What is it they call this in the Obama White House? A distraction?
A source sends on the talking points the White House is circulating to allies in advance of President Obama's speech, most of them reiterating familiar themes of momentum and security.
But the White House has also chosen specifically to focus on former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and evidently to make her the face of the opposition, or to respond to her ability to project herself into the debate. She is the only Republican named in the talking points.
Here's the pertinent part of the talking points, addressing the attacks of John McCain's former running mate and the former governor of Alaska:
On Gov. Palin's Attacks
Every non-partisan organization that has looked at her claims say they are false. And the ideas in her op-ed are both scary and risky. Eliminating Medicare and giving our seniors vouchers instead is a bad idea that we shouldn't adopt.
The Senate Finance Committee didn't think her claims were all without merit (nor did such well-known wing-nuts as Eugene Robinson and Charles Lane), as Palin's rough rhetoric led them to change the language of their bill.
But regardless of Palin's arguments, it's hard to see how talking points featuring Palin signal a departure from Obama's approach of old. There are better ways to signal the new "details" and "clarity" of one's 28th health-care pitch than to start by slamming the former vice-presidential nominee of 2008, who currently holds no political office or official position.