Palin Rationale

by: Chris Bowers

Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 11:47

Quick thoughts on why McCain chose Palin:

  1. Takes Alaska off the table. In most elections, that might seem unnecessary. However, Obama was leading in the most recent Alaska poll, so this year it actually mattered. Palin's approval rating in Alaska is pretty high (64% in the most recent poll I could find), so this probably moves the state off the table.

  2. This is the Sarkozy strategy that Gingrich talked about last year. In this vein, Palin is designed to help McCain on ethics, and in distancing McCain from governing Republicans. The idea here is that she was able to win the Alaska Governorship in 2006, a Democratic year, by making corruption charges in her own party, and defeating an incumbent in a primary. Look for McCain to start trumpeting his role in exposing the Abramoff scandal now, too. It could be an effective message, as it makes McCain look willing to stand up against his own party and take a hard line on ethics. I worried about this message last month.The problem for Palin is that she is now embroiled in a nepotism scandal.

  3. Obviously, designed to help McCain with PUMA's and wavering Clinton supporters. The decision was probably made after Clinton was not chosen as VP, and during all the coverage of Clinton supporters during the convention. However, for that purpose, the pick probably came too late. Most of Obama's current bounce is from that exact same group. McCain should have announced on Sunday to peel off more of those supporters.

  4. For all of the reasons listed above, it is designed to make McCain look "mavericky." Picking someone from Alaska, picking a woman, picking someone who ran against her own party, picking someone who wasn't talking about that much, picking someone who, at least at one time, fought corruption in her own party--in many ways, it is exactly the right pick for McCain to bolster his image.

The key to fighting Palin is to hit her on the scandal she is in now, to point out McCain hypocrisy on experience and "being ready to lead," and to use a lot of Hillary Clinton.

I admit that Palin and Condoleezza Rice were the only two possible picks that ever actually worried me on the Republican side. Now, however, after Palin has been picked, it just feels kind of lame and obviously political. The only reason that McCain picked Palin is that he thinks she will help him get elected. The pandering electability of it all should appear obvious to just about everyone. Clearly, McCain didn't care about or believe in the attacks he was making on Obama's experience. He just wants to win.

Chris Bowers :: Palin Rationale

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Palin Rationale | 108 comments
Mike Hukabee worried me the most. (4.00 / 6)
Watching him on the talk shows, he's just a really likable guy. It would have been difficult to paint him as a dangerous arch-conservative. He would shore up the Dobson wing of the party.

I think Palin is a desperation play. The media is playing the mavericky angle, the corruption angle, and the desperation angle. She is also a creationist who last month said she didn't know what the VP did. She also completely takes the experience attack away from McCain since he has said the VP's most important job is to become the president if the need arises.

It's a total loser.

yep (0.00 / 0)
I agree on Huckabee. I'm still trying to figure out why he didn't beat McCain in the primaries. Republicans just must love rich old guys or something.

[ Parent ]
Let's thank Colbert (4.00 / 1)
The last time he had Huckabee on, Stephen almost broke character in challenging his audience, on Huckabee. Stephen made a concerted effort to point out that Huckabee wants to change the Constitution to bring religion into government. I think a lot of liberals like his econimic populism, which is admirable for a Republican. And he is likable in the Clinton/Reagan sense but if he ever becomes the nominee in the future, progressives are going to have to get out the message that Huckabee will make Christianity - of the southern theocon variety - a State religion.  

"I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that."
-Lawrence Summers

[ Parent ]
The press was aggressively ignoring Huckabee (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Of course .. (0.00 / 0)
cause the money men couldn't stand Huckabee .. he scared the crap out of them

[ Parent ]
she sounds pretty good (0.00 / 0)
she sounds pretty good on Glenn Beck

starts at ~4:20

Well, that's the thing (4.00 / 1)
The most important question is whether she has a political talent. She seems to--she's appealing-but then chatting with Glenn Beck is a little different from debating Joe Biden.

[ Parent ]
ouch (0.00 / 0)
Palin is on TV right now and so far coming across as a total lightweight.  A nice person, but a Vice President?

[ Parent ]
double ouch (4.00 / 1)
she sounded like she was running for Vice President of her High School graduating class

[ Parent ]
Cindy is not happy (4.00 / 1)
Check out the look on Cindy McCain's face just after Palin finished speaking.  Cindy is not happy.

[ Parent ]
Its over (0.00 / 0)
I'm sitting here listening to the Republican spin on the Palin pick.  Its not going to fly.  She has many admirable qualities, but she's not Vice-Presidential material.

In a marathon race, when one runner gets a 2 minute lead, the race is over.  The winner has to keep running and finish the race, but the outcome is not in doubt.

Similarly, the Obama vs Clinton race was over in mid-March when Obama gained in insurmountable lead in pledged delegates.  Of course, both candidates still had to finish the process, but to an astute observer, the outcome was no longer in doubt.  See for example

We've reached that same point in Obama vs McCain contest.  Like the Democratic primary race in mid March, this one is over, too.

[ Parent ]
Not Vice-Presidential material (0.00 / 0)
P.S., I can see why Alaskans would want her as their governor--because their state is full of corruption, and she at least seemed to rise above that.  But that does not make her Vice-Presidential material.

[ Parent ]
A mouse sounds smarter than Glenn Beck!! (4.00 / 1)

[ Parent ]
Sure puts that sign in the background "Country First" in a amusing, cynical light (0.00 / 0)
and myreaction to the announcemnt with that sign so prominent is :

"Are you f***ing kidding me?"

And the answer is :

"Yea, well, we hope you are stupid enough to fall for it."

I'm not and I hope the Democrats jump all over this

I think this pick (4.00 / 3)
is about Identity, the Mountain West and Energy.

It is a risky pick - the question is whether it passes the redicule test - and I am not so sure it does.  

I will say this: it renders the experience argument useless to McCain.

"I will say this: it renders the experience argument useless to McCain" (0.00 / 0)
Even Rove agreed with that on Fox earlier.

[ Parent ]
Attack McCain, not Palin (4.00 / 11)
Dirtying up Palin is not a good idea. Put the facts out there sure but this is a lot less about McCain being "mavericky" then "unstable". It tees up the McCain temperment arguments.

Having a President McCain lurch from one argument to the next because he's a "maverick" is downright dangerous. That's the argument that Palin highlights. There must be 50 clips of McCain talking about experience and foreign policy being critical. Now McCain is releasing a statement saying Palin is qualified to be Commander in Chief because she is the mom of a soldier? So is Cindy Sheehan. Does McCain think Sheehan is qualified to be Vice President?

John McCain

lurching back and forth (4.00 / 1)
From embracing islamofascism as the greatest threat of our time, to cheering for a new Cold war with Russia, to singing "bomb bomb bomb Iran"... certainly a case to be made that McCain is too undisciplined and lacks the long term vision to guide America in the world of the 21st century. And what you highlight adds to that.

Plus, McCain pops Ambien, which can't help.

"I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that."
-Lawrence Summers

[ Parent ]
How Is Dirtying Up Palin Not a Good Idea (0.00 / 0)
Look, this is a situation where Democrats should not be afraid to rip a page out of the Republican playbook. She's under investigation. Whether the charges are legit or not, they have the opportunity to define her right out of the gates as dirty and use her to help undermine McCain's baloney about being a reformer. If the roles were reversed, clowns like Hannity and Beck would be screaming about the investigation from the building tops and we'd be in bunker mode right now playing defense for the next two weeks.

If you attack her hard and fast now and play hardball, she becomes a genuine liability for McCain, and an albatross that he can't take off his neck for the rest of the campaign.

Obama can won this campaign over the span of 13-14 hours if he's willing to play the great hand of cards he's just been dealt.

[ Parent ]
Because Obama (4.00 / 1)
will be seen as the candidate who attacked TWO women while running for President.

[ Parent ]
Oh Please (4.00 / 2)
Women aren't stupid. They're going to see right through this. It's cynical to the point of stupidity that John McCain believes he can swing Clinton's voters with an unqualified, Anti-Choice, former beauty queen.

I mean, for goodness sakes, he didn't even choose the most qualified female candidate the GOP had because (gasp) Hutchison is technically Pro-Choice even though she's voted for just about every bill restricting access under the sun.

So, I'm sorry, just because she's a woman doesn't mean that she immediately gets a free pass. If anything, I think Clinton's voters are going to view Palin as a slap in the face by a McCain campaign that truly doesn't get it. At all. It's the nakedest pander I've ever seen in American politics. Ray Charles could see through this.

So let's not be mealey mouthed, and wring our hands about Sarah Palin. Obama's raking in over $50M a month and has a gigantic war chest and you've got a VP candidate now who is a complete unknown in 49 states in the union. Define her. Define her as an unqualified, ethically challenged, ideologue who can't tie her own shoes without getting a memo from the RNC how. Make her into a pair of cement shoes and drown McCain's campaign with her.

[ Parent ]
Women aren't stupid (4.00 / 2)
But some male Democrats have issues with sexist language. A lot of garbage was spilled on Hillary Clinton about her ambition and shrill nature from fellow Democrats and that isn't something that should be repeated with Palin.

I don't think Sarah Palin is a good choice but she's more qualified than Tim Kaine in my book. Gleefully attacking her as a dopey unknown Governor is a bad idea because some independents and Republicans are going to think "Hey wait a minute...she's got more experience than some prominent Dems and what's wrong with being from a small state?".

Again, Bush is McCain's albatross. VPs aren't difference makers and paying attention to Palin moves the focus away from Washington and Bush-McCain.

John McCain

[ Parent ]
She also has more executive experience than John McCain (0.00 / 0)

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
How is she more qualified than Tim Kaine??? (0.00 / 0)
Explain this, please.

Kaine was on the Richmond city council for 7 years, 3 of which he was mayor. Richmond has a population of approximately 200,000 which is almost 1/3 the size of the entire state of Alaska. After that, he served 4 years as Lt. Gov. and has served 2 1/2 years as Gov. of Virginia. (One more year than Palin.) Virginia is slightly larger than Alaska, 7.7 million compared to less than 700, ooo.  

[ Parent ]
States are states (0.00 / 0)
I don't buy the size of the state argument or the size of the city when it comes to experience. She's got local legislative experience, local executive experience, and is a state Governor. People said Bill Clinton wasn't qualified because he was from a small state. They said George W. Bush was qualified because he was from a large state. I don't care about size when states or cities are mentioned.

IMHO Sarah Palin has similar experience to a Brian Schweitzer or Tim Kaine and should be treated with similar respect on that front.

John McCain

[ Parent ]
But you didn't say similar (4.00 / 1)
You said "I don't think Sarah Palin is a good choice but she's more qualified than Tim Kaine in my book." More qualified than Tim Kaine?

[ Parent ]
she's a year and a half (0.00 / 0)
removed from being the Mayor of 9,000 people.  Her nomination is a complete joke.

[ Parent ]
Oops -- not "more qualifed" (0.00 / 0)
I should have said equally qualified to Tim Kaine. That was a mistake on my part. I think Palin is more appealing in a generic way (personal story is a bit more ready made, more appealing images as a young mom) than Kaine but they have roughly equal experience as far as I'm considered. I didn't mean to make a dig against Kaine.

John McCain

[ Parent ]
Bush is McCain's albatross (0.00 / 0)
And everybody already knows Bush. For your plan to work you have to...

- introduce Palin
- explain why Palin is bad
- tie Palin to McCain

...while avoiding...

- looking negative
- having surrogates say awful things like 'She's Quayle with tits' as I read this morning on one blog

Palin is either a trap or a gift. I say accept the gift, ignore her (the press won't) and attack McCain. She's not known well enough to be an attack dog and if she gets into defending McCain it looks a lot like "Leave my grandpa alone!". That's a good visual. Attack, yes. But attack McCain.

John McCain

[ Parent ]
I'm Sorry But (0.00 / 0)
This is an opportunity to pretty much put McCain away, and the Democrats don't have to be crass to point out the facts that she's unqualified and she's undergoing an investigation for abuse of power.  

[ Parent ]
Palin may be a great asset in refuting attacks (0.00 / 0)
I think Palin may be a great asset in refuting attacks.  Reason: her honesty.  If the McCain campaign says anything untrue about Obama or Biden, simply ask Palin if she agrees with the charge.  I think she will either give an honest answer, or look very unconvincing in her support of the statement.

[ Parent ]
Backfire (4.00 / 2)
I think it might even backfire when it comes to number 3. Don't forget that some said Obama possibly choosing a woman other than Hillary would have been a snub against her. The difference is that it might actually happen here. It looks to me like too much of a pander to Democratic women who supported Hillary, namely those who are still unsure of Obama. I don't see how picking a far-right Republican woman gets those voters. He's trying to get those voters simply by choosing a female running mate. I could be wrong, but I just don't think it'll work.

Yes (4.00 / 1)
What is Hillary going to do? Congratulate McCain for picking a woman?

She's going to rip her and McCain a new one and she doesn't have to worry about chivalry.

[ Parent ]
As a student of politics, I'm (4.00 / 5)
impressed by this pick, its boldness, its potential for both helping him and hurting him. I don't remember many presidential campaigns taking a gamble like this.

The thinking behind it is probably solid, though: that while a bad pick probably doesn't a ruin a candidate (Quayle), an interesting, unorthodox pick can bring excitement and buzz to a campaign. And uncertainty. I, for one, will now be tuning into the VP speech, if it'd been Romney, I'd have skipped it.

Plus Salin simultaneously strengthens McCain's cred among conservatives and his maverick-reformer-different kind of Republican brand. Neat trick.

The picks tells us two major things: that McCain wasn't and isn't confident of his chances (good for us) and that he's willing to take chances (bad for us).  

I'm baffled. I can think of no (4.00 / 7)
other pick that so overwhelmingly emphasizes McCain's two biggest weaknesses: his age, and his instability.

You pick a 44-year-old? To be a heartbeat away from a not-very-healthy 72's presidency?

And after months and months of attacking on inexperience, you go with inexperience? As Kerry would say, 'talk about a flip-flop'. The whole campaign just flipflopped.

And she's a creationist.

Also, I suspect the Beltway ain't gonna like her. They don't know her, and they don't like what they don't know.

[ Parent ]
And she's a creationist. (4.00 / 1)
Reference please?  I'm not being hostile, I really wanna know.

We scientists would like to jump on that one.

War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength; McCain/Palin 2008

[ Parent ]
I haven't been able to find anything saying she's a creationist explicitly (4.00 / 2)
[ Parent ]
But, also, she doesn't come out that strongly in it's favor, either (4.00 / 1)
From the above article:

"I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state's required curriculum.

Members of the state school board, which sets minimum requirements, are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Legislature.

"I won't have religion as a litmus test, or anybody's personal opinion on evolution or creationism," Palin said.

Palin has occasionally discussed her lifelong Christian faith during the governor's race but said teaching creationism is nothing she has campaigned about or even given much thought to.

[ Parent ]
Thanks (0.00 / 0)
So she's trying to find the wishy-washy "middle ground".  

"Let's teach the controversy" - What controversy?

I want a president who believes in science.  And it's likely that if McCain is elected she will be president.

War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength; McCain/Palin 2008

[ Parent ]
Honestly, what that sounds like is more the (4.00 / 1)
McCain sort of "I don't give a rats ass about this issue, so I'm going to say something that doesn't overcommit me, but also doesn't bother my base voters." response

[ Parent ]
If you favor teaching creationism in schools (4.00 / 1)
then you're a creationist in my book.

If she's not, let her talk her way out of it.

[ Parent ]
Fair enough (0.00 / 0)
just so long as we're jumping on her for what she said and not what we thought that she said.

[ Parent ]
Didn't seem hostile at all! (0.00 / 0)
Taken from this post a Daily Kos, which links to this article which says this:

The volatile issue of teaching creation science in public schools popped up in the Alaska governor's race this week when Republican Sarah Palin said she thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the state's public classrooms.

Palin was answering a question from the moderator near the conclusion of Wednesday night's televised debate on KAKM Channel 7 when she said, 'Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.'

To be fair:

Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms:

"I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state's required curriculum.

And to be ever fairer:

Asked for her personal views on evolution, Palin said, "I believe we have a creator."

She would not say whether her belief also allowed her to accept the theory of evolution as fact.

"I'm not going to pretend I know how all this came to be," she said.

[ Parent ]
not hostile, but not good (4.00 / 1)
there are no alternative facts, there is no controversy.

Evolution is as well established as gravity.

War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength; McCain/Palin 2008

[ Parent ]
there is no legitimate "alternatives" (4.00 / 2)
she's crazy because she's putting science and evolution on seemingly equal footing. its a false debate. creationism has as much credibility as the back of a turtle... its turtles all the way down.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
Yep (4.00 / 1)
Evolution is a theory the way that gravity is a theory.  It's real, it's there, it's observable, it's fact.  The remaining questions are why and how, but not whether or not it exists.

Denying gravity won't stop you from falling off a bridge after you jump.  Any remaining doubts will be quickly settled at the end of the trip.  Denying evolution after looking at the fossil record or studying any evolutionary biology at all is equally silly, there's just no Cro-Magnon man at the end of the museum waiting to bash your head in with a club if you choose not to believe in him.

[ Parent ]
Please say something like (0.00 / 0)
"the way Newton's theory of Gravity" or "General Relativity" are theories of gravity.  Gravity is not a theory, it is a phenomenon.  Theories are frameworks used to explain phenomena.  

The fossil record is a phenomenon, and evolution is used to explain why the fossil record (and geological data and modern genetic data, etc.) are the way they are.  

[ Parent ]
Gotcha. (4.00 / 1)
It's obviously been a while since I got some serious science edumacatin', so thanks for the clarification.  Still hope they manage to find evidence of the Noodly Appendage in there, though.  Maybe someday ...

[ Parent ]
"teach both sides" is not just a cop-out (4.00 / 2)
It's far worse. It's a way to directly legitimize creationism as a science, when it deserves no such honor. There is no scientific debate over whether evolution happens, none.

What Palin is doing here is a classic tactic to muddy the question, and mischaracterize science. They do it for global warming too. All you do is find two scientists having a disagreement over the mechanism by which evolution happened in a particular species, or which statistical model is more accurate to predict global warming's effects, and say "Hey! Scientists disagree - it's a debate! Maybe one side is wrong so we should teach kids that there's a scientific controversy over whether evolution and global warming happens." When there is no such controversy at all.

It would be like overhearing two swimmers arguing over whether Michael Phelps won so many gold medals because of his size 14 feet, or because of his 6'7 wingspan, and then concluding that since they couldn't agree which was more important, that maybe Phelps actually didn't win 8 gold medals at all.

(maybe not the best analogy, but that's what I came up with off the top of my head).

"I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that."
-Lawrence Summers

[ Parent ]
Obviously (4.00 / 3)
I hope you're 100 percent correct.

Perhaps McCain's internals showed him what Mark Penn learned, that attacking Obama on experience isn't an effective strategy.

My point, though, it adds an element of uncertainty. If Romney had been the pick, I'd be doing a jig around my apartment. With this, I'm doing a half-jig while watching clips of Palin on Youtube.

It really all comes down to how good she is. Maybe she comes across as a inexperienced lightweight with a scarily conservative views, and then everything you say will turn out to be true. Maybe she turns about to be a huge political talent, one of those hard-right people who appear eminently reasonable...

[ Parent ]
Ah, yes, I completely agree. (0.00 / 0)
Give McCain credit, this is unhinged out of left field.

I just suspect that, in terms of a game changes, he's running the wrong way down the field.  

[ Parent ]
I think McCain .. (4.00 / 1)
is doing a Jim Marshall ..  ;-)

(any football geeks here should know what I mean)

[ Parent ]
You got it (0.00 / 0)
But are you enough of a football geek to know about "Wrong Way" Riegles?

[ Parent ]
Yes I am .. (0.00 / 0)
I don't remember the exact specifics .. but I know the name

[ Parent ]
Volatily (4.00 / 1)
and drama are things McCain needs.

He will get them with this pick.

In doing so he betrays what he thinks of the state of the current race.  

[ Parent ]
Well, I dunno what Palin brings (0.00 / 0)
that Whitman or Hutchinson doesn't. And I agree this buys him a great deal of volatility, which he needs. But volatility cuts both ways. (Well, it would it volatility actually cut. You know what I mean!)  

[ Parent ]
Volatility blows up everyone who happens to be standing around??? (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Whitman strikes me as the stronger choice (4.00 / 2)
Volatility is a double edged sword.

You want it when you are in trouble.  When you think you are ahead you avoid it and do something like pick Joe Biden.  

Both campaigns think Obama has a structural advantage.

That is what the Palin pick tells me.

[ Parent ]
Too much credit (0.00 / 0)
I think your giving them too much credit here. It seems to me this was designed to go after PUMAs and to clip coverage of Obama's speech which they knew could be a game ender. For that, I think this was successful to a certain degree, but for the long term effects of this candidate on the ticket, well, this could easily be turned on its ear and hurt McCain's chances of winning.

This choice is kind of a head scratcher at first blush, not sure if PUMAs would go for a her just becasue they share anatomical characteristics but share no ideological commonalities, and her experience is liiiiiight. It could be pointed out that McCain just appointed a second "first lady" rather than a valid states-person that could step in as president if needed.  

Laugh hard. Its a long ways to the bank.  

[ Parent ]
I thought Romney was the Mormon? (0.00 / 0)

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
I have to think their internal numbers are awful (4.00 / 1)
The national polls have showed him relatively close to Obama--at least nationwide, not state by state--yet he pulls this total desperation play.

What gives?

[ Parent ]
Obviously political (0.00 / 0)
To you and me maybe, but what about people who aren't obsessive?

John McCain opposes the GI Bill.

People who aren't obessive say, (4.00 / 2)
oh, Palin. Who's that.

Then they say, you mean that 44-year-old half-term governor from Alaska?


[ Parent ]
Energy and Ethics (4.00 / 1)
She has a lot of experience with energy issues and a history of ethics reform.  Not a bad pick, I think.  

But in the end, she does not pass the most important test for a VP pick; is she ready to be President.  And considering McCain's age and health issues, that will be the big story as we get closer to the election.  

And Like McCain, She's Been On Both Sides Of The Ethics Question (0.00 / 0)
He was against it before he was for it.

She was for it before she was against it.

Talk about a balanced ticket!

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Her own ethics problems have already undermined that... (4.00 / 1)
and her husband works for BP in some capacity, so her energy cred has the same insider issues as her ethics cred.

If Obama's camp is now really in attack mode (see Atrios's top item for their initial, well-played, comment), they will quickly make this pick look as ridiculous at it seems on the surface.  Excepting, of course, if the media decides to go all in on a McCain presidency then we will see enough hand wringing to turn a lump of shit into a diamond.  

[ Parent ]
She has a lot of experience signing oil leases. (4.00 / 1)
Just the kind of experience McCain was looking for.

[ Parent ]
Stirs up the Media Narrative (0.00 / 0)
The choice of Palin also stirs up the media narrative. If McCain had chosen someone like Romney, the media would have paid attention for five minutes, then moved on. The Palin choice is a much more interesting story, and will have a longer shelf life, media-wise. Plus, it will steal some of the thunder from Obama's speech last night. Do really know if this was a good pick for McCain, we will have to wait a week or two, to see if the Palin novelty wears off. I imagine it will, as ultimately, most voters only care about the #1 person on the ticket.

Robert Lasner
Ig Publishing

But think about this (4.00 / 1)
That's a sad, sad, sad state of affairs for McCain's campaign. His VP pick, which one would hope would be used to bump oneself up in preparation for their own convention, is used as defense? That means he's proverbially on the ropes, is he not?

I think Palin was taken also to try to contrast with Biden in terms of time in government, though it also obviously turns that same contrast on McCain. Just a thought.

[ Parent ]
Agree with this Stir-it-Up theory (4.00 / 1)
If the Dem countering on this is going to work, we'll know because the MSM will abandon Palin like a pooch abandons a chewtoy.

Damn this veep candidate with faint praise. Debate her earnestly, as though she were a paunchy old Repub with hair sticking out of his ears. Float lots and lots of questions about her viability, none of them with great vigor. Drain energy from her candidacy.  

[ Parent ]
More like a cry for help... (0.00 / 0)
Unless the media decides to go panegyric and laud the pick for the next week (which is sadly all too possible), the skeletons will quickly surface along with the lack of heft in the resume and the cycle could be lost for McCain, especially after Obama looked 'ready from day one' just yesterday.

[ Parent ]
Clinton supporters (4.00 / 7)
Trial memes:

McCain thinks Clinton supporters are stupid and all women are the same.

Hillary Clinton is a friend of mine, and you are no Hillary Clinton.

Obvious, desperate political move to go after Hillary supporters.

it doesn't compute (4.00 / 1)
Yeah I have a hard time following the logic for why pro-choice progressive women who liked Hillary over Barack because of her "35 years" of experience are going to decide to vote for John McCain because he picks a hard right pro-life woman with pretty much nil experience as his veep.

[ Parent ]
Desparate and Cynical (4.00 / 3)
So, McCain picks an inexperienced half-term Governor that is embroiled in a political scandal at the moment.

Could it be that he's trying to make some hay over that fact that she's a woman?

Is he really so cynical?

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

A half-term governor (4.00 / 1)
embroiled in a political scandal whom he doesn't even know.

This is just another example of McCain going off half-cocked.

[ Parent ]
Locks up the "Im not a racist" voter (0.00 / 0)
I think this was more than a smart pick. Voters don't vote for VP really, but what I think this gives some right wing democrats is a way to vote against the black guy while claiming they are not racist. They can vote for McCain and say it was because he's a straight talker (even thought they know he's slaughtering them on policies) and can satisfy their primal urge to vote against 'the other', all the while being able to hide behind a cloak of progressivism:

"no i didn't vote against Obama because he's black, look McCain has a woman VP who could become president, see! im not racist."

While that all sounds insane, because it is, it also makes sense. People need to be able to lie to themselves to make stupid decisions, McCain just gave them their get out of bigotry free card.  

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

Those voters didn't need the help (0.00 / 0)
They all could have - and some will - cling to the "straight talk" narrative as a justification for their vote, without the VP pick pushing them to do so.

[ Parent ]
youre prolly right (0.00 / 0)
tho I think it makes it easier for some who've been hard hit by terrible GOP policies. but youre prolly right.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
It Doesn't Just Render The "Experience" Attack Useless (4.00 / 12)
It clearly demonstrates McCain's entire line of attack on Obama for the last two months was entirely insincere.  He didn't mean a thing he said.

And if he didn't believe any of that, then why should we believe anything he says???

This is the angle I would take: John McCain, you can't believe anything he says.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

That's the key. This pick (4.00 / 2)
is calculated, insincere, contradictory, and unstable. Old 'say anything' John McCain going off half-cocked again.

[ Parent ]
I love it (4.00 / 1)
Unlike the charges of hypocrisy about Biden nullifying or undermining the 'change' message, this is completely proveable. If she's commander-in-chief material, then why is experience important? Isn't it only about judgment, then? (based on McCain's own campaign themes) And, like you said, if we can't believe what he said, then how can we trust his judgment? If only Obama would actually strike on this, it could be game-set-match.

[ Parent ]
Agreed, and... (4.00 / 2)'s the sort of simple contradiction that the press loves to harp on, Russert-style.  "Senator McCain, you've been saying that Obama is too inexperienced and too untested to lead, but now you've picked someone with even less experience than him..."

[ Parent ]
I second that strategy (4.00 / 3)
This pick directly and strongly contradicts his most basic and most relentless attack on Obama. And since McCain claims that this attack is tied to his most central "life and death" issues of safety and security, I think it opens up the possibility of the potentially fatal line of attack you suggest.  

If he lies about life and death issues, then what won't he lie about to get elected?

I also think that a skillful use of this turnaround attack could really get under McCain's skin.  This could highlight another key weakness of his--temperament and stability--which Obama explicitly put on the table last night.  

Vote McCain--dishonest AND unhinged.

[ Parent ]
The Mommy wars are going to kill this ticket. (4.00 / 1)

She's got a 4 month old baby with Down's Syndrome.  It's utterly sexist, but people will think she shouldn't be out on the campaign trail with kids, certainly not a kid that young. They will also think that a mother of a Down's Syndrome kid should be busy caring for him, not being a VP. 


John McCain thinks we haven't spent enough time in Iraq

Correction: toddler with Down's syndrome. (4.00 / 1)

John McCain thinks we haven't spent enough time in Iraq

[ Parent ]
It's not just the experience... (0.00 / 0)
She was runner up to being Miss Alaska - what happened to that whole "celebrity" attack? Granted, there's absolutely nothing wrong with being a beauty queen - but after premising his campaign for the last month on Obama being just a celebrity isn't it just a bit odd for McCain to turn around a pick a beauty queen?

Absolutely nothing wrong with a beauty queen! (0.00 / 0)
Pls check my other comment...

[ Parent ]
Pls take a look at the cutie that topped Sarah Palin (0.00 / 0)

Now, what do you think? Does she look like the #1? Will she vote for the #1?

Anyone have a link (0.00 / 0)
to info about Palin's current scandal and/or history related to Alaska's political scandals?

Here's one ... (4.00 / 2)

Chris's comment about Palin being "embroiled in a nepotism scandal" isn't quite right.  Actually Palin tried to have her brother-in-law, a state trooper, fired because of a nasty divorce fight.  She allegedly ordered Alaska's public safety commissioner to fire the trooper--he refused, so she fired the commissioner.  

The investigation continues...

[ Parent ]
Thanks. (0.00 / 0)
And here's a local Alaska news clip on TPM.  Worth a look:

[ Parent ]
McCain to nation: I am bonkers! (4.00 / 2)
My first reaction: Hm. Worrisome. Maybe it will help McCain with the disaffected Clinton voters.

My second reaction: Wait, what?!? This pick is insane! Because of his age, arguably the most important thing McCain had to do in this campaign was pick a strong, ready-to-be-president running mate. So who does he choose? The mayor of Beaver Village, Alaska.

This pick is crazy. It's just crazy.  

Which makes me wonder ... (4.00 / 1)
are we really talking about a third term for Dick Cheney?

Enquiring minds want to know, will Cheney have a job in a McCain administration? Because nothing else explains how this pick is supposed to work.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
Also, why can't conservatives name children? (4.00 / 1)
This is completely stupid, but after the Tagg Romney chronicles, finding another conservative with children named Track, Willow, Piper, Bristol and Trig is sort of weird.

Al Giordano has her underware pic in Vogue (0.00 / 0)
Family values my ass


Look she's wearing glasses! (0.00 / 0)
That means she's smart. I've read enough of those magazines to know.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
This is not good (0.00 / 0)
Yes, I'm the worry wort around here, but after last night, I felt REALLY good about our chances.

We're taking on two Republicans who are famous for being popular with Democrats.

Obama just lost my mother's vote :-(  

You worry too much. Period. (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
You have a reason why (0.00 / 0)
I shouldn't?  

[ Parent ]
Most of the reasons already mentioned above (4.00 / 1)
Because people don't vote for VP. Because of the naked opportunism chasing PUMA types who we know wouldn't accept any woman other than Hillary for the Dems, so why would they accept an extreme right-wing, anti-choice Repub either? Also means Hillary will be campaigning with all guns blazing for Obama - she wants to be the one to break the "glass ceiling" and she can do that in 2016. But mainly it undermines the 'Ready to Lead' meme. At the very least as a defense to those attacks. That was all McCain had.

The official campaign response is interesting -  "Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain's commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush's failed economic policies -- that's not the change we need, it's just more of the same." I'd just ignore her. Keep the focus on McCain.

[ Parent ]
Well, on the plus side (0.00 / 0)
Bob Barr probably just got my sexist father's :)

[ Parent ]
Well I was thinking of that (0.00 / 0)
how many Republican men who are Republicans partly because they don't see women as qualified to lead the country will not vote for McCain.

Maybe it's a wash...still, we need to fight in this election. Palin sucked alot of the wind out of this week.  

[ Parent ]
Who's Afraif of Sarah Palin? (0.00 / 0)
Not I.  

A thorough analysis debunking each of McCain's likely strategies behind the Palin pick, in my new diary post, here.  

McCain (0.00 / 0)
had to roll the dice and he did.  This probably helps him a little bit in the West and hurts him with the traditional media that always want someone they know, someone more serious.  By the way, much as I think this is a poor choice on McCain's part because of her lack of experience and right-wing orthodoxy,  I think it's going to be hard for bloggers to, on the one hand, say that most of the problems in our political culture come from long-term, experienced, so-called serious people, and on the other hand say that Palin is bad because she doesn't have experience.  Just a thought.  Anyway, he was going to lose with any of the bland white guys he could have picked and he'll probably lose with Palin, but he did make it more interesting.  

Associated Press ---  I'm John McCain and I approve their articles because, well, because my staff writes them.

There's one thing I didn't count on (0.00 / 0)
Plenty of Republican men don't see women are qualified to lead the many Republican men, previously behind McCain, stay home now because they see this woman as one heartbeat away from the Presidency?

[ Parent ]
Use a lot of Hillary to counter her you say (0.00 / 0)
Well that's a two edged sword.

Sure contrasting her with Hillary makes her look totally unqualified


it reignites the anger and controversy over the fact that Barack Obama, for personal reasons,  refused to choose this most qualified, brave, brilliant women as his VP.

Choosing Palin and even attacking Palin on her obvious weaknesses can only reopen wounds that should be healing.

It maybe political...but that doesn't mean it couldn't work.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

Palin Rationale | 108 comments

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