Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin: A Smart, Strategic Pick for McCain

I think Palin is a brilliant move on McCain's part. He didn't have a lot of attractive choices. People hate Romney, and don't care about Pawlenty, Crist, et al.

Palin shores up his standing with evangelicals and the hardcore base, and allows him to break far more openly with Bush (McCain had been forced to run to the right because he was so disliked by the right wing of the GOP).

It also "junks" up the discussion of change, and brings him far more publicity than any other potential pick, even Lieberman.

True, it renders it difficult to attack Obama for inexperience, but that line of attack wasn't working anyways.

I think the Palin pick increases McCain's chances. Now he has to follow up by taking advantage of the shift in circumstances.

7 comments:

paul said...

Chris, it's been a while since we've agreed - but I knew the day would come when we once again saw eye to eye. lol. I agree completely. What she does for a conservative like me, who was going to close my eyes, hold my nose, and try to think about better things while pulling the lever for McCain is, actually make me want to pull the lever for McCain and then hope he steps down in a couple years.

Smart, Smart move on his part.

Chris said...

I've seen a number of liberal bloggers who claim that Palin is a lightweight, and won't hold up to scrutiny.

Those bloggers are engaged in wishful thinking.

Palin is a highly effective politician and speaker whose personal story resonates nearly as strongly as Obama's. And God help you if you try to attack a woman for being pro-life when she had the courage to back up her convictions by raising a child with Down's Syndrome.

Antoine Clarke said...

I don't have a vote and I don't know Palin. She seems to be in the Libertarian Party's good books which may help prevent Bob Barr doing a Nader 2000 on McCain.

My ideal template would have had someone like her, but an ethnic Latino who could go and campaign in New Mexico and Colorado. The GOP doesn't have one, so Palin will have to do.

On Town Hall just now the poll showed 87% "great pick," which implies it has generated some buzz.

How will people react if liberal idiots start making vile sexist attacks on Gov Palin? Because I bet at least one commenter on Daily Kos comes out and say she should be killed/raped/burnt as a witch. I think Sen Biden will need to take a leaf from Nicolas Sarkozy's book, when he debated Segolene Royal last year in the French election. Sarko managed to keep cool and not appear patronising and Sego lost her rag. Except I doubt Palin is as poor a candidate as Royal was.

Retired Syd said...

Ok, so let me get this straight. We want to attract those "disenfranchised Hillary voters" so we pick a totally inexperienced, anti-choice conservative. And then we're supposed to get comfortable that she could be the VERY NEXT president in a mere 67 days--and we've never heard of her before.

Oh yeah, but she's a WOMAN. Ok, now I'm sold.

Chris said...

Syd,

I agree with the consensus that the Palin pick panders to women, and that she's not experienced enough to be a serious presidential candidate. But she is an eminently likeable politician with a life story that rival's Obama's.

Given McCain's situation and weaknesses, this is probably the best pick he could make. And though I doubt that she'll make a difference with women voters, she does shore up McCain's standing among social conservatives, who adore her.

RetiredSyd said...

Maybe. But the way I see it, the anti-choice conservatives have only one way to cast their vote anyway. The pro-choice liberals have only the opposite. It's the swing voter each camp is after, and the current big chunk of those are ex-Hillary supporters.

If he picked someone (perhaps a woman) with a strong business background, shoring up his weakness on the ignorant-on-the-economy situation, like Carly Fiorina or Meg Whitman, he might have had a better chance at that particular swing group.

Were social conservatives really not going to vote for McCain before this pick?

Chris said...

Syd,

The key is turnout. Social conservatives despise McCain. Some went so far as to threaten to vote for Hillary if he got the Republican nomination.

Now that was never going to happen, and there's no way that any social conservatives will vote Obama. But they might be disgusted enough to stay home on election day, and McCain can't afford that.

If McCain picked a pro-choice VP like Lieberman (his apparent preference) or Ridge, the base would revolt. At the very least, he wouldn't get enthusiastic volunteers working to turn out the vote.

If McCain thinks Palin will attract Hillary supporters, he really is as stupid as the liberal bloggers claim. But I do think that Schmidt et al think it will muddy the waters. At this point, they know that Obama has a major advantage, and they have to "junk" things up as much as possible and hope for the best.