29 August 2008

Palin? Really?

McCain has picked a first-term female governor from Alaska, with almost no experience or credentials and with no name recognition and whose positions are almost entirely unknown, and who is incredibly young? Few other VP picks could have surprised me as much. I discount the already-rampant theory that this is an attempt to appeal to disaffected Clinton Democrats; that's way too transparent for the seasoned McCain. Is it really just an incredibly cynical ploy to try to grab the female vote with one of the few Republican female politicians? There are so many unknown factors here, and she has no national presence... what does McCain know that the rest of the nation doesn't?

UPDATE: Palin is currently under investigation for firing a state official, who has alleged that she fired him because he wouldn't fire a state trooper who had just messily divorced and beat on Palin's sister. That's right, McCain picked someone who is right now be examined for misconduct. That seems stupid, but think about it: will strongly GOP Alaska now torpedo this chance? She is undoubtedly either innocent or they have no evidence, and so what we will soon see is a revelation that she has been cleared of wrongdoing. That exoneration will probably be timed well. There's no way McCain would have picked her if there was any chance of this turning out otherwise.

FURTHER UPDATE: Wow, she has a five-month-old baby with Down's. The surprises just keep rolling in.

FURTHER FURTHER UPDATE: I have heard some folks on Fox talking about how no one should attack her for inexperience, given Obama's own inexperience. But it is worth noting that Obama was a U.S. Senator three years ago, passing legislation like the Obama-Lugar bill to stop nuclear proliferation, while Palin was the mayor of a town of 5,000 people total three years ago. Doesn't quite compare.


  1. Palin is kind of a badass. She was Miss Alaska runner up, eats moose burgers, and has five kids. Plus, this is a waaaay more interesting pick than Romney or Huckabee or Pawlenty. And when McCain has a stroke one month into his term, I'd rather she became President than one of those douchebags.

    I don't think the so-called scandal has legs. Her brother-in-law beat his wife and tasered his stepson, so I'm pretty sympathetic to her trying to get him fired. And apparently Palin has done a lot already to try and straighten out Alaska's notoriously corrupt political system, so I don't think that topic is a win for team blue.

  2. Also, both Obama's and McCain's VP picks kind of undermine their main messages. An old white dude who has spent half his life in the Senate hardly qualifies as "change". And McCain has a hard time running on "experience" when his VP pick is so young.

    I am weirdly looking forward to the debates. Calling it right now: McCain will look like a walking corpse (huge surprise).

  3. I agree that she's way more interesting by a sight than Romney (my previous prediction). But that's mostly because it's so bizarre. McCain is already seen as a "maverick" and is held in suspicion by a lot of the right wing of his party. He needs that conservative base to come out and vote for him, not stay home. So I had assumed he would pick a choice that would demonstrate solid conservative values. Instead, he picks a relative unknown. She does appear to have conservative values (lifetime member of the NRA, very pro-life, etc.), but she's also reportedly a "maverick." It reinforces McCain's image as an agent of change himself - an image he's been trying to prop up against the Democrats' "more of the same" charge - but it means the far right wing is even less likely to vote for him.

    Obama's pick does undermine his main message somewhat, but rather less so than McCain's. The main difference, amusingly enough, is their age. McCain is 72 and crippled from his days as a POW; the odds he will die and Palin will be President are much higher than the odds that the highly athletic and young Obama will die and Biden will be President. And other than that circumstance, VP is just a display piece.

    I do agree that since Palin's even younger than McCain, she's going to make him look truly ancient. He's been trotting his ancient mother (or a denuded shrub of some kind... hard to tell) onto the stage at the big rallies to make him look young, so that strategy is gone now.