Friday, August 29, 2008

On Palin

Well, no points for guessing who SNL is going to tap to play McCain's running mate.

McCain's pick is Sarah Palin. You can hardly say the man doesn't take risks. I'll briefly skim the instapunditry surrounding this pick:

She's a woman Hillary supporters evangelical conservatives down syndrome hockey mom heartbeat away is she experienced Obama speech not news anymore.

That about covers that.

In my case for Lieberman, I wrote of Palin:

"Sarah Palin is the governor of Alaska. So is Ted Stevens."

And I'm a bimbo. Ted Stevens, obviously, is not also governor of Alaska. That said, I think my careless typo evinces a general indifference to/ignorance of all things Alaska, and Democrats will endeavor to exploit that. They will surely play the scandal card, will probably use it to offset the inevitable Ayers bombshell (no pun intended, w/r/t Ayers or Palin).

All things considered, she gets the edge. It would be tough to argue otherwise. Moreso, I think this pick is interesting for what it says about the political intelligence of McCain. On the heels of last nights savvy advertisement congratulating (albeit disingenuously) Barack Obama on his nomination, McCain has managed to completely reverse the course of momentum heading into the convention.

He kept a relatively surprising pick a secret until just hours before introducing her to the public. Tim Pawlenty and Tom Ridge did their able best to run interferences, with the former abruptly cancelling media appearances and the latter doing everything he could to signal himself as the guy. In the end, the press is floored, and McCain steals the thunder from Obama's pedestrian speech.

This wasn't rocket science, of course. McCain had this arrow in his quiver, and shot it at the expected time. He made a good pick that reinforces his reformer bonafides (I am assuming, at this point, that Palin's story checks out), fortifies his evangelical support, and maybe peels away 10% of Hillary moderates. Good for him.

The response from the Obama, however encapsualtes the disparity in political acumen between the two campaigns. Obama released two statements, the first declaring that the experience argument is off the table, the second dubbing Palin a pro-lifer who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. They also clearly disseminated talking points to the radical base, suggesting they paint Palin as another Dan Quayle.

The purpose of their messaging is rather clear. As the Biden pick suggests, the Obama campaign would be delighted to take experience off the table. They presume Hillary's supporters to be staunchly pro-choice, and any opportunity to compare your opponent to Dan Quayle is a good thing, right?


Suggesting that experience be taken off the table only reinforces the fact that Obama doesn't have any. McCain is not going to purloin staunchly pro-choice votes, so there is no reason to remind evangelicals of Palin's credntials in this arena. And if Obama wants to set the bar at Dan Quayle, the McCain campaign will happily watch her clear that hurdle.

Obama would do well to call off the already incessant chants from the Kos set that she is a cheerleader, bimbo, or worse. If moderate women were upset at the way Hillary was "mistreated", references to Sarah Palin's breast size will certainly be unwelcome.

Obama will have the opportunity to make a reasoned argument againt Gov. Palin's qualifications for the Vice Presidency. Today, they should have taken a page from McCain's playbook, congratulating him on a historic pick, and awaiting an opportunity to discuss the issues in the coming weeks. By doing so, they would have afforded themselves the opportunity to interject Obama into these discussions.

Instead, as usual, Obama's campaign has shown a remarkable level of predictability, and a paucity of good sense. John McCain has out-executed Barack Obama at every turn, giving conservatives hope that we may yet avoid four years of the audacious disaster from Illinois.


Anonymous Jon D said...

I am suddenly much more excited about voting McCain into office. The Palin pick helps cement his conservatism a little more in my mind. If he would've picked Lieberman or someone like him I would have had a difficult time voting for him, but I really like Palin (at least what I've heard and seen of her). It will be fascinating to watch everything play out in the next two months.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooooooh She is folllllllllksy!

I personally think electing a common man(or common woman) to office is overrated. I like my politicians rich, talented, and successful. But there are a lot of people that like a common person they can relate to and root for, and there is no one better than her in that regard. Before she started speaking I was actually nervous for her like I get when a lay church member gets up to tell his or her testimony.

But Joe Biden rides Amtrack. Amtrack still exists?

She obviously will have some pull with moderate family women. But I think that she might also be an attractive option for the twenty-something Patagonia and Chaco wearing females that will eventually vote Republican when they turn 30. She's adventurous, her kids have funny modern names, she even smoked pot when it was legal in Alaska.

And nobody cares about the experience of a vice presidential candidate.

1:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, How about those jaunty little cheerleaders bouncing around just before McCain introduces us to his new VP pick who was wearing, guess what... a giant flag pin on her lapel. Go Barricuda!!!!!
Sounded like a grand old high school speech to me, as well it should, coming from an Alaskan beauty queen brought up by two teachers. Seems she knows that the Hillary people want just any old woman to fill the bill and she's convinced she does. Go Barricuda!!!!! McCain's senility is ramping up. His wife is an ex- beauty queen also. Guess we know the kind of ladies he likes. He's had melanoma twice and this is who he picks to be a heart beat away from the presidency. Get real folks. This aging ex-POW is really scary. I'm so tired of his using that old chestnut. Yes, it was horrible to be a POW but I had a lot of friends who had it worse. They didn't get to come back from Viet Nam alive. They came home in body bags. GET OVER YOURSELF MCCAIN! ENOUGH!!!!!

6:21 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

Excellent counterpoint. I stand corrected.

10:30 PM  
Blogger renee said...

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Thom said...

It's not just the left that is focusing on her appearance. A lot of conservatives I have spoken with focus on "and she's hot!!!" But they see it as a plus.

At least McCain isn't the "Old White Guy" ticket anymore.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

There is a difference between observing that a woman is hot, and doing so in a manner that implies she is only hot. Either way, her selection has made an absolute mess of the left. They are beside themselves.

My old boss, in a rare moment of sobriety, once said "let them talk. Every time they open their mouths, they make red states."

7:49 AM  

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