, areas where her existing strengths give her plausibility. Three areas suggest themselves immediately.
     
    1. North American energy and trade policy. The most important substantive accomplishment of her administration has been the natural-gas pipeline deal with Canada, that she was a key figure in brokering and pushing. The Financial Times gave her credit for this accomplishment weeks ago, when nobody thought she had a chance for the VP slot. Have her make a speech as soon as possible before a major energy or trade meeting in Canada, where she will give a preview of the McCain-Palin policy for energy cooperation with Canada. Cite her pipeline experience frequently. Get in digs at Obama for playing the anti-NAFTA card in the primaries, and against Biden for having voted against the pipeline when it was first an issue decades ago. Play up her experience as an Arctic governor and show sympathy for Canada’s Arctic issues, including the undersea resource claims we and Canada will soon be disputing with Putin. Maybe follow that with a trip to Iqaluit, being sure to bring her husband. Up there, talk about America and Canada’s common Arctic and Inuit/Eskimo heritage.
     
    Obama has done nothing as important or complex, or as international, as the pipeline deal. Not to mention Biden.
     
    2. Middle-class/blue-collar issues. The Republicans need to hone their “Sam’s Club” agenda. She’s the person to do it. Adopt the Romney proposal for a realistic (at least 10K per kid) child credit, and be sure it’s deductible against parroll tax. And pledge to revisit and reform Joe Biden’s (D-MNBA) bankruptcy bill, making sure to repeat ten zillion times that it was Biden’s baby. She can take credit for convincing McCain to revisit his previous position and decide it needs reforming.
     
    3. Native community issues. Not only are her husband (and kids) part-Eskimo, Palin had to deal costantly with the powerful “native corporations” as governor. The Bureau of Indian Affairs and its programs are an ongoing national disgrace. Let Palin head up a task force to entirely revamp [programs for native communities. This might sway enough votes in New Mexico to swing the state their way, and would count in several other Western states that are leaners.
     
    So here are three “mules” for Sister Sarah to ride – – to office.

    Jim also added this:

    Here’s a story on Bloomberg from Aug. 1 about the pipeline deal, before the media got the talking points from the Obama campaign to pretend that Palin has accomplished nothing significant:

     

    2 Responses to “Jim Bennett’s comments on Gov. Palin”

    1. david foster Says:

      The campaign also needs to focus on the distinction between *talking* and *doing*. I think there are many people–especially among journalists and academics–who really don’t understand the difference between talking about things and actually getting them done, about the difference between being a Congressman/Senator and being a Mayor/Governor. Millions of Americans *do* understand the difference, although they may never have articulated it, and I think it will help to make it as explicit as possible.

    2. zenpundit Says:

      Bennett is a better political strategist than most of the guys the GOP are paying 6 and 7 figures.

      David Foster wrote:

      “I think there are many people–especially among journalists and academics–who really don’t understand the difference between talking about things and actually getting them done”

      To paraphrase Richard Feynman, these are the same folks who often believe knowing the name of something is the same as actually knowng something.