Why the Smears Won't Work

Another day another scandal. Actually they are coming faster than that. The latest Sarah Palin non-scandal has to do with a supposed affair she had with her husband’s business partner and his efforts to have his divorce records sealed, but it has already been debunked (via Hot Air):

Nutcase bloggers will have to find another smear against Sarah Palin … again. Did you hear that Todd Palin’s former business partner tried to get his divorce records sealed? Conspiracy theorists immediately began speculating on line that Sarah Palin — that vixen! — must have had an affair and broken up the marriage. Why else would the partner suddenly act to seal his records?

As the Smoking Gun discovered, Scott Richter wanted them sealed — to protect himself from conspiracy theorists…Isn’t that an extra dollop of irony? Mr. Richter wants to protect his son from lunatics. What happens? The lunatics use that as “evidence” that Palin had an affair with Richter and descend on him to get the dirt.

If Obama’s supporters have not figured it out yet, I’ll give them a tip — their scandal strategy isn’t going to work. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Sympathy. They started off with a vile rumor that Palin faked the pregnancy of her fifth child, then turned it into an attack on her 17-year-old pregnant daughter. The fake pregnancy rumor was false. Not only were they shockingly nasty and vicious, they were also wrong. They lost their credibility and created sympathy for Palin in the process. Palin has shown she doesn’t want or need anyone’s sympathy, but she got it just the same, thanks to those who sought to destroy her.

2. Sarah Palin has connected with the American people. 37 million people heard her speak, in her own words, without interruption or editing from the Obamedia. It will be harder to make a scandal stick to someone America feels they know. Who ya gonna believe? The witty, down-to-earth straight talker with the beautiful family and the inspiring life story or the slimy rumor mongers who already tried to feed you a pack of lies?

3. People want someone to work to solve their problems. Are they going to be more likely to have a good opinion of a campaign that is addressing the problems they have or the campaign that appears to be obsessed with tearing their opponent apart?

4. The Obamedia has been exposed. Over the past year or more the media have fawned over Barack Obama. Over the past week the media have hit Sarah Palin with dozens of accusations based on little more than nutty leftwing hate site rumors. Recent polls show over 50 percent of the American public believe the media is trying to hurt Sarah Palin.

5. They just don’t know how to do subtle. Instead of picking one or two really good scandals, they are throwing scores of them out there willy nilly, without fact checking or even, in some cases, bothering to read them in their entirety. One example is the list of books Palin supposedly banned — the problem is that many of the books on the list were not even published yet when Palin supposedly banned them. Another accusation was that Palin cut funding for pregnant teens. Those circulating that one evidently were not so good at reading or at math. The document they presented as proof, actually showed an expansion of the program, but that did not keep the accusation from being reported by the Washington Post and the New York Times. Yet another accusation was that Palin cut funding for special needs children. Not true, and easily debunked in a matter of minutes with a Google search, yet it also was widely reported as fact and was even cited by Soledad O’Brien on CNN.

Some of the rumors mentioned above were repeated on television and on the front pages of some of the most respected newspapers in America. If the initial fake pregnancy rumor had not backfired so spectacularly, ensuring Sarah Palin the massive audience of 37 million, some of these other rumors reported in the MSM might have really hurt Palin. Even though they weren’t true, voters would not likely learn that until they had already formed a negative opinion of Palin. Now that the public has gotten a good first impression of her, and they know that many of the rumors out there are turning out to be false, the scandals to come are likely to hurt Palin about as much as Bill Clinton’s scandals hurt him.

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