I fielded a phone call this morning from a political reporter with a major Texas newspaper who wanted to know my opinion regarding the so called “Palin Factor.” He wanted to know if I could point to “demonstrable” evidence that her choice by McCain was really making a difference in the campaign.
I told him I had talked to a friend in College Station this week who told me he was volunteering for the Republcian Party and he had not planned to do so, but for Sara, and he was not alone. I mentioned that Lubbock County Republican Chairman had contacted me from the Minneapolis during the RNC and told me that the day after Sara’s speech the phone in the party’s HQ was “ringing of the wall” with people who wanted to volunteer. Major donors have told me that were not giving to the party until they saw who McCain chose for his running mate…they liked the choice and gave money. I also pointed out that Sara drew 60,000 to an appearance in Florida last week, which is indicative of the kinds of crowds she is drawing, but the media is not reporting.
I just finished reading a biography of Sara Palin titled “Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska’s Political Establishment Upside Down” Kaylene Johnson which chronicles her rise to power in Alaska. The author points out that the more Alaskans got to know Sara the more they supported her and I think we see that happening today. In fact, her campaign for Governor of Alaska in 2006 the Republican Party refused to support her, she had a former Democratic Governor and a strong Independent as opponents. Hers was truly a grassroots campaign and she won and went on to governor so effectively she is one of the most popular Governors in America.
Is she having an impact? I think it is undeniable. Will it be enough for McCain to win? That remains to be seen, but his choice of Palin may actually be the margin of victory.