The latest ethics complaint against Sarah Palin—investigators believe she misused her position to solicit personal legal donations—won’t leave a scratch, writes Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com. Here’s how to predict which scandals will make it big:
- Can it be reduced to a sound bite? Nope. Heck, the AP struggled to summarize it at all.
- Does it cut against a core element of her brand? Nope. McCain’s attempts to paint Palin as an ethics crusader never stuck.
- Does it reinforce a core negative? Yes, because it dusts off doubts about her resignation.
- Can the opposition use it? Probably not. The public dislikes Palin, but doesn’t like it much better when Democrats pick on her.
- Does it have enough tabloid oomph? Not normally… but “a meteor would pretty much have to hit the earth for the media not to amplify a piece of Palin gossip.”