As both Sen. Barack Obama and the newly minted Republican ticket of Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin hit different parts of Virginia Wednesday, Gwen Ifill discussed the profound impact that Palin has had on the race.
“The one thing we knew that was consistent even though it was narrow throughout this kind of post primary process was that Barack Obama seemed to have a slight edge. Sarah Palin has changed all that. And she’s changed it at least for the short term among white women, who have decided to wake-up and flock away from Barack Obama …to John McCain,” Ifill said.
But the carefully stage-managed approach to her rollout to the American public could turn out to be a double-edged sword, Ifill warned.
“The last time I remember such an unknown person being put on the ticket was when Dan Quayle was nominated by George H. W. Bush to be his running mate in 1988,” she told the NewsHour’s Steve Goldbloom. “Shortly after that happened he came out in a series of live interviews with the press … where he did not acquit himself well in which he did misspeak on several occasions and certainly no one wants to repeat that on the Republican side. So they are carefully guarding Sarah Palin preparing her for what is certain to be merciless scrutiny … over the next several weeks and trying to preserve what is best about her without tarnishing what is a brand new brand.”