Gov. Palin and “Obama”

No first name, no title, no courtesy title.

There’s some evidence this morning that Gov. Palin’s speech may have been a snark too far, turning off undecideds and energizing Democrats.

One especially jarring note I haven’t seen mentioned: Gov. Palin’s repeated references to “Obama.” Not “Barack Obama,” not “Sen. Obama,” not “Mr. Obama,” just the bare surname. My understanding of the conventions of American politics is that although journalists, and especially headline-writers, often refer to “Palin,” for example, other politicians always use full name or name plus title or name plus courtesy title.

Was there a single reference to “McCain” at the DNC?

Maybe putting lipstick on a Rottweiler doesn’t make a potential President. Just a thought.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: