Saturday, August 30, 2008

One of my friends asked me yesterday if I planned to blog on the Sarah Palin selection.

I said I wouldn't since I didn't know enough about her to write with much substance.

My friend said I should write what I think, in terms of my "initial" reaction.

Here it is:

Sen. John McCain is facing an uphill battle. Not only does he face a popular opponent, but he runs with the party of an unpopular president. He's also older and not as exciting as Barack Obama. The network news are all slanted against him. The late night talk show hosts are afraid to even make fun of his opponent.

The polls indicate people don't like the direction the country is heading. After what was termed by virtually everyone as a successful convention, McCain is trailing Obama by as much as eight points in some polls.

Frankly, McCain could not afford to play it safe. Most seem to think McCain chose Palin so that he can appeal to Hillary Clinton's supporters.

While having a woman on the ticket may not hurt, it probably won't help either. Supporters of Hillary Clinton didn't vote for her just because she was a woman; they did so because they agreed with her ideals, which are quite different than Palin's.

This choice was about shoring up the socially conservative wing of the party. It seems to be working in that regard.

As for me, I'm glad McCain picked someone that made some people angry. CNN's Jack Cafferty said was appalled at the pick, which only means he loves it because he can do his favorite thing -- complain.

(Sidebar: How can Wolf Blitzer call CNN's panelists of Jack Cafferty, Paul Begala and James Carville "the best political team in television?" If by "best" he means liberal and hate-filled, I agree. Then again, Carville's not as bad as the others. And MSNBC will always have the corner on liberal anger as long as Keith Olbermann's around.)

But if McCain was looking for congratulations from the mainstream media for picking a woman, well, no dice. That only works for Democrats. A Republican who picks a woman or minority for a major position is pandering.

But the bottom line for me is I want McCain to win. I didn't think picking a run-of -the-mill Republican who has been in the senate for 20 years would help him do that. If he had, the networks would be calling the pick uninspiring.

Republican VPs in my lifetime have always been uninspiring. George Bush, Dan Quayle, Jack Kemp and Dick Cheney all, in one way or another, reinforced the stereotype about the GOP.

One of Obama's biggest strengths is that he can play himself off as different because he's young and doesn't have much of a track record.

Palin helps McCain fight off those stereotypes. The party isn't just for rich old guys, and it's nice to see that represented.

So, I like the pick, at least at first glance.



At 12:50 PM , Blogger Vince said...

I certainly didn't find Jack Kemp uninspiring. Actually, after hearing him speak at Paul Gillmor's Lincoln Day Dinner at BGSU in 1997, I really thought he was going to be the next president.


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