Change vs. more of the same

CHANGE VS. MORE OF THE SAME…. On Monday, Sarah Palin told Katie Couric that voters are going to have to decide between “new energy” and “new ideas” on one side, or “many, many years in the Senate” on the other. Obama vs. McCain? No, she was talking about Palin vs. Biden, seemingly unaware of the dynamic at the top of the ticket.

CBS just sent out a transcript from this morning’s “Early Show,” in which Palin touched on a very similar theme.

COURIC: I know you’re heading to Sedona to work on your debate. What is your coach advising you?

PALIN: I don’t have a debate coach.

COURIC: Well, what are your coaches?

PALIN: I have quite a few people who are giving us information about the record of Obama and Biden, and at the end of the day, though, it is — it’s so clear, again, what those choices are. Either new ideas, new energy and reform of Washington, DC, or more of the same.

First, if she doesn’t have debate coaches, I’m the Heavyweight Champion of the World.

Second, and more importantly, Palin seems strikingly unaware of what this campaign is all about. As she sees it, John McCain represents “new ideas” and “new energy,” while Barack Obama represents “more of the same.”

As someone who reads “all” newspapers, Palin might have noticed that she has this entirely backwards, and isn’t exactly helping her ticket’s cause by dismissing “more of the same.” Indeed, McCain/Palin agrees with Bush/Cheney on foreign policy, national security, economic policy, taxes, healthcare, energy, education, the environment, the federal judiciary, immigration, and the culture-war issues. Indeed, McCain has personally boasted about voting with Bush 90% of the time, and has insisted, “[O]n the transcendent issues, the most important issues of our day, I’ve been totally in agreement and support of President Bush.”

Who, exactly, is “more of the same”?

I sometimes feel as if Palin’s candidacy is some kind of satirical performance art, and I’m just not in on the joke.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.