Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 29, 2008

REEKING OF DESPERATION.... Following up on the last item, I can appreciate the McCain campaign's perspective on picking Sarah Palin. She's young (the exact same age as Dan Quayle when he was tapped for the Republican ticket), she's virulently opposed to abortion rights (which helps McCain with his party's far-right base), and she's unexpected. Plus, I guess we can say Alaska is no longer in play this year.

But in trying to wrap my head around this, the same word keeps coming to mind: gimmick. Under the circumstances, this choice has literally nothing to do with governing and everything to do with a desperate search for an electoral edge. McCain used to bill himself as the credible, serious grown-up candidate. That's an exceedingly difficult pitch to make now. When looking for a running mate, Barack Obama looked to someone who could help make him a better president. When looking for a running mate, John McCain looked to someone who could help him look like a better candidate.

Indeed, today's announcement seems to be largely based on two considerations: 1) who might help peel off some disaffected Clinton supporters; and 2) what might help undercut coverage of Obama's big speech in Denver. These aren't the considerations of a national leader; they're the considerations of a political hack.

Consider this item from Power Line, a conservative blog, written before the reports had been confirmed.

I'm worried about Palin. I'm afraid she may be the Geraldine Ferraro of 2008. If she really is the nominee, will it come across as a desperation move, a Hail Mary, as Mondale's choice of Ferraro did in 1984? I'm afraid so. Her experience just doesn't justify a place on the ticket. [...]

The most important thing McCain has going for him in this race is the perception that he is the serious candidate. Choosing a running mate who will be widely perceived as unqualified would go a long way toward squandering that advantage.

McCain had a vast group of Republicans to choose from, and he picked someone he barely knows, who's been a governor for a year and a half.

I'm very much looking forward to Ron Fournier's piece, explaining how this shows just how little confidence John McCain has in his own campaign.

Steve Benen 11:57 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (115)

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Comments

I can't remembber the details now but there was some recent flap in Alaska about the Governor and misue of power over some family matter. Does anyone remember this?

Posted by: wonkie on August 29, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

This will give the msm a chance to prove they're not sexist, now that it's a Republican woman they're covering. And they'll bend over backward doing that which may frustrate McCain who is used to them bending over forward.

Dale

Posted by: Dale on August 29, 2008 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

I want to see all the pundits spin this one. I wouldn't even know how to handle it, honestly. I had barely even heard of her until recently, because seriously, the only thing that makes big news out of Alaska these days is "Deadliest Catch" on Discovery Channel. It's almost like most Americans who live in the south and on the east coast don't even care what goes on up there because it's just another world to them. That's why stuff about Ted Stevens, Palin, and all of the other corrupt pols rarely or never get any play in those areas.

Posted by: Ben on August 29, 2008 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

While she may be the 'obvious' choice, I was holding out for Phyllis Schafly.

Posted by: SadOldVet on August 29, 2008 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

The media is already buying this hook, line, and sinker.

I don't want her running the country. Period.

Posted by: Nashville_fan on August 29, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Re: “Gimmick”

Steve, Palin is a Governor, which means that she is the Chief Executive of a state. This is different than being a Senator. It means you make decisions and are held accountable for them. Ask Deval Patrick about how easy it is to be a new Governor. Palin’s approval rating is through the roof.

I am an unapologetic sexist, but believe that Palin is more qualified than either of the other three names on the ballot to be President. Obama talks of taking away rifles. Palin is filmed shooting them.

Good move McCain. Very impressive.

Posted by: Brick Oven Bill on August 29, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

WTF?!? Seriously, WTF?!?

Posted by: RollaMO on August 29, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, in a curious move, the Times has quietly pulled down a piece you linked to ("conceded" in your previous post; it now redirects elsewhere). I'm guessing those bewildered McCain advisers regret going off message and the Times is backing down at their request (the new post makes the same point in a more anodyne way and, most importantly, without attributing it to the McCain campaign). You can still find the original via Google.

Posted by: Crust on August 29, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Still waiting for someone to list Sarah Palin's accomplishments . . .

Posted by: Nashville_fan on August 29, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Obama talks of taking away rifles.

He *talks* about taking away AK-47s you ignorant slut.

Posted by: on August 29, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

There you go again thinking that the Republicans have any interest in actually governing, or caring if they're competent at it.

It's about winning.

Posted by: NewMexiKen on August 29, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

I can't remembber the details now but there was some recent flap in Alaska about the Governor and misue of power over some family matter. Does anyone remember this?

She fired the state commissioner of public safety. Apparently, she wanted him to fire her former brother-in-law after he divorced her sister, but the commissioner refused.

The media is excusing this -- saying that the guy was abusive and had even tasered his son -- but I don't that argument. If there was a reason to fire him for cause, so be it. If he'd really been abusive to the sister or nephew, lock him up and have him lose the job that way.

Instead, this seems like a personal vendetta and an abuse of power. There's a reason the Republican legislature just OK'ed a $100,000 investigation into all of it.

Posted by: TR on August 29, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Great, a governor with 1 years experience who wants "Intelligent Design" taught in schools and is extremely anti choice is chosen to help swing unhappy Hillary voters McCain's way.

Unless Hillary voters only need in a candidate is ovaires I don't think it will work.

Also, as an Alaskan, let me say our politics are not like the politicks of the lower 48. In the coming weeks you'll probably find out about that, if the press does it's work.

Posted by: nisl on August 29, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

damn. i was holding out for carly.

Posted by: mellowjohn on August 29, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like Palin's newest kid isn't the only retard in the McCain camp.

That's so fucking far over the line, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

There's plenty to attack here without insulting a five-month-old baby with Down's Syndrome.

Posted by: TR on August 29, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

McCain either hit a homerun here or he just lost the election. Palin looks like a good move on paper, but she's a complete unknown. She could end up hurting McCain if she's not ready for primetime. I really don't know what to think yet.

Posted by: g. powell on August 29, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Still waiting for someone to list Sarah Palin's accomplishments . . .

Sounds like she managed to get that guy fired who wouldn't fire her ex-brother-in-law. Does that count?

Posted by: Crust on August 29, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, the choice of Palin is about winning only. And desperate. It just fuels the speculation that neither of these persons would be in charge if elected.

Posted by: beep52 on August 29, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Interestingly enough, many of Powerline's commenters disagree strongly with the downbeat post. Phrases like "stroke of genius" and "outstanding strategic choice" can be found. Okay. . .

Posted by: RSA on August 29, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

McPain ????

Posted by: David S on August 29, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Obama must not know that ‘criminals’, under existing law, cannot own a .22, let alone an AK-47.

Yours in ignorant sluthood;

Posted by: Brick Oven Bill on August 29, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

"Looks like Palin's newest kid isn't the only retard in the McCain camp."--TheSpiceMustFlow

You need to take that somewhere else. I wouldn't be surprised if you are a Repug on here trying to make the site look bad. That quote shows no class at all asshole.

Posted by: Ben on August 29, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Funny. I wrote the exact same blog post about an hour ago, with the word gimmick and everything.

And this isn't really that historic, as Geraldine Ferraro was a major party VP candidate in 1984. The first non-white dude Republican national candidate for anything, sure, but I don't buy that women will flock to McCain now.

Posted by: Lev on August 29, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Like I said, leave Palin's kids out of it.

It's tacky and it's a distraction.

Not to mention it opens the "sympathy" door.

Posted by: Nashville_fan on August 29, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Seems pretty clear that, if this is a gimmick, it's worked. Look at the last 3 posts here. They've been stories on the GOP, and 2 have been on Palin. It's deflected attention away from the convention, even here.

Posted by: Diogenes on August 29, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe there's something about working at TWM that gives people such insights. Look at what Kevin Drum said:

As I was driving home from Panera (power is back on! yay!), I was thinking about this Sarah Palin thing. And what I was thinking about was what a bizarrely contrived and calculated choice it is. I mean, aside from six years as mayor of Wasilla (pop. 6,715) — about which I'm sure we'll be hearing much, much more — her political experience consists of 19 months as governor of the fourth smallest state in the union. That's it.

But she's a woman! And pro-life! And opposed to corruption! And maybe all those disaffected Hillary supporters will vote for her! And she won't upstage the old man!

It's hard to think of a more intensely cynical, focus-grouped, poll-driven, base-pandering VP choice in recent memory. Even Dan Quayle isn't in the running. This is ridiculous.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2008/08/more_sarah.html

Posted by: Brian on August 29, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

She's young, was a beauty queen.

McCain chose a running mate based on winning Sturgis?

Posted by: amy on August 29, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

No one thinks less of the McCain crowd than I do, but could we leave the word "retard" out of this?
Thanks.

Posted by: Special Needs Mom on August 29, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, Palin is a Governor, which means that she is the Chief Executive of a state.

Dude, she's been governor for less than a year. She was mayor of a village before that.

That's paltry executive experience. There's just not much meat there at all.

Posted by: NonyNony on August 29, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

More and more I see McCain as an out of control egotist and his VP choice confirms this pet theory. That chick is purely and simply, eye candy.

She is McCain's flyboy ego gone crazy. McCain advisor's confirm as much with their head scratching and Geraldine references.

But the bottom line for VP, can they be president? Biden=yes, Palin=????

Posted by: The fake fake al on August 29, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

This pick of Sarah Palin is “Shark Bate”. So, what do I mean about that. The most obvious is this whole experience thing and being untested as a commander and chief is just blown out the window. The Republican’s are showing that they are in political free fall. Worse, here, there is a huge corruption door that likely can be opened when found and will produce a severe back draft could likely envelop the Neo-Con’s into a lost position and put them all squarely as the center of corruption, and abuse.

For me, the whole balance in defense of this Republican pick is placed on the Mainstream Media and the legions of men and women Journalist, like Andre Mitchell that will line up in defense of this Sarah Palin choice and push it 24X7. Karol Rove has opened up the political war by using the last resort of the Mainstream Media that is embedded and complicit with the Bush machine.

The whole thing is so shallow and ass backwards that Sarah Palin if asked a question like “What do you think about the Iraq war and the international terror problem the world has” ? or, Moreover, “ What is Alaska doing about it” ? Will send horrible ripples through the American electorate.

The whole scenario is definitively has a door that when opened will create so much back draft the whole Neo-Con party is exposed for how they really govern. This Republcan Party has now exposed themselves with what they call a maverick, a soccer segregate, or more likely a real definition of an empty dress and real leggy.

So, it's who Goosed the Moose by McCain and Palin.

Or, is it Paladen, have gun will travel.


Posted by: Megalomania on August 29, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

You're right, that's likely a Republican troll.

Steve, that IP address needs to be banned. Forever.

Posted by: TR on August 29, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's always willing to choose a pretty younger woman to aid his career. Look out, Cindy!

Posted by: RollaMO on August 29, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

My office mates,both Dems, believe it is a brilliant move.

If Dem's attack her experience, the repubs will reply with talk of Obama's relative lack of experience.

They also believe the beauty queen with guns photos will play well with the NASCAR crowd.

Posted by: racersave on August 29, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

I like the gimmick line but Mark Kleiman has an even better approach.

It's an insult to all of the Republican women who have earned a shot. Why not Kaye Bailey Hutchinson? Why not Christine Todd Whitman?

It is wonderful for our country that Republicans have chosen to put a woman on the ticket, but why this woman when so very many women deserved it more?

Posted by: sven on August 29, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Seems pretty clear that, if this is a gimmick, it's worked. -Diogenes

The only thing we like more than good news about Democrats is bad news about Republicans.

I don't think McCain could have made a worse pick. Lieberman wouldn't have been as bad as this.

The main problem with this pick is that it knocks the legs out from under McCain's experience argument and highlights his age. He was too old before; now he's that much older because she is that inexperienced.

Posted by: doubtful on August 29, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin will be trumpeted as haveing "stood up to big oil" because she didn't go along with their proposals for the state's gas line project. Her previous political experience is as mayor of Wasilla, a town of about six thousand people. But, hey, she's young, photogenic and she ran as a reform candidate, unseating the deeply unpopular Frank Murkowski. Governor Palin is the lipstick on the pig that is the McCain campaign.

Posted by: AK Liberal on August 29, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Once Obama picked the safe choice (Biden, older white guy with experience), I figured McCain could do well if he went with a woman VP. I didn't think he'd do it, but I thought it would be his best bet. Palin will come across pretty well, and her choice unfortunately undercuts the change argument on Obama's side (although it makes McCain's "inexperienced" charges look a bit silly too). Choosing her also supports McCain's "maverick" image. So we now have change, with a safe choice as second chair, on the Democratic side versus a perceived safe choice backed up by candidate who will be taken to represent progress for women (and thus "change") on the Republican side. McCain's not safe, nor a maverick, and Palin appears to be a mainstream Republican, but that may well be the electorate's perception anyway. Indeed, Obama might look like an "unsafe change" candidate to many, while a Republican woman (particularly when not heading the ticket) might well be assumed by voters to be a "safer change". My guess is this combination will look attractive to many, and especially the "give me any excuse to avoid voting for a black guy" people in Hillary's base will find this all the excuse they need to jump ship to McCain. So I think we've got our work cut out for us. However, the fact that the Democratic convention went very well and that most Dems finally seem unified and excited and are on the right side of so many issues will help a lot, I hope.

Posted by: N.Wells on August 29, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

criminals’, under existing law, cannot own a .22, let alone an AK-47.

Criminals are criminals because they don't give a flying fuck about existing laws, twit.

Posted by: blitheringidiot on August 29, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Stunt casting.

Posted by: Taritac on August 29, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Well, last time McInsane wanted to jumpstart his career he went looking for a former beauty queen. The prior one's getting pretty pinched and wrinkly, so I guess he decided to upgrade.

Serious, this nomination is the equivalent of Bush 41's nomination of Clarence Thomas. You want a black? OK, take this one, a**holes! You want a woman? Take this one, she's got no qualifications, but she looks good!

BTW, if she opposes abortion, why did she have pre natal genetic testing? Isn't that the kind of frivolous medical expenditure Rethuglicans ususally oppose?

Posted by: dcsusie on August 29, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

To continue linking McCain to Bush, I envision an ad that can be created saying that we have already had a president who likes to appoint or hire people who don't have the experience that he says he needs and then talk about Harriet Miers, Mike Brown, etc., but especially Harriet Miers...this pick is almost as funny as Miers.

Posted by: Ben on August 29, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

I am a staunch Democrat who would never vote for McCain. But already i am offended by the remarks made about Palin. "Look out Cindy" indeed.

Posted by: on August 29, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

This is a fantastic choice for Senator McCain. Now we have something to add to fear and hatred of The Arrogant Elitist.

All of the PUMAs wanted a woman. All of the feminists are sure to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket.

Fortunately, we know that women in general are stupid enough to vote for any woman in the race. Having a woman in the position to become president is more important than secondary issues like abortion and supreme court judges and equal pay.

This may dismay some of the males in our voter base, the Low Information Voter, but our republican owned corporate media and their women will tell them how to vote.

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on August 29, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

"Obama must not know that ‘criminals’, under existing law, cannot own a .22, let alone an AK-47."

Tell that to the eight families that lost loved ones at the Westroads Mall here in Omaha back in December.

Posted by: 2Manchu on August 29, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Dude, get a clue. This was a smart choice by McCain.

Beyond being a woman, she has more experience that Obama. Being a Govenor trumps being a state senator, US Senator (2yrs) and a "community leader"

She would be the VP, not President, so experience is not a huge deal.


Again, this was a smart choice.

Posted by: Noel on August 29, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

So, was Harriet Miers busy or what?

And this is short but should not be passed by without a pause for thought:

"Yes, the choice of Palin is about winning only. And desperate. It just fuels the speculation that neither of these persons would be in charge if elected."

Posted by: beep52 at 12:14 PM

Bush has been a pod. McBush would be a pod as is clearly demonstrated by his recent complete podification and Palin is certainly a pod. An "R" sitting in the oval office is ALL that matters. No speculation needed.

Posted by: on August 29, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Accomplishments of Sarah Palin?

Anyone?

(Crust, that was a good try, but I need a little more than "she can get people fired"! lol)

Posted by: Nashville_fan on August 29, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

If this pick is supposed to win over disaffected Hillary supporters, I think McCain's camp has really gotten desperate. If I was a Clinton supporter (I like her but am supporting Obama), I'd be insulted! Clinton was a truly viable candidate who had the experience to back it up. Now, I'm supposed to just roll over to the McCain camp because she's a woman? Really?

Posted by: NA in NJ on August 29, 2008 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Has she accepted? Because I can easily see Camp McPOW thinking that they could get the "benefits" of offering her the job and then having her decline due to family issues.

Posted by: The Answer WAS Orange on August 29, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

AP Analysis: Palin's Age Inexperience rival Obama's

by Ron Fournier

I am not making this up!

Posted by: on August 29, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain: total, freaking, pandering asshole! He picked Palin just out of spite, just to needle Obama's and Hillary's supporters, my God it is unbelievable! What does that tell us?!

Posted by: Neil B ☼ on August 29, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Ooh, she's a creationist to boot. Will that help with the disaffected Hillary supporters?

http://scienceblogs.com/afarensis/2006/10/27/intelligent_design_and_the_ala/

Posted by: Dave on August 29, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone knows that McCain will throw Palin around like a rag doll! He probably picked her (on the quiet tip) to someday have a "secret affair" with and cheat on his wife with a younger woman. LOL

McCain has no legitimate use for a VP. He's only using Palin to make his ticket look good (while PRETENDING to be about change), and I hope Biden doesn't fall for the TRAP and go TOO easy on her JUST BECAUSE she's a woman!

Posted by: Derrix-Jaheim ZeMBenebwe on August 29, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Obama isn't ready to be president??? And they choose Sarah Palin for the vice-presidential nominee???

What a cynical choice: "more of the any woman will do meme." What will they do with her should he win and become incapacitated or die in office? I guess they don't think that far ahead.

Posted by: impartial on August 29, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

She would be the VP, not President, so experience is not a huge deal. -Noel

Same requirements, since, on any given Sunday, the VP can become the P.

Kinda highlights McCain's age, if you ask me.

Posted by: doubtful on August 29, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

OMG McCain was just checking out her boobs. Jesus.

Posted by: MsMuddled on August 29, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, I meant she supports teaching creationism is schools...

http://scienceblogs.com/afarensis/2006/10/27/intelligent_design_and_the_ala/

Posted by: Dave on August 29, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

What does the family values bloc have to say about a mother of five, including an infant with special needs, who's leaving home for a nationwide political campaign?

Posted by: CNelson on August 29, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

dcsusie said"
TW, if she opposes abortion, why did she have pre natal genetic testing? Isn't that the kind of frivolous medical expenditure Rethuglicans ususally oppose?

I understand that amniocentesis is standard for pregnancies in women over 40.

But I think the Republican's extreme anti-abortion position will hurt them with women if the Democrats are brave enough to make it an issue. Democrats should make McCain declare whether he supports an exception on the Republican abortion ban to save the life of the mother. I can't believe the PUMAs would vote for someone who says that doctors have to watch a woman die rather than allow her to have an abortion.

Posted by: SteveT on August 29, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

It's dumb. Just dumb. And it shows how out of touch
McCain really is. Does he really think he can sway women (especially young women) voters with this
choice?

This reminds me of Nixon inviting Elvis to the White
House thinking he could sway America's youth, when America's youth were into John Lennon at the time.

Posted by: Paul Avery on August 29, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

A "gimmick" is inserting Quayle into the article. Terribly transparent backhanded compliment.

Posted by: ugh on August 29, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, MsMuddled, I notice that hefty chest on Palin! Yummm...in and of itself .... Heh, McCain picked her to get the Hubba-Bubba vote!

Posted by: Neil B on August 29, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Look for "The Amazing Mrs Pritchard" to get re-run. It's a TV series about a housewife-one-minute-PM-the-next. (Starring Jane Horrocks who almost makes it watchable.)

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on August 29, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

She would be the VP, not President, so experience is not a huge deal.

Until McCain breaks his hip and she has to step in. He's 72, and I've heard vague rumors that he spent a few of those years as a prisoner in some war somewhere. That's the kind f thing that stays with you, physically as well as mentally. He needed to pick a VP with an eye toward the risk that he might not be around in three or four years. He didn't.

Posted by: David on August 29, 2008 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Um. Yeah.

I'll bet Putin is shaking in his boots now.

NOT!

Sarah Palin seems like a very nice lady, but she is NOT ready for prime time. And no amount of spin is going to make her ready.

She has ZERO, I mean ZERO, (did I mention) ZERO foreign policy experience.

Z.E.R.O.

Posted by: Nashville_fan on August 29, 2008 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

If Democrats decide to make abortion an issue, it will completely nullify the Palin selection,...and hasten McCain's DEFEAT among women!

Posted by: Derrix-Jaheim ZeMBenebwe on August 29, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

The washington post is doing a poll on McLames VP pick http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/29/AR2008082901112.html?hpid=topnews you know what to do!

Posted by: Rick on August 29, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

McSame looks bored during Sarah speech. I wonder if he picked Palin because he thinks she's hot. Cindy better watch out.

Posted by: avi on August 29, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

This Clinton supporter is not offended. It looks to me like McCain, unlike Obama, is not afraid of women.

Another observation, it looks like (from what I have read on this thread so far)the ugly, sexist remarks that Hillary had to endure during the primary from Obama supporters are now going to be transferred to Palin. Good luck with that tactic.

Posted by: emmarose on August 29, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

"today's announcement seems to be largely based on two considerations"

actually, my guess would be no one was willing to join in this klown car kampaign BUT palin.

Posted by: karen marie on August 29, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

But even with all her negatives, I cannot really imagine that she would be a worse president than McDementia. Given that the entire GOP party is clinically/criminally insane, she's pretty much par for the course.

Posted by: anon on August 29, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

So... will she ask McCain why insurance covers Viagra but not birth control?

And will McCain call her a "cunt" in front of reportrers, like he did his wife?

Posted by: on August 29, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Ummm, Noel, Obama's been a US Senator for 4 years, not 2.

Gleaning from the little bit of phone calls to CSPAN this morning I heard, I'd say the Rs that called in are spinning this pretty fast or are just stupid. One guy enthusiastically supports Palin even though he'd only learned who she was two minutes earlier. A woman is happy because she supported Hillary and is upset Hillary isn't the nominee or VP pick, so of course she's all for Palin. Even though the two women's policies are nothing alike, despite the fact that Hillary's views are almost identical to Obama's and that Hillary asked her supporters to support Obama. Another reminder that many Hillary supporters were Republicans.

Ahem, women are not interchangeable. African Americans are not interchangeable. Can you imagine Al Sharpton as the Dem candidate?

BTW, McCain's rally started with cheerleaders. Good grief.

Posted by: Hannah on August 29, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

I'm streaming Palin on c-span. She's grating, tedious, and trolling for Hillary voters.

You have got to be kidding me.

Posted by: Lucy on August 29, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

She would be the VP, not President, so experience is not a huge deal.

Are you kidding? He's 72 years old, with a history of cancer.

We've had four times this century when vice presidents have had to suddenly take over the presidency for good -- Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford -- and can't afford to risk that spot on the most inexperienced candidate ever to serve on a national ticket.

Posted by: TR on August 29, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

I just love how Hillary Clinton is the new darling of the Republican Party!

So transparent that it just might work!

:)

The PTA v. the PLO - it's a no brainer! I'm changing my vote - 'cause she's a girl! Oh yeah!

(You just can't make this stuff up!)

Posted by: Nashville_fan on August 29, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans had a really really weak field this year. But how embarrassed would you be now if you were Romney, Huckabee or Pawlenty. Call me a cynic, but I think the new themes will be 1) Obama still hates women and 2) noun, verb, downs syndrome.

Posted by: Danp on August 29, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I was wondering when Mary would chime in under a new name!


Although, I do think we can do better than the 'cindy better watch out' comments.

Posted by: short fuse on August 29, 2008 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

This seems to be so monumentally stupid that it defies logic. I see the chicken-little crowd are at it again (don't worry, I understand that after 8 years it's only natural to be paranoid - but relax).

Palin is NOT a good choice. She's a BAD choice. Maybe the WORST possible choice. It's so bad it leads me to believe that everyone else turned down the job.


The worst part of it for McCain is that this puts his age front and center. He has given every talking head in the land a legitmate reason to bring up the concerns about his age (73 today. 73!!?!?!).

If I didn't know better I'd say they're throwing the election.

Posted by: neilt on August 29, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

"More and more I see McCain as an out of control egotist and his VP choice confirms this pet theory. That chick is purely and simply, eye candy."

First thing my wife said was 'What's this with McCain and beauty queens."

As someone else said, this is an insult to more experienced picks like Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Christine Todd Whitman, or Liddy Dole for that matter.

But it did disrupt the post-Obama DNC speech narrative for a few news cycles.

Posted by: Sock Puppet of the Great Satan on August 29, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is NOT afraid of women. The issues with Hillary were probably her overly negative primary campaign against him combined with a long-standing issue with Bill Clinton. If Hillary Clinton had run in the primary as well as she sounded during the DNC, maybe she would've WON the nomination outright...and there would be no "controversy"

Posted by: Derrix-Jaheim ZeMBenebwe on August 29, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Typical Republican move --the purpose of every single action they take isn't the best interests of this nation, it's to create a division among potential supporters of Democrats. The right wing blogosphere may be madly spinning this into a positive, but the rank and file conservatives have to be absolutely dejected. This move has "heck of a job Brownie" written all over it and with a hurricane headed for US soil next week, it can't inspire confidence in anyone.

The question remains, is Palin seriously the absolute best choice of a running mate that McCain could have made? That's an obvious no and it is purely a move for short-term political gain.

Posted by: petorado on August 29, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

emmarose: It looks to me like McCain, unlike Obama, is not afraid of women.

Yaright. Obama is married to a smart, accomplished woman, has given kudos to his mother and grandmother, both strong women, therefore he's "afraid of women". Don't you think there might have been other reasons that Obama didn't choose HRC to be his running mate?


Posted by: Hannah on August 29, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

What a strange pick.

It just seems like it wasn't thought trough at all.

Once the shock value wears off McCain will regret this.

Posted by: jvf on August 29, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

I just did a post on this where I went to RedState to see their opinion of the pick and they LOVED the idea. But for as much as I read, it was all about how unconventional and unexpected it was, and how it would help McCain beat Obama. They even have this crazy idea that Palin has a huge experience advantage over Obama that will crush him, without ever mentioning that she has less experience than him or that she's three years younger. These people are utterly delusional.

And as I say in the post, the fact that RedState loves the idea is strong evidence that it was a horrible mistake. Contrarians never represent the majority, by definition; and the contrarians seem to love the idea. McCain's screwed.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on August 29, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

I'm thinking of the great show "Arrested Development". Her?

Posted by: Chief Osceola on August 29, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

SteveR, amniocentesis is always offered in pregnacies after age 35, but I have many friends who had such pregnancies and who declined to have the test because they knew they would not choose abortion regardless of the test outcome, and the test does have a not insignificant risk of causing miscarriage. So if she is so pro-life, why did she have the test, the only real purpose of which is to determine if the fetus has a genetic defect for which you would choose abortion?

It's not attacking her kid to bring this up; its attacking her hypocrisy. Also relevant the previous point about who will be caring for the child - early intervention is everything for Down's syndrome. And BTW, going back to work three days after your child is born is not a particularly admirable act. (I have 3 kids).

Posted by: dcsusie on August 29, 2008 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

emmarose is a petulant, bitter Obama-hater from way back.

Don't bother.

Posted by: Lucy on August 29, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

As a bonus, Paley's voice sounds just like Marge Gunderson's from "Fargo."

Posted by: Fnord on August 29, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

This Clinton supporter is not offended. It looks to me like McCain, unlike Obama, is not afraid of women.
So you supported Clinton because???
Equal pay? Right to choose? Health Care?
Please do elaborate.

Posted by: msw on August 29, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

I fear though, that this is not as bad a pick as it first seems. They can say that Palin has "some real experience as an executive" versus the legislative-only (?) ticket of BO-Joe. It will be hard to criticize her for "lack of experience" due to that and Obama's own vulnerability. Many women will be attracted to the idea, especially if they were on the fence before. We can only hope that it looks like the pandering it is to enough voters, and that enough voters (take note Hillary supporters) McCain-Palin would suppress abortion rights strongly given what they say they believe.

Go BO-Joe!

Posted by: Neil B on August 29, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

And right, this has Rove-bullet's "fingerprints all over it" - the cynical pandering move, done as a political stunt. McCain clearly shown as a prick (metaphorically at least.)

Posted by: Neil B on August 29, 2008 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

If Joe Biden reminds people of Leo McGarry, I wonder who Sarah Palin reminds them of? Me - BSG's Laura Roslyn. You know, the accidental President who has to try to pick up the pieces of the shattered human race after the self-inflicted apocalypse?

Laura grew into the job, but I don't believe in giving Sarah the chance, myself.

Posted by: Arachnae on August 29, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Boy, I was wrong, I thought it would be Romney.

I think strategically it was a good move for McCain. She's a mom, one of her kids going to Iraq, good looking, and what I could see from today's McCain event, articulate and telegenic.

That being said, I believe the media will be treating her with kid gloves and will be fawning all over her. And, it already appears they are falling into line. You should already see the MSNBC female business broadcasters. I can see already Brooks next column in the NYT.

The Obama/Biden campaign better be planning on how to be nimble in how they handle and respond to McCain's choice.

Looks like this election is turning out to be one for the ages and I just hope the media and the American people are up for it.

Question for everyone, when the VP choice mania settles down and the Republican convention over what do you think where things will stand? Obama up? McCain up? Tied? What states do you think this might be game changer?

Am I the only one suddenly feeling deflated from last night's high of Obama's tremendous speech?

Posted by: John on August 29, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

She has an irritating voice and she looks like those Mormon-sect women with that behive hairdos.

Marcia Blackburn, who's probably the stupidest person in Congress, is "praising" the pick.

Posted by: phoebes in santa fe on August 29, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Let's leave the gimmick aspect (make no mistake, this is a gimmick selection) to one side for a second, and it still looks curious.

One night after Obama gives a rousing speech wherein he radically redefined Center as democratic turf (make no mistake, that's what he did - he pushed the Center leftward), McCain goes and picks a candidate that is exceptionally, exceedingly Right.

McCain is banking on a losing proposition - that Americans are are far right as Movement Conservatives. Obama is on the correct side of this debate as well.

Nice try Rove. Better luck next time!

Posted by: neilt on August 29, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

"I like the gimmick line but Mark Kleiman has an even better approach.

It's an insult to all of the Republican women who have earned a shot. Why not Kaye Bailey Hutchinson? Why not Christine Todd Whitman?

It is wonderful for our country that Republicans have chosen to put a woman on the ticket, but why this woman when so very many women deserved it more?"

-- sven

Exactly! It's the Harriet Miers/Clarence Thomas Syndrome that afflicts Republicans. ("Let's pick one of *those*.") McCain's judgment -- not Palin -- is a better target for criticism. After all, gratuitous personal attacks on Palin only contradict behavior disavowed by Obama last night.

Oh, and why not Olympia Snowe?

Posted by: alibubba on August 29, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Beyond being a woman, she has more experience that Obama. Being a Govenor trumps being a state senator, US Senator (2yrs) and a "community leader"

As a US senator, Obama represents 12,000,000 people. As governor, Palin represents 600,000.

But she was also the mayor of a town of 3,000, so clearly she's more prepared to lead a nation of 300 million!

Posted by: Mnemosyne on August 29, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

In retrospect, I guess a female pick is inevitable. Almost any male pick would have highlighted McCain's shortness and oldness. I'm guessing that they asked other female GOPers, but Palin was the only one willing to go down with McCain's sinking ship.

Posted by: anon on August 29, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Paul Mirengoff of Powerline posted this earlier:

"I'm very disappointed that John McCain would put someone as inexperienced and lacking in foreign policy and national security background as Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency."

I think the concern of inexperience highlighted by the Mccain campaign will destroy this choice. It makes Mccain look like a fool.

Posted by: Tiredofgreed on August 29, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Short Fuse,

Who are you insinuating is the new Mary?

Posted by: doubtful on August 29, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

McCain took a good look at Governor Palin's sickening abuse of power for corrupt purposes of pure personal spite, and realized they were made for each other.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 29, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Nah, you mean McCain may have made his decision based on politics and not on substantive sense? Not "Straight talk" McCain! How could that be? Did I miss the memo that gave good reasons for choosing a neophyte for national office? Now what could ol'McCain have up his sleeve - maybe his choice has been working all this time secretly with Dick Cheney to learn how to continue the demise of our bodypolitik? All this nonsense coming from the party of "ideas" - such confusing times we live in! -Kevo

Posted by: on August 29, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

doubtful - It was the comment from emmarose @12:42. I was mostly kidding, as it fits Mary's "substance" but not quite her style.

Posted by: short fuse on August 29, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

The choice of Sarah Palin as the Republican candidate for vice president is a desperate act by a desperate party. It does not say much for John McCain--they wouldn’t even let him pick his own running mate. The upside of this is that he has to stop saying that Barack Obama lacks the experience to be commander in chief (not that he ever made a case for it). And what gall for him to ever say that Barack Obama, “…will do anything to win the election.” I anxiously await her railing against Murphy Brown.

Posted by: Michael D Kerrigan on August 29, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't seen them standing next to each other, but how tall is Sarah Palin? At 5'7", McCain would be the shortest president in a hundred years. He's gonna look real short (the short candidate almost always loses, unfortunately Bush v. Kerry was the exception) next to Obama, does he even look short next to his female VP pick?

Posted by: Piper on August 29, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, maybe Cindy "picked" her!!!

Posted by: Duke on August 29, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

My two reasons why McCain selected Palin: 1) The surprise would distract the media from talking about Obama today and over the weekend, perhaps tamping down any bounce the Democratic Convention generated; 2) He had to pick someone Richard Viguerie could get behind.

Even the liberal talkers and bloggers are all talking about Palin, not Obama, so number 1 is easy.

For number 2, it's mission accomplished... Viguerie was on Ed Schultz right after the announcement saying how happy he is, and that it's a complete 180 for McCain... and he'd gladly raise money for McCain now. The Dobsonites will be well appeased. And if McCain is elected, they will expect to take complete credit for the victory and demand continued veto power over judicial nominations.

Posted by: Lukeness on August 29, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Is it constitutionally legal to pick a governor from a state of canada?

Posted by: on August 29, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

What a weak choice. Not only does this nuke McCain's whole "Obama's too inexperienced to be president" attack line, but it further divides the GOP. Romeny and Pawlenty have got to be pissed off.

The Ferraro comparisons are legit, but Dan Quayle and Spiro Agnew also come to mind. Next to Joe Biden, Palin looks woefully unqualified.

Posted by: gf120581 on August 29, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK
So if she is so pro-life, why did she have the test, the only real purpose of which is to determine if the fetus has a genetic defect for which you would choose abortion?
I wouldn't push this line of attack. It's entirely possible she just wanted advanced warning on potential problems, to get herself ready. Posted by: Bernard HP Gilroy on August 29, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

I think Obama can still play the experience card since Mcain is now 73 the chance that she may be called into service is quite high and having such an inexperienced VP might make some nervous. They can say that Obama is inexperienced but his VP pick shores up that area where Palin causes the opposte in McCain.

Posted by: bill on August 29, 2008 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

It's as if McCain doesn't realize that the PUMA phenomenon is essentially as much of a hoax as that "Bigfoot" that was "discovered" two weeks ago.

I've gotta say, "Way to go, McCain! You've thoroughly destroyed the last vestiges of the PUMA charade, to the benefit of us Democrats. Thanks!

-- Rob

Posted by: Rob J. on August 29, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

"When looking for a running mate, Barack Obama looked to someone who could help make him a better president."

Actually when picking his running mate, Barack Obama selected one of the most "insider" senators in Washington. A clear contradiction to the sole message of his campaign . . . true change indeed.

Posted by: on September 4, 2008 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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