Friday, August 29, 2008


McCain finally announced his pick for Vice-President, Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska. This is an interesting pick, full of pluses and minuses.

One big plus, she was such an unexpected choice that she knocked talk of Obama's big speech out of the news cycle. With a holiday weekend coming up, his speech will be old news by Tuesday. This will minimize any bump Obama got from the convention. (Rasmussen shows a bump that is so small it is within the margin of error*).

A second big plus, she's not any of the other Republican candidates. I'm sick of those guys and I suspect that the rest of the country is, also. None of them had any wide support of McCain couldn't have wrapped up the nomination so fast.

A minus, she only has two years experience as governor and that is in a small state. On the other hand, she is still the only person on the ticket with any experience as an elected executive. If Obama is qualified to be president with four years in the Senate then she is qualified to be Vice-President with two years in the state-house. Hopefully the Republicans will use this argument against Obama.

She won the governor's race after a high-profile stint on an ethics board. The public is convinced that both parties are corrupt so this helps, especially against Obama's attempts to link McCain and lobbyists.

Her husband is a Yup'ik Eskimo. That means that her family is as exotic as Obama's (although she isn't as exotic personally). Between this and McCain's adopted daughter and Howard Dean should be forced to eat his words about the "white party".

She's in the NRA. Her husband hunts. Obama has already lost the gun-owner vote but this clinches it.

She is against declaring polar bears endangered. That puts her on the right side of the global warming debate.

She adds a lot of vitality to the ticket, just as Biden drains some of the vitality away from the Obama ticket.

Among Republicans there is a strong feeling that McCain should be a one-term president because of his age. This introduces a new face who could potentially be the candidate in 2012 (probably against Hillary!).

* Speaking of Rasmussen, the latest set of state polls show terrible news for Obama. While he is still slightly ahead in the Electoral College, all ten of the states polls showed a shift for McCain. In some cases this was a shift from "solidly Democrat" to "leaning Democrat". If this trend continues then McCain will win in a landslide. We will not really know until next week when the race starts in earnest. Traditionally people are more willing to go for a new face in early Summer but they get serious about their choices in September.

No comments: