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On Palin

Briefly, on the big story of the day.

John McCain selected Alaska governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. A historic choice but a wise one?

Assuming Palin was sufficiently vetted, selecting her was a tactically smart move on McCain’s part.  Palin has some executive experience but the real value is that choosing her  zeroed in on the papered over but yet unhealed gender fault line in the Democratic Party from Hillary’s defeat while burnishing McCain’s claim to be an advocate of change. Obama will now have to expend additional effort and time to woo independent female swing voters and entice Hillary’s embittered feminist supporters to come out to the polls. McCain has just given them an additional reason to feel good about staying home this year.

Strategically, well…Palin’s not ready to step up and be president of the United States on day one. Let’s be serious – she’d make a great Secretary of the Interior but the fact that she lacks any defense, IC or foreign policy experience would rule her out for consideration for most major cabinet posts in the national security arena, much less as Vice-president.

However, the same could easily be said of Barack Obama and that implicit comparison is going to be evident to a lot of independent voters.

ADDENDUM: I will add here the views of others on McCain-Palin as my schedule today permits.

Wizards of Oz    Lexington Green   Glittering Eye  Daily Dish   Pajamasmedia   Newshoggers 

 Outside the Beltway   NRO The Corner   Josh Marshall   Purpleslog   Hidden Unities   Progressive Historians

Fabius Maximus   Thomas P.M. Barnett   Sic Semper Tyrannis   tdaxp   Soob  

13 Responses to “On Palin”

  1. eddie Says:

    I respect her personally (the media would be criminally negligent not to tell the story of her not having the abortion of her child with Down’s Syndrome) and would love to see her operate in domestic policy with the Congress. She racked up some impressive victories in the governor’s mansion in a very short time and showed real political acumen (especially with the windfall profits tax on oil companies) exploiting popular anger to her advantage without losing her cool or her position.

    That she has absolutely zero FP experience serves to undercut McCain’s argument against Obama. What this means is that McCain is going to have to shift his criticism of Obama and move in a more positive direction emphasizing change and reform. Will this work or will swing voters respond more to the Democrats focus on the economy and Obama’s tax cut?

  2. Michael Says:

    How many times has Dubya handed over the reins to Cheney while he goes in for some minor medical treatments?  With Palin as Vice President, there may be an historic moment coming in the near future, even if it’s only temporary.


  3. Lexington Green Says:

    Palin is bait to get Obama to talk about how she has no experience.

    On foreign policy, defense, etc.  the two are equal at zero.   And he is running for Commander in Chief, she is not.

    On executive experience, she has been governor for two years.   That is two years more than Obama.

    Let him try it.  The McCain ads in response will be great.

  4. Dave Schuler Says:

    Lex is on the right track.  The McCain campaign will double down on executive experience.  The military trains leaders, you know, it doesn’t just hope for them to come along.

  5. eddie Says:

    The personal factor is going to wow some voters in key states (as Lex makes clear in his post) as well because of her story, speaking style and background. She comes across as the embodiment of the ideal American daughter grown up to maturity of the 21st Century; a highly successful, intelligent and genuinely happy woman.  That she is a real maverick (unlike McCain) on domestic policy is appealing as well. She could wreak some real havoc with a Democratic Congress and get a lot more for McCain’s domestic agenda than otherwise.  Or she could be absolutely over her head in the VP debates and (if McCain is elected anyway, as is likely) flame out. Hopefully not. We need an effective VP regardless of who wins.

  6. Its Palin! [Updates] « PurpleSlog Says:

    […] Zenpundit points out she is weak on National Security. Yep. McCain has that covered. She covers his weakness: Business, […]

  7. purpleslog Says:

    She covers his weakness: Business, Entrepreneurship, and Executive Leadership. I suspect she’ll learn from McCain and will have her own National Security Advisor (.i.e. Tutor).

    She has as much NatSec experience as Obama.

    Personally, I think Biden is way overrated on NatSec. I hve never thought much of him.

  8. CurtisGale Weeks Says:

    And then there is the ongoing ethics investigation against her.

    What commenters above have failed to point out:  "Governor Palin, you are no Hillary Clinton."  I.e., the real risk for McCain is that his choice will seem like a political ploy, a gimmick, and Palin a token female.

    Seriously, of all the times die-hard Republican pundits have typed with glee and not a little drool about Obama’s lack of experience … it is almost Twilight Zone to see how Palin’s even greater lack gets whitewashed and even celebrated.

  9. McCain believes we are stupid. Is he correct? « Fabius Maximus Says:

    […] more on McCain’s pick, see Zenpundit — who has collected many links on the […]

  10. Arherring Says:

    Curtis! Glad to see you back in play!
    Actually looking at a lot of the likely permutations (and stipulating that she offsets McCain’s weaknesses of age and gender, but has issues of her own) I think the Palin pick was defined by the Biden pick. Tactically I think it is pretty shrewd. Strategically I think it was inspired. If McCain had selected Pawlenty or Romney, he wouldn’t have been able to offset the Obama bounce from the convention (and his own from the Republican convention would have been nonexistent). Additionally, they would be ‘safe’ picks (with issues of their own that are open targets) that I think go against McCain’s character as a maverick. In Palin, McCain has a young counterpart who has the position to appeal not only to the base but to swing voters and women voters (Heck, Ferraro seemed pretty impressed). Her inexperience is offset by Obama’s and McCain can argue that is why he is going to be the president with the Sec Tres Sec State and Sec Def handle domestic and foreign policy while she manages the Legislature (Isn’t it supposed to work that way?).  Obama can’t argue about ‘on the job training’ she has more executive experience than he does (though admittedly not much). As for Biden, the attack dog is virtually muzzled. There is not much about her he can attack that isn’t politically off limits, a minefield, or represented on his side of the ballot and subject to reciprocity. Enough damage was done by the Democrates to themselves in the scramble following the announcement to fuel weeks of campaign ads. Add to that she isn’t exactly a pushover herself (she did unseat an incubent Republican governor with only mayoral credentials) and the Obama organization potentially is hobbled if not hamstrung. McCain needed to harness the power of change and excitement to stay in the race and this was the best and only way he could have done it.
    Who will win? The race is still (and always was) about the top of the ticket, but I don’t think McCain was hurt by this pick and may have saved his campaign by negating an Obama rally and setting up for one of his own. If Obama is smart he will ignore the pick for now, arrange to grab headlines after the Republican convention, and position to capitalize on any McCain ticket mistakes.
    On a side note (since this doesn’t fit under the warfare banner at D5GW). Looking down the road. If McCain does manage a win and either fails to finish his term or declines to run for re-election after one fairly popular term. Palin could likely be the Republican standard carrier. Who then would be her Democratic opponent?
    Did that blow the top of your head off?

  11. tdaxp » Blog Archive » Hillary Clinton Proud of Palin Says:

    […] so it’s not surprising that she’s not simply parroting his party line on Sarah Palin, McCain’s pick for Vice President: (CNN) – Hillary Clinton praised the historic nature of John McCain’s vice presidential […]

  12. Alaska is near Russia, and Gov Palin’s other foreign policy experience « Fabius Maximus Says:

    […] Zenpundit — who has collected many links on the topic!  […]

  13. It’s is not just McCain who believes we’re dumb - it’s a crowd « Fabius Maximus Says:

    […] Zenpundit — who has collected many links on the topic!  […]

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