The blogosphere has been awash in suggestions that Sarah Palin will be widely viewed as politically inexperienced, a lightweight beauty queen, and even a bad mother. But today polling is out, and it shows Palin has made a great first impression on the American public; she is viewed favorably by 78 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of unaffiliated voters. Compare that to a roll-out favorability rating of just 43 percent for Joe Biden. Women seem to be more skeptical of Palin than men, but that is to be expected; on average, women are more skeptical of all conservative politicians and policies than men are.(Re: the 63%, someone I know and love said, "independents will decide this election a lot more than a 20-something educated elitist who's on the internet all the time." Who says I don't keep classy company ;) )
I hope these numbers serve as a wake-up call for both the national media and the liberal blogosphere. Independent pro-choice women won't be taken in by McCain's pandering choice, but that doesn't mean the American public will respond kindly to the vilification of this woman. She is attractive, and a working mom doing one of the most difficult jobs in the world -- raising a child with a disability. Yes, she is a former beauty queen who made it in politics. Most Americans will say, "Good for her," not, "OMG WTF!!! She's not qualified!" They will see themselves and people they know in Palin, her family, and their story.
Also on the experience issue, one blogger said:
Seems to me, this year's election puts in play three different definitions of "experience." One is the Washington time-serving kind. [...]Dale Carpenter cites that post and adds:
The second definition is a variant of the first; it likewise looks to time in office, but the focus is on executive jobs. [...]
Those two definitions are the ones used, at least tacitly, in most political commentary. But there is a third definition, and it may be the one the voters care most about: the relevant question is not how much time the candidate has spent in the relevant government jobs, but what the candidate has accomplished during that time. [...]
Let me suggest a fourth dimension of “experience” that ought also be weighed: sheer exposure and vetting at a national and international level. By this I mean experience over time in answering hard questions about a wide range of issues, meeting with other national and international leaders, and responding on the record to crises and other developments as they arise. This kind of experience gives the country a chance to see how you think, to see how you handle high-octane pressure on the relevant national and international stages, to observe how you adapt when things don’t go as you thought they would, and so on. It also forces you to learn about, and to develop views about, important and complex national and international questions. Voters deserve to know these things about you.(He also says lots of other smart and thoughtful things; I recommend reading his whole post.)
InstaPundit has a whole host of links on the Palin pick and reactions thereto. Excerpt from his first such post:
reader Joel Mackey writes:InstaPundit also writes:As a conservative, disenfranchised from the Republican party due to their pork barrel spending, I find myself excited at the prospect of Sarah Palin as VP. Her stands against corruption, her focus on fixing issues affecting America, instead of political manuevers to gain and hold power for power's sake, make me excited to vote for her.If this reaction is common, I guess it's a better pick than I had thought. But not everyone's happy. Reader John Shirey writes:
The only memes that grab my attention with the Obama compaign are when he talks about reforming Washington, but his statements are so vague and his friends are so leftwing, that I suspect his rhetoric is code for changing to a more socialistic model. Whereas Palin would bring reform which would more closely resemble what Reagan would enact.
McCain has hit a homerun, possibly a game winning homerun. Her introductory speech brought a positive emotional response from me, very very rare.I just don't get it - if they were going to pick someone with such limited experience, then why not pick Jindal, who to me is one of the few Republicans I actually like (other than his absolutist stance on abortion), and despite his tender age seems extremely competent and well-spoken. The Palin selection also shows how limited his choices really were in that he couldn't come up with a Biden-type pick (experienced, ready to lead) that somehow wouldn't piss of the base (Romney, Giuliani, Lieberman, etc.).
HOW TO ASSESS VICE PRESIDENTS: The most important thing about a Vice Presidential candidate -- as with a Presidential candidate -- is fitness to be President. But, since most Vice Presidents never become President, the most significant impact is usually elsewhere: The running mate gets to put a lot of his/her people into political appointments in the new administration. From this perspective, Biden and Palin look really different. Biden is an oldtime Washington insider, with a large network of friends and supporters, meaning that the people he brings in are likely to be familiar faces (as, for that matter, are most of the people Obama is looking to for advice now, and will presumably appoint if elected). So the political appointments under an Obama-Biden administration will probably look a lot like the Clinton administration.One blogger writes:
McCain has been in DC for a long time, too, of course. But who would Palin bring in? She doesn't have that kind of a political network, and while she might bring a few people from Alaska, there won't be very many of those. So who will she bring in if elected? My guess is that she'll defer more to McCain than a more established pol would, but my guess is that she'll also favor bringing in more evangelicals and social-conservative types, and she may (I don't know) have more of a network in those circles than she has in the way of a political network. Something to consider, anyway.
I also think it’s interesting that election marks the end of a long line of Southern administrations. No matter who wins, there won’t be a Southerner among them.Oh and one last [set of] link[s]: Sarah Palin's Judicial Appointments (and Palin on Death Penalty, Abortion. War in Iraq and Palin On Pot, Civil Unions, Gay Marriage and Abortion)
The interesting thing to me, though, is that she doesn’t seem to be a political insider. And she seems to be kind of a bad-ass. And while it’s true that it’s probably what McCain’s candidacy needs, I do wonder if it’s what McCain’s administration wants. She doesn’t seem like the type to play Washington games (though I could be wrong). She very well may be the maverick McCain wishes he were.
None of this would make me vote for her. I’m not voting for someone so anti-choice and the national Republicans lost my vote for at least a generation with their response to Katrina.
But, if they win, I will be rooting for her to cause as much trouble as she can.