08.29.08 McCain’s VP: I Was Right!

I wasn’t literally right, of course, when I wrote last month that McCain would pick a neophyte, ultraconservative governor as a Hail Mary pass to change the central narrative of the campaign.  I was wrong about Bobby Jindal getting picked in order to get a person of color on the ticket.  Instead, McCain picked the much more obscure, much more religious Sarah Palin in order to get a woman on the ticket.

Sarah Palin?  Is he serious?

Two years ago, this Alaskan was part-time mayor of a village of 6,700.  As the Alaska GOP is melting down amidst corruption charges, she is under investigation for improper meddling in a case involving a family member.  She advocates teaching creationism in public schools.

Even Geraldine Ferraro was more qualified to be a heartbeat away from the White House than Palin is! According to CNN, the last VP pick with less than two years experience in a statewide office was Spriro Agnew.  What a fine pedigree.

So, here is McCain’s cynical ploy to win over hysterically disaffected Hillary voters, all 150 of them coast-to-coast.  (How about the media’s overplaying that “movement” during the Democratic convention?!)

How many pro-choice women do you know who are going to vote for McCain because he’s put a female anti-choice, pro-creationist on the ticket?

Of course, this takes the experience off the table as an argument for the GOP this fall.  And it exposes McCain to charges of utter irresponsibility.  It makes him look small and petty, perhaps shoring up the rabid religionists in his base a bit, while doing nothing to bring in the Wall Streeters or the neocons.

I can’t wait to see Biden gently showing Palin where Abkhazia is on a map.

Count me absolutely delighted.

©2008 Keith Berner

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10 Comments on “08.29.08 McCain’s VP: I Was Right!”

  1. Leon Morse Says:

    Biden better be careful in a debate. No doubt any trouncing would be spun to make him look cruel and try to win her sympathy.


  2. Keith Berner Says:

    You’re right, of course. We saw that play out in the primaries: when Obama and Edwards went after Clinton in her role as the front-runner, her campaign (with help from the always helpful media) spun it as sexism. The irony, of course, is that expecting that a political opponent ought to be treated with kid gloves because she is a she, is the heigh of sexism. Biden will have to be genteel, without pulling out any chairs for Palin, and simply overwhelm her with knowledge. It will be a difficult line to tread.


  3. kenf Says:

    Just remember, Nixon and Agnew won. As did Bush the first and Quale.


  4. VA Mark Says:

    I would not be so quick to dismiss Palin, if we are looking at how voters receive this. A few points:

    1. You are projecting on to voters a rational selection process when they enter that voting booth. The presidency is more about emotion and gut feelings about whether you want this person to lead. That leads to…;
    2. VP picks don’t matter in elections. It gives a buzz for a week or two (positive or negative) then people forget about the pick until the VP debate. Another week of buzz, then they forget again, which leads to….
    3. Unless they are, as the old saying goes (changed for gender correctness in this case), caught in bed with a live girl or dead boy. Or in more seriousness, unless they screw up. Not so sure she will and not sure this scandal in Alaska plays out against her no matter what.

    That said, it was a pick of panderiffic proportions. The man only met her once – can you believe that? It was cold, calculating politics – hail mary politics, but cynical to the core. So if that is the definition of maverick, I guess he still is a maverick. He fired up the base with a creationist, anti-abortion, right wing christian and tries to woo some Hilary voters. He can have all 500 PUMA votes for all I care I have to trust other moderate and liberal women not to be swayed by a woman whose policies stand in opposition to everything they believe in. And the “babe factor” in the end will not win over those blue collar men in Appalachia.


  5. Keith Berner Says:

    Good points, VA Mark. If Geraldine Quayle (as some are calling her) makes no significant gaffes on on TV and Troopergate stays below the radar, she might end up having little impact. And, you’re right, US voters are far from rational.


  6. VA Mark Says:

    But having slept on this I am more and more annoyed. It is an insult to voters by McCain. She is not qualified to be President – PERIOD. It was pure politics and shows a Bush-like disdain for actual competence, which worries me. I am sure she is a fine governor (not speaking of my views of her policies) but she lacks almost any preparation to take the reigns of the world’s leading power. Quayle was substantially more qualified, Ferraro probably not much more (but who really though Mondale would win – even he didn’t!). I cannot otherwise think of a comparison as the others in both parties through the years were so much more qualified.

    That said, American voters are not rational. Let’s see.

    On the bright side, at least it is not an Admiral Stockdale pick…


  7. kenf Says:

    For what its worth:

    Sarah Palin was my mayor

    “Today, under Sarah Palin’s leadership, Wasilla has become the picture of
    exurban sprawl: an explosion in the housing stock, tons of new highway
    expansion, tons of new big box stores and fast food franchises, and
    absolutely 0 sustainability. Combined with a lack of zoning, and a
    predilection for building open-pit gravel mines all over the place, and
    Wasilla could be the poster-town for bad municipal leadership.”

    Live on the ground in Wasilla, Alaska (includes many photos)

    “During Mrs. Palin’s time on the City Council and as Mayor, most of the
    chain retailers went into the area. When I was living in Anchorage in the
    80’s and early 90’s, we’d drive through Wasilla all the time, and there were
    no big-box stores then besides the Fred Meyers and Carrs (which, at that
    point, hadn’t been bought by Safeway yet). One angle worth pursuing is that
    her only legacy here, and the most visible change, is the construction of
    all of these stores and the loss of identity that has caused.”

    Sarah Palin and Wasilla Sports Complex land deal

    “Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002. Her record during that
    time can tell us a lot about her. The biggest deal during her tenure is
    perhaps the construction of the sports complex that was built on someone
    else’s land. … The biggest problem, however, was the process of how the
    land was acquired [by eminent domain] … ultimately costing the city an
    extra $1.7 million in settlement and court costs for a piece of land that
    would have cost only $125k if they had handled it right from the beginning
    in 1998.”


  8. tgibson24 Says:

    She is not qualified to be president. This takes away the one point McCain could argue again and again. She will rally the base but so could have a few others. She will not bring a lot of women but the Obama campaign needs to work to show her record to make sure that does not happen. They obviously need to be careful though about attacking a woman. Hillary needs to come out and do that more….then it is ok. Easy too: I know my supporters and you are not someone who champions their cause etc.

    Troopergate will come out a bit. As will other parts of her record which is not that well liked in AK actually….

    I was worried about Pawlenty. I wanted it to be Romney. Now that it is Palin I needed some alone time I was soon happy.


  9. […] 08.31.08 Dan Quayle in a Dress Thanks to my readers for making this the most popular topic since the launch of Left-Hand View in early July.  Much of the feedback I have gotten is in the form of comments left on Friday’s post.  Take a look! […]


  10. Ann Dorough Says:

    Makes me wince to buck up Dan Quayle, but he had significantly more government leadership experience than Palin when he was named to the Bush I ticket.

    McCain has gravely insulted the intelligence of all women voters by seeking to corral disaffected Hillary supporters into Palin’s camp. He deserves to be pilloried for this latest evidence of a reckless, impulsive streak that make him unfit to lead.


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