Thursday, September 04, 2008

McCain's Veep Pick

No catchy title here, but since I was traveling and out of town over the weekend when McCain announced that Sarah Palin was his Vice Presidential running mate.  First of all, I was shocked.  I couldn't believe that he would choose someone with as little experience when he'd been pounding experience on Obama for months.  At first glance, I saw a pick that was designed to try to exploit the Hillary/Obama gap and little else. 
Now that the dust has settled a bit, I see her as a pick that aims to do something else entirely.  She isn't here to get independents or women necessarily...she's a pick who's there to mollify the conservative base.  That's been one of McCain's consistent problems this entire election cycle - the right doesn't trust him.  Sure, he's saying the right things, but we all know that talk is cheap.  He's been around Washington too long and done too much for people to say "this new McCain is Bush lite."  It's one reason why I think Obama's lines about how a McCain presidency is a 3rd Bush term is ridiculous.  Everybody knows John McCain and he's no George Bush.  At any rate, Sarah Palin is an unknown with solid conservative credentials and a rock solid conservative record.  She has the reformer/crusader credentials for McCain but the social credentials for the base. I think the moment that I decided McCain made this move for his base was when Glenn Beck said that this was the pick that would get him to pull the lever for McCain.  He might get some women voters, but he's solidified his voters which allows him to tack to the center for the remainder of the election.
One other advantage of Palin: she can beat the crap out of Obama and Biden and if they hit back, they'll look like schmucks.  This wasn't the case with Hillary, but with Palin you can't hit her hard.  You can stomp on McCain's face and it's all politics, but the minute you pull out something like the word shrill (what Harry Reid called her speech last night), you've got every single woman in the media running to her defense, despite the fact that she just eviscerated them too.  That's a powerful defense, even if it's ridiculous.
Can I also say that I really like McCain's campaign slogan ("Country First")?  I think that McCain has personified this (even if he's wrong at times) and I love seeing someone who cares more about the country than their political career.  Not that just because he has this slogan it makes it so, but I think that that's absolutely how he feels.


themickel said...

I agree. Though I'm pulling for Obama I wouldn't be disappointed getting McCain. Provided, of course, that it's the real McCain and not the bumbling, watered down tool that's been rambling around the country lately.

I still think Palin was a complete gimmick pick though.

Rob said...

I think the surprise pick has really shifted national attention to the McCain campaign because everyone is interested in her. I thought she did a good job last night. Lot's of great zingers if you're a conservative.

Sorro said...

Palin was gimmicky, but I think for reasons other than I first thought. That doesn't mean she's not a good pick though. It did take the wind out of Obama's sails, it solidified the base, and it gave him a "minority" Veep. The more I look at the pick, the less downside I see from a political perspective. I still would have loved Lieberman.

Smash said...

It seems to have given more "wind" to Obama's sails, if you ask me (I realize that you didn't). And, she WAS shrill.

Sorro said...

I think it's given Obama more of a headwind - her speech had a big impact in the Rasmussen & Gallup running polls already. It doesn't mean that he won't end up winning (I still believe that even though I'd love to see McCain win that Obama's the unquestioned favorite), but it's a new challenge for him.
She was pretty shrill...the contrast between her speech and McCain's was amazing.