The Palin effect deflated before the financial crisis, and her polluted representation had already brought down John McCain. From that point on, the civil power of the Republican Party's election campaign was in decline. The outcome of the democratic struggle for power is neither inevitable nor determined. Despite their recent misfortunes, the Republicans still had a chance. The looming economic boulder presented grave new dangers, but it also offered opportunity. Financial crisis was a cause, but it didn't trigger an inevitable effect. What it created was a new stage for the unfolding of political drama, for those struggling for power to perform, and for citizen audiences to decide. The economic boulder broke the surface of the rushing river for objective reasons, driven by events and institutional logics that stood outside the cultural structures and meaning struggles of the political campaign.
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