Rove's creation has turned into a mob baying for blood and even John McCain seems downright alarmed and frightened by Palin's supporters.
The Times reports:
WITH his electoral prospects fading by the day, Senator John McCain has fallen out with his vice-presidential running mate about the direction of his White House campaign.The scenes from the Palin rallies remind me of that film, To Die For, in which a hot newscaster babe (played by Nicole Kidman) winks her way into the hearts of a group of young, impressionable teenagers who promptly do away with anyone standing in the way of her ambition. 'All she wanted was a little attention'.
McCain has become alarmed about the fury unleashed by Sarah Palin, the moose-hunting "pitbull in lipstick", against Senator Barack Obama. Cries of "terrorist" and "kill him" have accompanied the tirades by the governor of Alaska against the Democratic nominee at Republican rallies.
Nicole Kidman won a Golden Globe for her performance, and Palin has won the devotion of many for her own A-list winkage. The backers of Palin's performance, however - the McCain campaign - are losing big time at the Intrade box office.
As the Palin mob reached a fever pitch, McCain crashed on Intrade's President 08 (Individual) from the mid to low thirties to 20.
Hoping to stop the bleeding of mainstream support, the McCain campaign have reportedly resorted to keeping the press away from this base at Palin's rallies. It may be too late, however, for judgement has been rendered far and wide in the beltway and in the polls.
Joe Klein of Time says:
But seriously, folks, I'm beginning to worry about the level of craziness on the Republican side, the over-the-top, stampede-the-crowd statements by everyone from McCain on down, the vehemence of the crowds that McCain and Palin are drawing with people shouting "Kill him" and "He's a terrorist" and "Off with his head."Conservative columnist, Kathleen Parker, warns:
The McCain campaign knows that Obama isn't a Muslim or a terrorist, but they're willing to help a certain kind of voter think he is. Just the way certain South Carolinians in 2000 were allowed to think that McCain's adopted daughter from Bangladesh was his illegitimate black child.Paul Harris for the Guardian sums it up as such:
But words can have more serious consequences than lost votes and we've already had a glimpse of the Palin effect.
The Post's Dana Milbank reported that media representatives in Clearwater were greeted with taunts, thunder sticks and profanity. One Palin supporter shouted an epithet at an African-American soundman and said, "Sit down, boy." McCain may want to call off his pit bull before this war escalates.
There is still no doubting that Palin can powerfully move a Republican crowd. Her angry attacks on Obama stir supporters far more effectively than does McCain's more measured style. But she is now largely reduced to stumping in the rural Republican heartlands of America. She is a powerful tool in working up the party base, ensuring that they turn out on election day, but her crossover appeal has gone. Indeed, even Republican critics of Palin have been stamped on for questioning her. Several high-profile conservative writers - such as David Brooks in the New York Times and Kathleen Parker in the National Review - have poured scorn on her. Brooks even called her 'a fatal cancer on the Republican party'.To cap it all off, the Dow has had its worst week since the Great Depression and "It's the economy, stupid" plays well in all but the reddest of states where 'culture' issues trump everything.
But the response among the base was instant and brutal. Parker received no fewer than 12,000 outraged emails, including some wishing she had been aborted, after writing that Palin should step down. There seems little doubt that Palin is still the darling of a huge section of red state America. But what works for the Republican base no longer works for the country as a whole
In the leading polls, Obama has a taken double digit lead across most. Obama and Biden's favorables have risen, while McCain and Palin's unfavorables have risen even more.
On Intrade, McCain sits below 23, while Obama rests comfortably above 77. Obama has also taken a commanding lead in the Intrade Electoral Vote Predictor map (O364, M174) with North Carolina, Florida and Ohio firmly blue and even Indiana turning blue.
McCain needs the mother of all October surprises if he has any chance of turning this thing around. We're only half way through the month . . .