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Palin, Obama, and the culture war
What Tuesday's election will say about the future of American politics
 

America has turned on Sarah Palin, said Peter Beinart in The Washington Post (free subscription required), and there's a clear reason why. The Alaska governor's "brand is culture war, and in America today culture war no longer sells."

That's the way the press and the intelligentsia see Palin, said Kimberly Strassel in The Wall Street Journal, but legions of supporters idolize Palin. They see her as "a symbol of a reformist average Jane, a working mom, ready to take on the Washington they detest."

Palin's detractors are blind to her appeal, said Byron York in National Review Online. "There's a real enthusiasm for Palin," and it's a spark that John McCain's campaign didn't have until he picked her as his running mate. The people Barack Obama pushed away by saying they cling to guns and religion see Palin as the standard-bearer for their brand of conservatism.

Palin's hasn't won her fans with "any real policy speeches," said Andrew Sullivan in the London Times. She's "an identity politics figure for the white right." A victory on Tuesday for Barack Obama, who has reached across old race and gender lines, will be a sign "that the politically correct racial identity politics forged in the 1990s is on its way out."

 

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