The Palin fear factor

Mother Jones
by James Ridgeway

In times of economic crisis, voters become risk averse. This doesn’t mean that they won’t vote for political change, especially if it means a change in the policies that caused the financial mess in the first place. But when the future seems uncertain and frightening, above all voters want a candidate who makes them feel safe. Such a theory would seem to favor the avuncular John McCain over the inspirational Barack Obama — the old, white, conservative man with the military bearing, over the brash young newcomer who, as Obama himself has said, ‘doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.’ These days, however, it isn’t Obama who’s looking like the risky choice in November’s election. McCain’s erratic behavior and high-profile stunts alone are spooking some voters, and making the unflappable Obama seem all the more solid in comparison. But the scariest thing about McCain is the person on the other half of his ticket...

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Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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