Palin to Keep Stumping With McCain
With Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin proving herself to be a huge draw on the on the campaign trail, NBC’s Matthew Berger reports that we can expect to see a lot more of her at joint events with Sen. John McCain.
ABOARD PALIN CAMPAIGN PLANE — The McCain campaign is “very seriously considering” having McCain and Palin campaign together more often than not in the next two months, a senior campaign aide said, adding it could be the most a presidential and vice presidential candidate campaign in tandem in recent history.
The aide said the two have developed a strong chemistry together and will likely utilize it through joint rallies. He likened it to the chemistry Bill Clinton and Al Gore had in 1992, suggesting it was instinctive.
“Sometimes these vice presidential selections, the pairings, work in a magical way,” the aide told reporters on the Palin campaign plane, on condition of anonymity.
The Associated Press adds that by keeping Palin with McCain, the campaign can more easily shield her from the media:
McCain and Palin traveling together limits her exposure to reporters and gives McCain’s top aides more control of her. Palin has not done interviews since the first and only one she gave to People magazine on the day McCain introduced her as his vice presidential choice.
Palin’s popularity on the stump is undeniable. Since she joined the campaign, crowds regularly approach 10,000 — whereas McCain was lucky to draw two or three thousand on his own in the pre-Palin era. The campaign reported an audience of 23,000 — though it has a tendency to exaggerate — yesterday in Fairfax, Va., a McCain campaign record. It’s clearly a multi-faceted advantage to keep her on the trail with McCain as much as possible.
However, Palin’s popularity also poses a dilemma for McCain: he might not have a choice.
The audience enthusiasm for the veep pick could easily overshadow McCain if they spend a long time apart. How would it look if Palin’s crowds regularly dwarf those who show up to see McCain on his own? The media would surely notice if the size of McCain’s crowds shrank drastically while throngs still flocked to Palin.
Though he could hardly have known it when he plucked this relatively unknown governor from obscurity in Alaska, McCain may have inadvertantly violated one of the traditional “rules” for choosing a veep: never pick someone who could outshine you.
Fortunately for him, Palin has made many Republicans excited about McCain’s candidacy for the first time. So it will probably work in his favor.