Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Bold Move: Sarah Palin for VP

I'm very impressed with what I have learned about her so far. I think it's a bold move on McCain's part to select her. He has absolutely blunted the "surge" Obama was about to get from the convention. She is someone who can simultaneous unite and energize the Republican base, while appealing to swing voters. For the first time conservatives are looking at a vote for McCain as a positive good rather than just a lesser of evils. It also gives the McCain campaign a little history-making potential of it's own to counteract the Obamagic. Of course, hard core feminist Clinton supporters will not vote for McCain because of Palin, but he wasn't going to get their votes anyway.

Her husband is a union guy (steelworker, oil worker) and commercial fisherman, and she's a former union member herself. She played basketball (point guard) as well as competing in a beauty pageant. They're both from working class backgrounds. She's said to be very tough and sharp, but also warm and highly likeable.

Her relative inexperience does blunt one of McCain's best weapons against Obama, but I expect that argument will be recast in terms of "judgment" and "accomplishments" rather than "experience." It's also hard for the Obama campaign to attack her inexperience without highlighting his own issues on that score. It should be very interesting to see her debate Joe Biden in a few weeks. Indeed this is turning out to be one of the most interesting elections in my lifetime so far, and my memories go back to Nixon vs. Kennedy.

Time will tell whether this is a brilliant move or a blunder by McCain. That will largely depend on how well she holds up in the whirlwind of a national campaign.

Funny column from David Brooks on the generic convention speech (Democrat).

Debate dialog I'd like to see:
Obama: [something comparing himself to Abe Lincoln]
McCain: "Senator, I knew Abe Lincoln. You're no Abe Lincoln."

(H/T "The Corner") I think even Obama would have to laugh at that one. For the younger readers: it's a reference to Dan Quayle and Lloyd Bentsen in the 1988 vice presidential debate.


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