Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Palin leaves her rivals rattled

Palin leaves her rivals rattled
Peter Wallsten and Janet Hook, Los Angeles
September 11, 2008

THE emergence of Sarah Palin as a political force in the US presidential race has left many top Democrats fretting that, just two weeks after their convention ended on a emotional high, Barack Obama's campaign has suddenly lost its stride.

Senator Obama responded aggressively this week to Mrs Palin's presence on the Republican ticket, using television ads and campaign rallies to attack her contention that she is a political reformer who will take on the Washington establishment — a role Senator Obama has long claimed as his alone.

But some Democrats are now worried about the perils of Senator Obama's strategy, saying that his campaign, instead of engaging the Alaska Governor, should avoid any moves that draw more attention to her, which could enhance her appeal among the white, blue-collar voters who remain cool to his candidacy.

New polls suggest Mrs Palin has given a major boost to John McCain's campaign, exciting the Republican base, winning over white women and erasing Senator Obama's lead. Democrats expressed anxiety about the new challenge suggested by the recent surveys showing Senator McCain has gained ground among independent voters and women, who could decide the race in states such as Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

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