Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Picks Palin as Running Mate

Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska has been chosen as Sen. McCain's running mate. Palin is an interesting choice because she brings numerous pros and cons to the table: immensely popular governor of a state with little or no political leverage, election-wise; her youth, short time serving as governor, and zero foreign policy experience is a big disadvantage in that it undercuts the McCain camp's charges of inexperience against Obama (not to mention how Joe Biden will likely cream her in the VP debate). But is smacks of desperation to me. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-Illinois), respectively agree.

"After the great success of the Democratic convention, the choice of Sarah Palin is surely a Hail Mary pass. It is a real roll of the dice and shows how John McCain, Karl Rove et al realize what a strong position the Obama-Biden team and Democrats in general are in in this election. Certainly the choice of Palin puts to rest any argument about inexperience on the Democratic team and while Palin is a fine person, her lack of experience makes the thought of her assuming the presidency troubling. I particularly look forward to the Biden-Palin debate in Missouri." - Schumer

"Is this really who the Republican Party wants to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency? Given Sarah Palin's lack of experience on every front and on nearly every issue, this Vice Presidential pick doesn't show judgment: it shows political panic." - Emanuel

Some also view her as possibly McCain's Dan Quayle, ie an embarrassment. We're not there yet.

Palin has also disagreed with her new running mate in the past on a variety of issues, examples among them are her support for both drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and state benefits for same-sex couples. As an accomplished woman, however, she is the bait McCain is dangling out for PUMAs and undecided and/or independent women, which is why her choice seems like one made out of panic and is sure to privately confound a huge chunk of the GOP. Not to mention how condescending a gesture towards disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters this selection ultimately is.

Politics, like various aspects of modern life, is weighed heavily on the side of perception. With this particular choice of a VP candidate the McCain camp is tacitly admitting this is the Dems' election to lose. Sure, the numerous blunders and widespread unpopularity of the current administration should be a indicator of this, yet the race is tight. McCain and the GOP are hedging their bets.

Let the games begin.

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