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Time to rethink Palin

Earl Ofari Hutchinson | 9/21/2010, 10 a.m.

Palin and the Tea Party were the manna from above to try and accomplish that. Even while much of the press and the pundits continued to bash her harder than any GOP candidate since Hoover Herbert during the presidential campaign, the crowds that wildly cheered her didn’t slack up one bit. And neither did the endless refrain from the Palin cheerleaders that she was one of us. And since winning elections is still as much about which candidate can win the hearts not the heads of the voters, Palin was clearly the one who could tug at the voter’s heart strings.

The final vote result proved it. Despite the colossal baggage McCain and the GOP carried, and colossal advantages Obama and the Democrats had, the majority of white moderate and conservative voters, and a large segment of young whites and independents still voted for McCain. In the nearly two years since Obama’s election, Palin has been the GOP stalking horse to stampede the herd of moderates and conservative independents even further away from Obama.

The Palin success in grabbing headlines, firing up anti-Obama mania, and snapping the heads of the GOP establishment to attention hasn’t been lost on Palin. She’s adroitly moved her game plan to the next level, and has extended the Olive Branch to the GOP mainstream with saccharine public appeals for the party to make peace and target Democrats for the boot in November.

Her party unit pitch is aimed at doing one thing, and that’s to bring her in from the fringe cold and establish her as a worthy, even credible, presidential candidate in 2012. So far she’s done everything else right, and there’s no reason to think that she won’t make some headway on this either. This horrific possibility is more than enough cause to rethink Palin.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst.