Jon Stewart had an amusing bit on his show last night, in which he points out the fact that in her speech endorsing him, Palin made McCain look bad by her mere presence, because she looks young and attractive and McCain looks old and tired. But it’s more than that, it’s the charisma difference between the two of them. Palin has charisma, McCain doesn’t. At the end of the segment, he plays a clip of someone at the McCain rally who plans to vote for Hayworth, and is just there to see Palin.
I feel sorry for guys like McCain who don’t understand how this works. It’s easy to get fooled by these three facts:
- Hayworth is the Tea Party candidate.
- Palin is beloved by the Tea Party.
- McCain is not; they consider him a RINO.
Now, to the layman, it would seem like a brilliant move to get Palin to endorse McCain. But this is ignoring the past cases in which charismatic people endorse non-charismatic people and it doesn’t help. But, you may ask, why doesn’t it help? If charisma is so great, why wouldn’t people be persuaded?
In his book The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama wrote: “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” That is, I think, the perfect description of the effect of charisma on people. They like someone, and seek to project upon him/her. Thus, the Tea Party will not mind if Palin endorses McCain; rather, they see it as evidence of her loyalty to the man who picked her.
And then they’ll go vote for Hayworth.