New York, Sept 14 : Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who is said to be instrumental in the reversal of positions of Barack Obama and John McCain in the presidential race, has reportedly fired a salvo at Barack Obama on not picking up Senator Hillary Clinton as his running mate.
Since being picked up as McCain running mate, Sarah has rejuvenated McCain's fortunes, spearheaded by a flow of women voters. She has publicly praised Hillary as a means of wooing female votes. However, she has also brought a notably more negative tone to the election, marked by a series of ugly rows between the two camps, reported the Guardian.
Palin has had a huge impact since her coming on the national scene. After months of Obama sitting ahead of McCain, suddenly the positions are reversed. The latest average of polls has McCain ahead of Obama by 2.3 points. He also improved his performance in key battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida that will decide the election.
"I think he's regretting not picking her now. I do," said Sarah, the Alaska Governor, in an interview with the ABC.
But, her latest comments about Hillary evoked strong reaction from women supporting Obama. In a sharp-edged response, Obama-supporting Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said: "Sarah Palin should spare us the phoney sentiment and respect."
That sort of prompt push back is likely to define the Obama camp as it copes with the way Palin has shaken up the race, said the paper.
Yet it will be difficult to get the spotlight off Palin. Huge speculation surrounded her first TV interview and she appears to have mostly cleared the hurdle of her first bout of media exposure. Palin spent long hours holed up in Alaska with senior Republican aides, going over talking points, briefing her with policy memos and firing mock questions. In the end, she did hesitate and stumble over some key questions, especially foreign policy and the intricacies of welfare policy.
According to political analysts, Sarah came off as confident and handled herself in the face of determined questioning. "She's a former beauty queen and an ex-sports anchor. "She's a communicator. Many Americans think. I would be comfortable having her sitting in my kitchen," said Steve Mitchell, a pollster and chairman of Mitchell Research.