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McCain’s pick

Friday afternoon as I was driving to the Star Wars movie I listened to the news on a left leaning political station. They were talking not about the speech Obama gave but rather something McCain had done. He had gone and picked Sarah Palin, governor of our largest state, as his vice presidential candidate. Well I guess “candidate” is the wrong word, he is the candidate and she will be V.P. if he wins.

My initial thought echoed my friend LQ’s, “who the fuck is this bitch? And why is she the GOP’s pick?”

Well the weekend has passed and with the news now centered on what they hope to be the re-destruction of New Orleans I have had some time to think about the choice and what it means.

First off I need to say something about the timing. Obviously this choice was made at that time to get the media focus off of the DNC and Obama back to the GOP campaign. That much is completely clear. You can say what you want about the Republican party but they are very clever. It’s just too bad that the hurricane has decided to trump their news story, unfortunately that timing is under Poseidon’s control.

The fact that she is a woman is obviously a pandering to the discouraged and female P.U.M.A. (Party Unity My Ass) Democrats. It’s a bold move especially since almost no one outside of Alaska knew who she was. McCain himself, only talked to her briefly prior to offering her the job. People want to knock the pandering aspect of it, but it worked in 2004 when they appealed to the general public’s homophobia.

Her experience is a double edged sword. She’s governor of a state, yes that gives her executive authority. She has only held that post for a short period of time, and it is a state with a population that is less than many American cities. It only sort of scuppers the McCain’s criticism that Obama isn’t ready. The Republicans can now say that, yes we have a new-comer as well but ours is in the passenger seat not the driver. It will be less effective had they picked someone else but it can still work.

The criticism that she didn’t know what the duties of the Vice President are is only effective if YOU know what the Vice President does. Granted she should know, but it was the day she was nominated and hopefully she didn’t consult wikipedia for the answer.

In my opinion, it’s a weak choice. The experience thing was the strongest non-position issue they had and now they can’t use it as effectively as they were a week ago. I know one of the major factors was that she is a social conservative, and she brings in the base of the GOP (which they need to get elected); and her situation makes her sympathetic (five kids, one in Iraq, another mentally disabled, and a third rumored to be pregnant) to those on the fence; I feel that a true conservative might have been better for him. Or maybe even some sort of person that is a bit more consistently liberal than he. It will be an interesting election season…all two months of it.

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