UPDATED: Don’t Ever Say Sarah Palin Isn’t A Smart Political Operator…

UPDATE: It’s amazing how, four years later, and without Palin running for office since 2008, the Obamites are still fixated on her.

Because while the president brought Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton in for closer-door meetings, assumedly about planning strategy in the wake of Biden’s hideous performance on the stump, Obama’s flacks are hard at work trashing Palin – while doing everything they can not to appear to follow her advice.

David Axelrod was asked about Palin’s comments on Biden, and said this

“All right. David, it’s Sam Stein,” said the Huffington Post writer to Axelrod. “I”m guessing you’re not taking John McCain’s advice to drop him and put Hillary Clinton? But a more serious question –”

“Far be it from me to denigrate Senator McCain’s advice on vice presidential nominees,” Axelrod joked, making a reference to McCain picking Sarah Palin for the Republican ticket in 2008.

Then Jay Carney had the question posed to him, and proceeded to make a complete hash of things…

They’re not very classy. A mere “we’re not changing the ticket, and Gov. Palin doesn’t have our best interests at heart” would have sufficed. But they just can’t avoid getting their digs in, can they?

ORIGINAL: …she is. Actually, she’s a very good tactical politician. The mainstream media won’t give her credit for it – as far as they’re concerned she’s an idiot and a disaster for American politics.

They can’t see past the caricature Tina Fey and Julianne Moore created of Palin.

But of all the reactions to Joe Biden’s “put y’all in chains” assclownery yesterday, Palin might have had the smartest one

Sarah Palin has said that Joe Biden’s controversial ‘put y’all back in chains’ comment should be the ‘nail in the coffin’ for his career and suggested Barack Obama replace him on the 2012 ticket with Hillary Clinton.

She added that she hoped Obama would not take such a step because ‘an Obama/Clinton ticket would have a darn good chance of winning’.

There is virtually no chance of Obama replacing Biden as his running mate and it is doubtful that Clinton, who harbours ambitions to run for the White House in 2016, would even want to be the president’s running mate.

But Palin’s unsolicited advice to Obama, while clearly mischievous, underlines the extent to which Biden has become a national laughing stock and a potential liability for the Democrats, despite his popularity among party activists and much-vaunted authentic style and working class roots.

That’s from Toby Harnden, an excellent commentator on American politics working at the British paper The Daily Mail. Harnden might well be wrong, though, in that there has been a decent amount of discussion on the Left of late about dumping Biden and it’s a good bet there will be more. That Clinton would be the replacement isn’t certain, though – somebody like Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia probably would make more sense.

But Clinton has always been a little scary to Republicans. As a politician she’s vastly overrated; to lose the Democrat primary to Obama in 2008 was one of the all-time political pratfalls, and it bespoke a weakness as a campaigner that few people give her credit for even now. Even so, Clinton is seen as a leader, if not the leader, of what’s left of the centrist wing of the Democrat Party. It’s easier this year if the Democrats stick with the Obama-Biden lefty ticket which had much less centrist appeal.

So just in case the Democrats might think about making a switch to Hillary, along comes Sarah Palin to suggest it.

And now they can’t do it even if they wanted to. Obama can’t be seen as taking advice from Sarah Palin.

Now, Palin tends to be a big favorite of conservatives and not a particularly influential figure with non-conservatives. So let’s not oversell the magnitude of her effect. That said, the folks atop the Democrat Party still regard her with a mix of fear and loathing – and they do pay attention to her.

So she’s helping the Romney ticket by writing Biden off. The Romney ticket wants Biden right where he is.

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