Why Palin Is Mac's 'Meal Ticket'

The culture of celebrity, evangelical ideals, and small town nostalgia combine to enable Palin's 'outsized' influence
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2008 9:19 AM CDT
Sarah Palin smiles during a campaign rally in Golden, Colo.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – The number of enthusiastic Republicans have doubled in polls since John McCain picked Sarah Palin for his ticket, and Palin figures in slightly more news coverage than her running mate. That might be expected, but she is mentioned 10 times more than  Democratic counterpart Joe Biden. Tim Rutten offers up three reasons the hockey mom has become McCain's "meal ticket" in the Los Angeles Times.

  • The culture of celebrity: Palin, like Obama, has a story people can relate to, leading "people inclined to admire her not to care when Palin repeatedly lies about the bridge to nowhere."
  • Main Street America: Wasilla is just a suburb of Anchorage, but in troubled times the small town nostalgia Palin offers up is like catnip
  • Religious righteousness: Palin has energized the evangelicals in her party because, unlike McCain, she's the real deal. "Never before has the evangelical right had one so clearly its own on a national ticket," Rutten writes.