WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Untrue accusations quickly gain credence as facts before they can be disproved in the frantic home stretch of a U.S. presidential campaign, analysts say.
Campaigners for U.S. Democratic Party nominee for president Barack Obama Monday used the word "lies" to describe Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's assertion she opposed the infamous Alaskan "Bridge to Nowhere" congressional earmark, and GOP operatives say opponents are spreading lies about Palin on the Internet.
But even though such assertions made by campaigns may not be true, their veracity may not matter as much as the broader political themes they play into, observers told The Washington Post.
"The more The New York Times and The Washington Post go after Sarah Palin, the better off she is, because there's a bigger truth out there and the bigger truths are she's new, she's popular in Alaska and she is an insurgent," John Feehery, a Republican strategist, told the newspaper. "As long as those are out there, these little facts don't really matter."
"We have created a system where there is not a lot of shame in stretching the truth," Charlie Cook, editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, told the Post.