Hey, Where Did Everybody Go?
Tomorrow the McCain-Palin ticket faces its first major post-convention challenge. After a big rally in Fairfax, Virginia today, the duo will separate so Sarah Palin can return to Alaska for the first time since her nomination, while John McCain continues on to campaign in Pennsylvania. You may have noticed that McCain has spent the past week glued to Palin’s side, visibly energized (and grinning ear-to-ear) by the rapturous reception Palin has received while campaigning through several battleground states.
Now political observers and the media will be watching closely to see whether there is a measurable drop-off in enthusiasm for the Republican nominee’s campaign events, once he carries on without his magnetic running mate.  It is quite possible the campaign will avoid having McCain go solo in venues where a marked decline in attendance from the Obama-sized rallies of the past few days would be obvious. I am sure the campaign is quite sensitive to any suggestion that Palin is now carrying the ticket.
In fairness to McCain, I do think his choice of Palin has earned him some real cred with many in the Republican Party who were previously ambivalent about his candidacy. As a result, McCain may see a genuine up-tick in his own ability to turn out a crowd. But given the momentum this week of big rallies has provided the McCain-Palin ticket, it will be interesting to see how quickly the two are reunited on the campaign trail, once Palin’s son deploys to Iraq later this week.

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