What better way to shift the focus of what could potentially be a very embarrassing moment for the McCain/Palin camp that to create a diversion? The flack that veteran journalist Gwen Ifill is taking over her not-yet released book, The Breakthrough, is just that, a way to have everyone thinking about whether or not the moderator is biased and not the potentially disastrous performance of Governor Palin.
Let's be honest - Palin has done a pretty good job of making herself look inept and clueless as of late. The 2008 vice-presidential debate is probably the most anticipated and surely one for the history books. Will Biden hit Palin back hard if she gives a rookie answer? Will Palin attack Biden (and Obama) head-on, with the assumption that he can't punch back as hard as she can, lest he be labeled sexist, a la Rick Lazio '00? These two questions add to the hype of the much-anticipated debate.
However, now we are focusing on Gwen Ifill and her book The Breakthrough. From Amazon - this is the product description of the book:
In THE BREAKTHROUGH, veteran journalist Gwen Ifill surveys the American political landscape, shedding new light on the impact of Barack Obama's stunning presidential campaign and introducing the emerging young African American politicians forging a bold new path to political power.
Ifill argues that the Black political structure formed during the Civil Rights movement is giving way to a generation of men and women who are the direct beneficiaries of the struggles of the 1960s. She offers incisive, detailed profiles of such prominent leaders as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama, and also covers up-and-coming figures from across the nation. Drawing on interviews with power brokers like Senator Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and many others, as well as her own razor-sharp observations and analysis of such issues as generational conflict and the "black enough" conundrum, Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in American history.
THE BREAKTHROUGH is a remarkable look at contemporary politics and an essential foundation for understanding the future of American democracy.
OK - so what exactly is the problem? And how does this description all of a sudden make Ifill pro-Obama? The fact of the matter is - win or lose, Sen. Barack Obama has run a stunning presidential campaign. How many people wrote him off when he announced his presidential run? And how many of us watched his speech at the 2004 DNC Convention and thought to ourselves "this man is going to be the Democratic presidential nominee in the next election cycle." I'm sure the answers to both questions are - most people and not many.
The book was announced prior to the announcement of the debate moderators, according to HuffPo blogger - Judd Legum, which only adds to my theory that this whole issue is more about diversion than actual concern about the impartiality of the moderator. This offers the McCain/Palin camp an automatic excuse to use in the event of a poor performance by Palin or in the case of a good performance, an excuse to say that Palin did well even in spite of her opponent's unfair advantage.