I don't spend a whole lot of time writing about national elections, as there are so many other fine sources for that analysis, and I don't intend to spend too much time on today's Presidential race news. But I do have a few thoughts to get off my chest, so please bear with me.
- I still can't get over how after months of criticizing Barack Obama for his alleged "lack of experience", John McCain goes and picks the greenest Vice Presidential nominee ever, one who had earlier said she didn't even know what the VP does. (Admittedly, a lot of people would share that thought.) Among other things, what this says to me is that McCain really will say whatever he thinks he has to say to get elected, and if what he's saying now isn't helping, he'll turn around and say the exact opposite shortly thereafter. It's another flipflop in a long, long line of them for McCain.
- Remember how Obama was supposed to pick a VP that bolstered his weak spots? McCain has done that in spades here. He's old; Sarah Palin is young. He's a longtime Beltway insider; she's literally about as far outside the Beltway (at least geographically) as you can get. He's awful on issues women care about; she's a woman. (Who's as awful as he is on those issues, but hey, it's a start.) He's out of touch; I don't know about Palin, but as a working mother of five children, it's safe to say she's more firmly grounded in the realities of life than the guy who doesn't know how many houses he owns. Not a high bar to clear, I admit, but she does do it.
- Having said all that, I do have to congratulate McCain on successfully changing the topic from Obama's awesome speech last night. Well played.
- If McCain's chief objective was to satisfy the right flank of his party, he seems to have done that. I still think they're deluding themselves about his choice appealing to disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters. I don't know about you, but what I recall about most Hillary Clinton supporters was that they were for Clinton first and foremost because of her experience, not her gender. Remember "Ready On Day One"? Anyone want to say that about Sarah Palin?
- Beyond that, who knows? She's got a good personal story, but then so do McCain, Obama, and Joe Biden. She's a risky choice, but one with upside. I figure either McCain must have really disliked his other options, or he felt he was better served by going for broke. (How many times do you think the phrase "Hail Mary pass" have been uttered or written today?) You just don't know how she'll do. And at the end of the day, we're still talking about the Vice President. People still vote based on the person who gets the top billing, not the co-star.
That's all I've got. What do you think about the Palin choice?Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 29, 2008 to The making of the President