What Palin does for McCain, and to Obama

posted at 11:20 am on August 29, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

With multiple media outlets confirming now that Governor Sarah Palin will indeed join the Republican ticket as John McCain’s running mate, McCain has clearly chosen to play offense rather than defense.  Instead of a safe choice, such as closest runner-up Mitt Romney or genial Everyman Tim Pawlenty, McCain took some risk with a relative newcomer to national politics.  Palin will inject risk, excitement, controversy, and an unexpected historic note to the Republican convention.

First, though, let’s assess the risk.  Palin has served less than two years as Governor of Alaska, which tends to eat into the experience message on which McCain has relied thus far.  At 44, she’s younger than Barack Obama by three years.  She has served as a mayor and as the Ethics Commissioner on the state board regulating oil and natural gas, for a total of eight years political experience before her election as governor.  That’s also less than Obama has, with seven years in the Illinois legislature and three in the US Senate.

However, the nature of the experience couldn’t be more different.  Palin spent her entire political career crusading against the political machine that rules Alaska — which exists in her own Republican party.  She blew the whistle on the state GOP chair, who had abused his power on the same commission to conduct party business.  Obama, in contrast, talked a great deal about reform in Chicago but never challenged the party machine, preferring to take an easy ride as a protegé of Richard Daley instead.

Palin has no formal foreign-policy experience, which puts her at a disadvantage to Joe Biden.  However, in nineteen months as governor, she certainly has had more practical experience in diplomacy than Biden or Obama have ever seen.  She runs the only American state bordered only by two foreign countries, one of which has increasingly grown hostile to the US again, Russia.

And let’s face it — Team Obama can hardly attack Palin for a lack of foreign-policy experience.  Obama has none at all, and neither Obama or Biden have any executive experience.  Palin has almost over seven years of executive experience.

Politically, this puts Obama in a very tough position.  The Democrats had prepared to launch a full assault on McCain’s running mate, but having Palin as a target creates one large headache.  If they go after her like they went after Hillary Clinton, Obama risks alienating women all over again.  If they don’t go after her like they went after Hillary, he risks alienating Hillary supporters, who will see this as a sign of disrespect for Hillary.

For McCain, this gives him a boost like no other in several different ways.  First, the media will eat this up.  That effectively buries Obama’s acceptance speech and steals the oxygen he needs for a long-term convention bump.  A Romney or Pawlenty pick would not have accomplished that.

Second, Palin will re-energize the base.  She’s not just a pro-life advocate, she’s lived the issue herself.  That will attract the elements of the GOP that had held McCain at a distance since the primaries and provide positive motivation for Republicans, rather than just rely on anti-Democrat sentiment to get them to the polls.

Third, and I think maybe most importantly, Palin addresses the energy issue better and more attuned to the American electorate than maybe any of the other three principals in this election.  Even beyond her efforts to reform the Oil and Natural Gas Commission, she has demonstrated her independence from so-called “Big Oil” while promoting domestic production.  She brings instant credibility to the ticket on energy policy, and reminds independents and centrists that the Obama-Biden ticket offers nothing but the same excuses we’ve heard for 30 years.

Finally, based on all of the above, McCain can remind voters who has the real record of reform.  Obama talks a lot about it but has no actual record of reform, and for a running mate, he chose a 35-year Washington insider with all sorts of connections to lobbyists and pork.  McCain has fought pork, taken real political risks to fight undue influence of lobbyists, and he picked an outsider who took on her own party — and won.

This is change you can believe in, and not change that amounts to all talk.  McCain changed the trajectory of the race today by stealing Obama’s strength and turning it against him.  Obama provided that opening by picking Biden as his running mate, and McCain was smart enough to take advantage of the opening.


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I am surprised that McCain picked Palin. I think there will be issues with experience and the like, but I am glad he picked someone who is different and exciting. I hope they make it.
Terrye on August 29, 2008 at 3:49 PM

“Surprised?” Why? I see you’ve acknowledged her lack of experience, which is a concept that is wholly forgotten in this land. So she’s “different” and “exciting?” I’d love to know how so. Why do you hope they make it? Beyond the fact that they aren’t Obama/Biden, I’d like to know why they’d be any good for the country.

Send_Me on August 29, 2008 at 6:21 PM

I will add to the general consensus and say that I am thrilled to the core about the prospect of Sarah Palin as Veep. You can smell the patriotic Americanism on her from miles away and she has an actual record of conservatism. Aside from that, its a clear out-maneuvering of the obvious weakness of Obama’s choice of Biden. Like many of you, I have never been a McCain backer but I for some reason.. I now feel like campaigning my ass off! Go McCain/Palin ’08! No Obama Bin Biden!

RobertCSampson on August 29, 2008 at 6:24 PM

Send_Me on August 29, 2008 at 6:21 PM

She has got more executive experience than McCain, Obama or Biden.

Johan Klaus on August 29, 2008 at 6:30 PM

I doubt that very much. No draft but still lots of testosterone.

MB4 on August 29, 2008 at 5:56 PM

No argument there, but I would suggest one of the largest lessons learned in this country from Vietnam is that the populace must support the troops. That is something that was missing in Vietnam and even the left is scared of insulting them now. Well, not scared, but afraid to stand behind it after they do it. Full credit to all pols who visit, and same for the citizenry.

Spirit of 1776 on August 29, 2008 at 6:33 PM

You can smell the patriotic Americanism on her from miles away and she has an actual record of conservatism.

RobertCSampson on August 29, 2008 at 6:24 PM

There are more experienced choices that have those qualities. Palin is identity politics, and I think race/gender pandering is a very dangerous road, but her choice does exploit a situation that the democrat primary created. That and her conservative positions on most issues allow me to support her, so if we can remove McCain from the ticket I’m ready to vote GOP for POTUS this November.

DFCtomm on August 29, 2008 at 6:37 PM

Not just trumps on the women issue, energy policy, govt reform, and family values.

Not just her hard riding, union working, part Eskimo husband and son in the army.

She has essentially a mid-west accent and a great speaking style.

well played indeed!

Lonetown on August 29, 2008 at 6:39 PM

She has got more executive experience than McCain, Obama or Biden.
Johan Klaus on August 29, 2008 at 6:30 PM

Honestly, I have more executive experience than they do (except for McCain and his military experience,) but that doesn’t qualifies me for President. The job requires much more experience than any of these folks has. Frankly, this is amateur hour. And here I thought this was a Presidential election, not a combination of American Idol and a 5th grade student council election (not to belittle the 5th graders.)

Send_Me on August 29, 2008 at 6:44 PM

Send_Me on August 29, 2008 at 6:18 PM:

My solution: I’m going to use the write-in option and vote on principle (Duncan Hunter seems alright, maybe Fred Thompson.) It’s time for the Republicans to stop assuming we’ll vote for just anybody they throw at us. I’m also going to do what I can to make sure that a conservative gets elected to Congress from my State/district (such as Steve Sauerberg over Dick Durbin.)
Send_Me on August 29, 2008 at 6:18 PM

 
Send_Me, I respect your position. I’m also glad to see that you’re willing to support the down-ticket candidate with not just your vote, but your time and energy as well.
 
I didn’t quite follow your objection to Palin. Is it just the global-warming rhetoric? She is on record as saying that she doesn’t believe that global warming is man-made. She supports drilling in ANWR. She sued the administration (the current administration!) to make them take the polar bear off the endangered list. I don’t see her as an environmental pushover.
 
As VP, she’d be in an excellent position to face down Hillary for the Presidency in 2012. Whether Obama wins or loses this year, Hillary is sure to be in the mix in 2012. I think we all agree that Obama, if he wins this year, will be a terrible President and damage the Democrat brand in much the same way that Jimmy Carter did. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that American voters will be disgusted enough to bring the Republicans back in 2012 — if Hillary challenged a sitting President Obama who has run true to form during his first term, she might just sweep him away in the primary on a tide of “I-told-you-so’s”.
 
I’ve gone from unenthusiastic McCain to enthusiastic McCain/Palin in less than 12 hours. Not because Gov. Palin is a woman, or cute, or a mom, but because she’s a pork-fighter and a pro-lifer, with the courage of her convictions. (I do wish she were 10 years older…)
 
Would you be willing to at least hear what she has to say over the next 2 months before making up your mind to write in Duncan Hunter? (And remember that in the end, Fred!, as much as we loved him, didn’t want either the #1 or the #2 job.)

Mary in LA on August 29, 2008 at 6:51 PM

Send_Me on August 29, 2008 at 6:44 PM

Well, at least what we’ve got is now better than what they have got and at least she understands the need for domestic drilling.

Johan Klaus on August 29, 2008 at 6:51 PM

I didn’t quite follow your objection to Palin.

Sorry — now that the thread has refreshed, I see that it’s her lack of experience. I agree that’s a problem, though I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker.

Mary in LA on August 29, 2008 at 6:54 PM

I am late to this discussion but I am euphoric over this decision!!
Brilliant….this was who I was wanting and I couldn’t be happier…you can expect to see many female voters that were pro Hillary will switch for sure now to our side!!

And lets face it…Mrs. Palin is quite a looker….that never hurts when so many voters are illiterate on the issues but happy with superficial issues…ie Looks….

Funny too..over at LGF, incredibly Charles is ‘upset’ that Mrs. Palin doesn’t subscribe to Darwin’s theory…..oh the horror (sarcasm off)….

Anyways…a great choice by McCain!!

Albertanator on August 29, 2008 at 6:55 PM

Like a breath of fresh air, Palin won my heart today. Values we share have been rarely heard on the national stage lately.

Pro-Life, fiscal conservative, the American “we can do it ourselves and dont need help from Washington” attitude.

To root out corruption where she finds it. To stand up for what she believes is right.. the old conservative way.

Maybe she can inspire the Washington Republicans to finally stand for the party’s true values, which helped them get elected in the first place.

A breath of fresh air just might hit Washington.. long overdue.. my soul feels refreshed just listening to her, and knowing she means every word and lives by what she says.

mollymack on August 29, 2008 at 7:11 PM

Sorry if this already posted.

Check out the loon Keith Boykin:

KEITH BOYKIN Let me just say something about this choice. The reason why she doesn’t help, quite frankly, is because it’s an insult. It’s an insult to women. I spoke to several women today at the Democratic National Convention who said it’s insulting John McCain would pick somebody—an affirmative-action candidate basically—who is not qualified.

Hey Keith… you know that shoe fits your candidate too ya know!

electric-rascal on August 29, 2008 at 7:16 PM

Well, well, well – who’s the agent of change now.

I agree wholeheartedly “This is change you can believe in, and not change that amounts to all talk. McCain changed the trajectory of the race today by stealing Obama’s strength and turning it against him.”

I’ve been reading about Palin for sometime now and hoped that McCain had the courage to pick her. I just pray that she was well vetted and that there won’t be any surprises. She seems genuine, I just pray that she is.

I know she mentioned Ferraro in today’s speech. The thing that grates the most about the “Ferrar’s of the world” is the whole “I AM WOMAN, WATCH ME ROAR” mantra. It’s given all women a bad rap. Hope she’s mindful that the MSM is full of these types of women and doesn’t allow them to paint her with that brush.

If she stays grounded, she do well.

SoldiersMom on August 29, 2008 at 7:19 PM

I could not wait to get home. This is a wonderful a mom who is a consertative. Not consertative on some things, but a real one who stands by what she says, Maybe I am eurphic because she is a woman. But man or woman, she is someone I can respect.

Doesn’t that say it all?

Gracelynn on August 29, 2008 at 7:21 PM

Palin is a Creationist and advocates it being taught in schools

Awesome!

New mantra:

Elect Mccain….then impeach him!

SaintOlaf on August 29, 2008 at 7:21 PM

right2bright on August 29, 2008 at 3:30 PM
Well, first of all, it is not our job to spoon feed you.

I’m not asking you to do so. I’m asking for McCain, Palin, and the RNC to do so.

Sure you don’t want a hunting buddy, but to some the right to bear arms is an important amendment, you obviously don’t think so.

Aw, yes, let’s start the ad hominems now and get them out of the way. I’m all for 2nd Amendment rights. They secure all of our other rights. But, I ask, how does the fact that this woman is a hunter secure my 2nd Amendment rights? I want to know how well she’s fought for them. Her feelings do not translate into success as a statesman fighting for this, or any, issue.

She comes from humble background, and not a elitist background, some think that is important, you don’t.

Again, another ad hominem. (Surely, I don’t have to define what an ad hominem fallacy is.) A person’s background says nothing about how effective they are as a statesman. How many respected, well-performing individuals have come from rich families? How about GEN Patton? Teddy Roosevelt? “Wild Bill” Donovan? I could go on. I look at their character and leadership credentials, not their economic background.

She is anti-tax, she lowered the taxes in AK, she is against pork (once again, look at what she has done), you apparently did not hear her speech or read any bio on her.

I did read her bio, and did acknowledge her fight against the “bridge to nowhere.” I don’t think any politician is wholly “anti-tax,” but I understand what you meant. I did read this as well, and did acknowledge it. I wonder though, as I stated earlier, when she will put out any white papers or political philosophy/policy papers concerning the role of government, taxes, states vs. federal powers, etc. We’re only looking skin deep here.

Does she understand defense of a country?…well she is sitting on the border of Russia, with the most sophisticated military operation in the world in her state.

Yes, and John McCain’s state borders Mexico, but I digress. “Most sophisticated military operation in the world?” I have issues with that, but again, not really that important to the discussion here.

That Coast Guard up there has more international run-ins with Russia then you could imagine.

She doesn’t control the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard falls under DHS (peacetime) and the Dep. of the Navy (wartime.)

And her National Guard that she commands is the real deal

I hate to break it to you, but the Federal, not State, government outfits the National Guard. The Army National Guard falls under the Dep. of the Army.

Russia is about 3 icebergs away.

This is a Federal, not a state, matter.

They have been cited as the most prepared National Guard in the U.S.

Again, the Army National Guard is funded by the Dep. of the Army, not the state. It’s not like Palin is writing their training schedule or something.

When you spend some time on your own, then you will find the answers you want…notice I said “you want”.

Thanks for the advice.

Send_Me on August 29, 2008 at 7:24 PM

From what I have read about Sarah Palin, she has run for all of her elected positions on her conservative convictions, not on her sex. If opponents see her as a pandering choice, that is their problem, not hers. Palin is feisty enough to make that point clear.

The media are grasping for their narrative about Palin. I don’t think that she will allow their pigeon-holing of her. As a journalism major herself, I believe that she will know how to handle the media quite well.

onlineanalyst on August 29, 2008 at 7:34 PM

Would you be willing to at least hear what she has to say over the next 2 months before making up your mind to write in Duncan Hunter?
Mary in LA on August 29, 2008 at 6:51 PM

Thanks for the lucid response. I’m always willing to listen and will continue to read about her. Here’s an interesting site that has bio and campaign finance information, as well as her vetoes and speeches. I’m sifting through it now. (With regard to McCain: as they say, the best indicator to future performance is present and past performance. That’s what worries me.)

Send_Me on August 29, 2008 at 7:55 PM

Palin is a Creationist and advocates it being taught in schools
Awesome!

New mantra:

Elect Mccain….then impeach him!

SaintOlaf on August 29, 2008 at 7:21 PM

Finally something we can agree on.

hot-heir on August 29, 2008 at 8:07 PM

WOW,..What a great week!..open registration, and a great V.P pick!….the beer fridge is going to take a hard hit tonight.

Bluestate_Blues on August 29, 2008 at 8:17 PM

Send_Me:

She has actually had a very difficult job and done it well. She has been in the public eye making decisions for over 12 years. How long as Obama been out there being accountable and making decisions on his own? None.

As a woman I am glad to see a woman on the Republican ticket. Especially one who is not tied lock, stock and barrel to the DC beltway. This is America you know. There is something to be said for being an original.

Terrye on August 29, 2008 at 8:44 PM

And I really resent people saying this is just an affirmative action pick. Women have had the vote since August 26,1920. It should not be such a big deal to put a woman on the ticket. We pay taxes, vote, join the service. Why the hell is it some sort of favor to put one of us on the damn ticket?

Terrye on August 29, 2008 at 8:49 PM

Send_Me:

Did you say Duncan Hunter and Fred Thompson? Really?

sheesh. So who stopped them? Whose fault was it they dropped out?

Terrye on August 29, 2008 at 8:52 PM

Based on what I have been hearing from traditional press sources, what MSNBC was saying about ‘voters who don’t vote for Obama refuse to accept the outcome of Appomattox’ was just the tip of the iceberg. All major media outlets were preparing the theme that everyone who does not vote for Obama is a racist. This is one way to deflect that attack.

Vashta.Nerada on August 29, 2008 at 8:58 PM

Besides the obvious quality choice of Palin, just the idea that the Republicans are “playing offense” is enough to jazz the base. It’s a long time coming. This is not your Bob Dole campaign.

curved space on August 29, 2008 at 9:17 PM

I think women should take a look at this. I hope this sets a nice example of a woman with power who doesnt need to get in everyones face with it. You can be the dirt is being dredged in overtime if she has any to be dug up.

johnnyU on August 29, 2008 at 9:19 PM

I feel a heck of a lot better tonight than I did last night.

David in ATL on August 29, 2008 at 9:32 PM

Is Gov. Palin one of those “bitter clingers” that Obama was speaking of?

electric-rascal on August 29, 2008 at 9:36 PM

…Palin will re-energize the base.

Well… this certainly energizes me. No way will I sit out this one. Way to get me back on board, Mr. McCain.

I would have preferred Thompson-Palin, but 50% of my dream ticket is still worth voting for.

Texas Nick 77 on August 29, 2008 at 9:44 PM

What Palin does for McCain, and to Obama

It’s Makes McCain President And Palin Vice-President

And Obama a Sentor.

Chakra Hammer on August 29, 2008 at 10:00 PM

As a woman I am glad to see a woman on the Republican ticket.

It should not be such a big deal to put a woman on the ticket.
Terrye on August 29, 2008 at 8:49 PM

So, you’re happy it’s a woman on the ticket, but the rest of us shouldn’t have a care that it’s a woman? I said earlier that the fact that she’s a woman is “meaningless to me.” Character, sound principles, and leadership credentials mean everything to me. I wouldn’t care if the person was a woman, had 6 varying skin tones, 12 fingers, 16 foster parents, leprosy, one arm, coke-bottle glasses, dentures, and only had red legos as a kid so long as the person had those three things: character, sound principles, and leadership credentials. Military experience preferred, but not absolutely essential.

Did you say Duncan Hunter and Fred Thompson? Really?
sheesh. So who stopped them? Whose fault was it they dropped out?

Yes, really. Well, if you really want to get into it, the lack of support from the RNC and the lack of a preferential voting system is what did them in. If the RNC actually valued conservatism, and if we had the ability to rank order the candidates, I think we would have had a much different result. The conservative vote was split between multiple candidates, which allowed McCain to appear in the lead, even though he was on the top of the list for so few people. But because the conservative vote was split so many ways, McCain came out on top. With Hunter and Thompson specifically: they both dropped out before I could vote for them. In fact, all that were left were McCain, Romney and Paul.

Send_Me on August 29, 2008 at 10:00 PM

What are you talking about? Obama was teething when he was in Indonesia. That’s foreign policy experience.
On a more serious note…
I have to wonder, given Alaska’s geographical location, if she has already had dealings with the Russians and certainly with Canada.

Glenn Jericho on August 29, 2008 at 11:36 PM

McCain-three million cool ones.
Obama-want a waffle, Senator.

HornetSting on August 29, 2008 at 11:54 PM

Send_Me on August 29, 2008 at 7:24 PM

As I said…a chip on the shoulder.
Lifetime NRA, hunter, 2nd amendment advocate.
You equate Mexico to Russia, you really want to make that argument?
I never said she controlled the Coasties, but they are stationed and serve in her State. The Coasties work close with state enforcement…read about it.
National Guard in Alaska…read about it, you are wrong again.

In its formal announcement, the campaign pointed to her powers as head of the Alaska National Guard

I could go on, but I am tired of spoon feeding you…as I said, you will see what you want to see, not what is facts.

right2bright on August 29, 2008 at 11:59 PM

Send_Me on August 29, 2008 at 7:24 PM

Just to spoon feed a little facts to you…

Under the U.S. Constitution, each state’s National Guard unit is controlled by the governor in time of peace but can be called up for federal duty by the president.

right2bright on August 30, 2008 at 12:11 AM

And I really resent people saying this is just an affirmative action pick. Women have had the vote since August 26,1920. It should not be such a big deal to put a woman on the ticket. We pay taxes, vote, join the service. Why the hell is it some sort of favor to put one of us on the damn ticket?

Because it’s obvious that a man with Palin’s qualifications would never be picked for a VP.

freevillage on August 30, 2008 at 12:40 AM

Because it’s obvious that a man with Palin’s qualifications would never be picked for a VP.

Interesting argument when one with essentially equivalent is running for P.

Spirit of 1776 on August 30, 2008 at 12:58 AM

I love the propaganda! Commander of the National Guard? Who’s dumb ass idea was that one? Even better a member of the PTA!!! WTF? Is this some surreal dream that I have yet to wake up from?

Palin – B.A. Journalism, Beauty Queen, Hockey Mom, Member of the PTA and former Sportscaster!

Palin, Mayor of Wasilla (pop: 6000)

Poptech on August 30, 2008 at 12:58 AM

Spirit of 1776 on August 30, 2008 at 12:58 AM

Do you not realize McCain just destroyed is largest trump card? Any Mayor has more executive experience than Obama.

Poptech on August 30, 2008 at 12:59 AM

Do you not realize McCain just destroyed is largest trump card?

McCain’s trump card is Obama himself. The more people see him and his associations the less enthused they are to vote for him.

The experience argument is just stuff for pundits to toss around in between the big discoveries.

Spirit of 1776 on August 30, 2008 at 1:02 AM

As I said…a chip on the shoulder.

ad hom·i·nem (hŏm’ə-něm’, -nəm) adj. Appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason

Lifetime NRA, hunter, 2nd amendment advocate.

So, this puts her on par with almost every male in my family. The only thing she has done, in terms of being a “2nd amendment advocate,” according to the NRA, was that “she did her part to vindicate the Second Amendment for all Americans when Alaska joined 30 other states in signing a legal brief supporting Heller’s challenge to the D.C. gun-ban.” She signed a legal brief. Wow… I’m… so… thrilled. As if this, or any, legal brief is going to sway the SOTUS.

You equate Mexico to Russia

I was merely applying your logic to McCain. You’re saying that Palin has foreign policy experience since her state borders Siberia. Well, by that logic, McCain should also have foreign policy and border security experience since his state borders Mexico. Obviously, Mexico and Russia are different, but in the sense that you used them, saying that by one’s state bordering a foreign nation somehow gives them certain additional leadership qualifications, it was applicable.

I never said she controlled the Coasties, but they are stationed and serve in her State. The Coasties work close with state enforcement…read about it.

The Coast Guard has representation in all coastal states. The relationship between the Coast Guard and her state (namely the State Police and other law enforcement agencies) is a intelligence/report-sharing and deconfliction role only, no different than the FBI, ICE, or many other federal agencies, especially those under DHS.

National Guard in Alaska…read about it, you are wrong again.
In its formal announcement, the campaign pointed to her powers as head of the Alaska National Guard

She has command authority in a peacetime roll, yes. However, the doctrine, structure, training oversight, equipping, and funding of the Alaska Army National Guard falls under the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, which falls under the Secretary of the Army, and the Secretary of Defense (much the same as the Air National Guard and the Air Force.) This is according to Army Regulation 130-5, Figure 1-1, “National Guard Bureau Charter.”

I could go on, but I am tired of spoon feeding you…as I said, you will see what you want to see, not what is facts.
right2bright on August 29, 2008 at 11:59 PM

But I feel so enlightened. Please don’t stop “spoon-feeding” [the word has a hyphen] me. I wish to know “what is facts.”

Send_Me on August 30, 2008 at 1:14 AM

Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992 made a huge deal out of him being commander of the Arkansas National Guard.

rockmom on August 30, 2008 at 1:32 AM

Because it’s obvious that a man with Palin’s qualifications would never be picked for a VP.

freevillage on August 30, 2008 at 12:40 AM

Close but no cigar. It’s affirmative action because more qualified men didn’t get picked to be VP. I agree that Palin is a good choice, but only because the democrats identity politics have alienated PUMAs, whatever they are, and because she is conservative enough. All things being equal her and Jindal needed to bake in their respective governorships for a bit longer.

P.S. Same goes for Obama.

DFCtomm on August 30, 2008 at 1:37 AM

Because it’s obvious that a man with Palin’s qualifications would never be picked for a VP.

freevillage on August 30, 2008 at 12:40 AM

You’re right. He’d be picked for President (see OBAMA)

battleoflepanto1571 on August 30, 2008 at 1:42 AM

Because it’s obvious that a man with Palin’s qualifications would never be picked for a VP.

freevillage on August 30, 2008 at 12:40 AM

Two words: Tim Kaine.

(oh, and Dan Quayle, but Palin’s had more to deal with in Alaska.)

Close but no cigar. It’s affirmative action because more qualified men didn’t get picked to be VP. I agree that Palin is a good choice, but only because the democrats identity politics have alienated PUMAs, whatever they are, and because she is conservative enough. All things being equal her and Jindal needed to bake in their respective governorships for a bit longer.

P.S. Same goes for Obama.

DFCtomm on August 30, 2008 at 1:37 AM

More qualified men like Romney wouldn’t excite the base because they’re not conservative enough. Palin being a woman, to me, is just a reason to watch the Democrats stew about how to attack her. I do agree she’d be better with more experience, and maybe she wasn’t the BEST pick, but that is, at worst, a slight mistake, not identity politics. Plus her “inexperience” only highlights how much more inexperienced Mr. “Present” Obama is.

Math_Mage on August 30, 2008 at 2:22 AM

She certainly lacks any experience with anti-American preachers, convicted real estate developers or terrorists.

Ronnie on August 30, 2008 at 5:18 AM

After 24 hours to digest the VP pick, some random musings:

1. My purely visceral reaction to this pick is mostly positive.

2. I think there is an experience/credibility gap, BUT I do think Dr. Hopenchange must tread lightly on this one because all attacks on her lack of experience only highlight his own deficiencies.

3. I think it is a brilliant and quite possibly cynical vote grab for the obviously disenfranchised Billary voters.

4. Speaking of such, why aren’t these voters catstigated like other blocs. I am not voting for Obama, therefore I am racist (even though I am voting against his socialist, white half). 95% of black voters are voting for him simply because he’s black = how very affirmative action-ey of them. However it is ok for women to vote based solely on gender? Where’s the outrage equality?

5. The already begun gender-base based attacks by the Obama camp will not play well with the moderate voters of either side and wil serve to shine a bright light on the DECADES of democratic pandering without any real substance, i.e. hypocrisy.

6. Biden will have to be careful in debates with his sharp-tongued verbosity…oops, I mean….*ahem* his “eloquence” and “statesmanship” when debating Palin or risk the Rick Lazio negative bounce.

7. The pick opens up a wonderful avenue for McCain to highlight Obama’s complete lack of substance or conviction in backing up his words. Change? New course for America? He then goes out and selects one of the biggest Washington insiders going. McCain picks a relatively new & fresh woman for his VP. Just words, Senator Messiah? I can see this knockout quip in a debate (provided Obama agrees to appear on a lowly auditorium stage without telerompters):

Obama: I represent the change we can believe in and a new direction for this country.

McCain: Change? You picked Biden. I picked Palin. As stated in the Bible, Senator, Faith without action is dead. Buh-bye.

8. I love the knee-jerk arguments against this complete blindside. How will she ever be able to raise her kids and stil run the country, and still have dinner ready for her hubby when he return home from, you know, “real work”? Hilarious, yet quite telling. I thought libs thought there were no inherent differences between the sexes? I thought we were trying to break the highest, hardest glass ceiling instead of constructing a glass pandora’s box? Are they really implying that a woman’s place is in the home? That men aren’t capable of raising children? That a woman is incapable of multi-tasking? I could go on. What fun this will be.

9. Maybe its just me, but running a town of “only” 9,000 trumps being a community organizer, or dope-smoking layabout in Harvard Square every time, and I think it also does with those that think Uncle Teddy is more the Cowardly Lion. than Liberal Lion of the Senate.

Probably more I could write, but my carpal tunnel is acting up.

Huckabye-Romney on August 30, 2008 at 8:18 AM

and I have to buy some carbon credits from the same company Algore buys his from (his own) so I can drive to work.

Huckabye-Romney on August 30, 2008 at 8:19 AM

Charles Krauthammer says the pick seems near suicidal for McCain.

arma_virumque on August 30, 2008 at 9:04 AM

To appreciate the polled Obama 8pt. lead attributed this morning, Gallup must fess up to canvasing data for the record.

maverick muse on August 30, 2008 at 9:54 AM

I have to admit I was totally surprised.

The economy is going to tank, and I have been certain that would put Obama in the White House.

But given his poor performance and this pick, I am no longer entirely certain. If the Fed can hold off the complete collapse of the financial sector till after the election, McCain Palin might actually win the day.

The race just got interesting again.

olddeadmeat on August 30, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Palin go girl go!

mariloubaker on August 30, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Palin go girl go!

I ♥ SARAH’CUDA

ManlyRash on August 30, 2008 at 12:47 PM

I have to admit I was totally surprised. The economy is going to tank, and I have been certain that would put Obama in the White House.,The race just got interesting again. olddeadmeat on August 30, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Latest figures are out and the economy GREW last quarter. Visit some money-blogs will ya? The economy is just fine thank you but Obama still sucks.

You go girl!

Mojave Mark on August 30, 2008 at 8:20 PM

My Palin video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quvBbcFDPI0

D0WNT0WN on August 31, 2008 at 2:39 AM

Could they have given her a larger freakin chair? goodness.Make the woman look little for cripe sakes.

johnnyU on August 31, 2008 at 4:01 PM

I posted this on another link, but it probably should go here:

I believe that I have now figured out what McCain is trying to accomplish. I think that a concerted effort was going to be made to push the ‘how can you not vote for the barrier breaking minority candidate?’ theme, and by picking a woman, he insulates himself from that. However, there is more to the story, and it is not about grabbing some females from the Hillary camp, that is just icing on the cake, if even doable. What I see is that by picking Palin, McCain gets a social conservative to please the base, a female to insulate against the breakthrough candidate meme, and a reformer to fight back against the corrupt republican image that cost republicans so dearly amongst the independents in 2006 – while at the same time, he takes a swipe at his primary nemesis Romney, and the business wing of the republican party. In fact, based on McCain’s stance on global warming, carbon caps, railing against business, and generally anti-drilling, I can see McCain trying to push the business wing out of the party.
McCain would make this pick if he thought he was far behind, but also if he thinks he is comfortably ahead in the race. In this, he is reminiscent of George H W Bush, who picked Dan Quayle. Based on the current polling, McCain is ahead of where republicans generally are at this stage, so it is not unreasonable to think that McCain believes he has room to make this pick. Importantly, we know McCain is a maverick, and also that he tends to think far ahead. What does the Palin pick do for him in the future? Think ahead to 2012 or 2016. We know that Hillary is probably not done running for president. With Palin on the ticket, McCain, if he runs for re-election, holds many of the women he gets in 2008, and defends against the sexism meme. But, if he were to not run in 2012, or even thinking ahead to 2016, the strategy still plays out. Palin, should she run, not only defends against Clinton in the general – it also defends against Romney or another business candidate in the primary, as you will have a sitting vice president running against Romney et al in the primary. Based on his stance on several issues noted earlier, this leads me to believe that McCain is pushing back at both the democrats and business republicans at the same time. If I am correct, he is trying to change the direction of the party by supplanting Romney as the heir apparent in the republican party, and by extension, take a slap at the business wing. Mavericky.

Vashta.Nerada on August 31, 2008 at 3:53 PM

Vashta.Nerada on September 1, 2008 at 9:14 AM

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