when I first heard the possibility on CNN this morning I thought, "Well she's young and attractive and has solid conservative credentials ... but she's young and halfway through her first term as governor; can McCain continue slamming Obama's lack of experience with as much credibility now that he's picked such a young inexperienced person as a #2?" I mean obviously McCain doesn't expect to die in office, but still.[Edit: Wow, I rewrote that last sentence midstream, and it shows. Sorry about that. It should of course say, "any significant number of Dems who are upset enough about Clinton not winning the nomination that they would actually vote for a Republican."]
I feel like her main purpose is to draw the supposed disaffected Hillary voters. And I have a really low opinion of the Left, but even I have difficulty being so cynical as to think that there are any significant number of Dems who are enough about Clinton not winning the nomination would actually vote for a Republican (esp. after Clinton told them to rally behind Obama) nor cynical enough to think that a female running mate would be a tipping point for a significant number of women voters (esp. Dem ones).
However, Ian emailed a bunch of us while I was at lunch:
Subject: the case for PalinAnd five minutes later he sent a follow-up email:
My prediction: Palin's going to go over a lot better than people think. Here are some things to think about:
• She's very clearly anti-establishment – McCain's going to run on a maverick, throw-the-bums out strategy, which is natural for him
• On McCain's one "establishment" stance – the Iraq war – Palin dovetails nicely; her oldest kid is about to be deployed in Iraq. (McCain doesn't like to talk about it but he has a son in Iraq as well.) The unapologetic Iraq stance is McCain's only hope – he can't apologize for it now. And she strengthens this.
• She'll be a fantastic campaigner. Did you see her speech? She'll do wonderfully in Dayton and Scranton and Pittsburgh and Reno, talking to rooms with a few hundred people in them. She's very genuine.
• She has a great life story – daughter of a school teacher and a school secretary. Alaska native. Successful small business owner. Her husband is an Alaskan Indian. (From my days in Arizona I know "Native American" is a PC word that American Indians don't like.)
• She has 3 school-aged kids and an infant. Her kids are adorable.
• The Dems will hit her on experience, which will keep experience as an issue. Wait for McCain to say, "well, Barack, there is a difference between the P and VP – you'd be great VP material, I agree…." Seriously, if they attack her too much on this they'll look like hypocrites. Palin's resume is very similar to Obama's, EXCEPT she started a company and is raising 5 kids.
• The VP doesn't matter much anyway.
• And the big one: 12 hours after giving one of the best political speeches of all time, Obama has to be furious that no one's talking about his speech anymore. It's going to be Palin Palin Palin for the next few days. McCain has totally seized the spotlight.
Go to youtube and search "Palin" and watch her speeches – I haven't seen a bad one yet.
I'm not saying she's perfect. But she's not the disaster many people are saying. Given that the right wing wouldn't allow Lieberman (which I think would have been McCain's best pick), I don't know who else was out there. Romney, Pawlenty, Portman, etc, would have all been disasters.
It's already starting – Michelle Malkin: "I'd rather have someone with 2 years of national experience a heartbeat away from the Presidency than in the Presidency itself."Other thoughts: itsabigrock said, "she has five kids, one of whom has down syndrome, how is it better for her family for her to be vice president?"
It's beautiful, really – a judo strategy if you will. Guarantees people are going to talk about experience the entire time, and puts Obama on the defensive when he tries to attack.