The Note: The Big Shift

But is fighting Palin on Palin's ground the answer? Arianna Huffington thinks not: "Every second of this campaign not spent talking about the Republican Party's record, and John McCain's role in that record, is a victory for John McCain," she writes. "Contrary to what we're hearing 24/7 in the media, the next few weeks are not a test of Sarah Palin. The next few weeks are a test of Barack Obama. He needs to dramatically redirect this election back to a discussion over the issues that really matter -- the issues that will impact the future of this country."

"Once the GOP's postconvention bounce and Palinmania subside -- and they will -- how does Obama get the mojo back?" Thomas M. DeFrank writes in the New York Daily News. "By sticking to his blueprint, painting McCain as a third Bush term, relentlessly hammering home bread-and-butter economic issues -- and a debate performance on Sept. 26 as compelling as his Denver acceptance speech."

Bob Shrum doesn't see it lasting: "Sarah Palin is 'Miss September' -- and cultural populism is the Republicans' September song," he writes in The Week Daily column.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, campaigning Monday in Florida for Obama, sees folly in engaging the GOP's No. 2: "Forget Hillary Rodham Clinton vs. Sarah Palin," Adam C. Smith writes in the St. Petersburg Times. "The former first lady made it clear Monday night at a boisterous campaign rally in Tampa that she will be a forceful advocate for Barack Obama against John McCain but that she won't play the role of anti-Palin attack dog."

"After someone in the audience yelled, 'Tell us about Palin,' Mrs. Clinton replied: 'I don't think that's what this election is about. Anybody who believes that the Republicans, whoever they are, can fix the mess they created probably believes that the iceberg could have saved the Titanic,' " reports The New York Times' Patrick Healy.

Writes Healy: "The absence of heavy fire directed at Ms. Palin had been expected, given a reluctance by Mrs. Clinton to turn her campaigning into a battle between two women. Yet advisers to Senator Barack Obama said Mrs. Clinton was nonetheless their best surrogate to counter the Republican ticket's new drive to win over white working women and mothers who supported her in the Democratic primaries."

"Clinton barely uttered Palin's name," per The Boston Globe's Lisa Wangsness. "In a small amendment to an old line, she said: 'No way, no how, no McCain, no Palin.' "

"Clinton said that she could not speak for the 18 million people who voted for her but that she believed Obama ultimately will get the votes he needs," per NPR's Greg Allen. "Clinton also refused to take issue with Palin's recent reference to her own candidacy and the '18 million cracks in the glass ceiling' that Palin said Clinton originally made and that the Republican ticket was now prepared to 'shatter.' "

Don't say Obama can't learn anything from these folks: "Sen. Clinton's small clutch of advisers said the former first lady believes serving as an attack dog against Gov. Palin would limit the effectiveness of a presidential aspirant who garnered 18 million votes during the primary season," The Wall Street Journal's Christopher Cooper and Amy Chozick write. "She will maintain 'a laser-like focus on who's running for president, and not Gov. Palin,' one adviser said."

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