The not-so-hard-to-understand paradox of Sarah Palin's rocket-rising negatives -- a clue: Remember Bert and Harry Piel? No? Read on.

"But," says people like Pat Buchanan, one of the few political analysts who describes political dynamics clearly and WITHOUT SPIN (Chuck Todd being the only other one regularly in mainstream media, also on MSNBC. There is also the infrequent but welcome sight of Hotline's John Mercurio showing up from time to time, although he is enjoyably frequent on C-SPAN's Washington Journal)

"But," says Pat Buchanan, his voice rising around an octave"it doesn't make sense -- McCain wouldn't even be in contention without her... SHE was the one who put him ahead of Obama... it was just the economic collapse... why did her negatives rise so fast?"

Indeed, they rose faster than the intractable hard-on all those Republicans have for her.

I really enjoy Pat Buchanan because he is a perceptive AND objective political analyst, but he is one of those Republicans who seem to be suffering from what the Viagra commercials warn about and for which they urge the person to seek medical care immediately, that being "An erection lasting more than four hours."

Even more urgent for anyone suffering from an erection for Sarah Palin lasting more than four months.

But Mr Buchanan is not alone and raises a good question along with many other people who -- like her or not -- wonder why she could come out of the gate so fine and fast and be limping behind the pack in such a short time.

Well, if you are of a certain age and from somewhere within 100 or so miles of New York City, you might remember the TV commercials for Piel's Beer featuring the voices of Bob & Ray* as Bert and Harry Piel.

Wildly popular advertising campaign but sales of Piels Beer went up for a bit and then dropped as fast as a turd falling off the Chrysler building.

During the years in which I did time in large ad agencies, I heard it over and over and over -- "Those clever campaigns don't work -- look at the Piels Brothers spots."

The problem was, everyone loved the Piels Brothers commercials, but unfortunately, it moved people to go out and buy some of their beer. And that was the problem -- it tasted like dishwater and the more people who bought it, the more people there were to say "Forget it" to their friends.

The commercials stopped for a while and when they resumed and were welcomed back by the public, the first commercials said two things:

1) "We're back!" and

2) "We've changed the beer!"

That seems to be the story with Sarah Palin -- crowds turn out as thundering screaming herds** to see and hear her, and after each 'rock star' performance, her negatives go up again.

The phenomenon was best summed up in a poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti as the disappointing outcome of a somewhat similar situation -- hooking up at a bar with a fine fine hottie all smiles and willing who comes home with you and:

"And in the morning
you discover she has bad teeth
and really hates poetry."

Even worse when you meet her friends.


*Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding -- and yes, Chris Elliot is Bob's son.

** Uncomfortably reminiscent of the Anti-Goldstein Hate-fests in 1984.


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