After being told lack of experience, youth, and popularity were bad things, McCain is picking the inexperienced and young Sarah
Palin for veep.
Given her current ethical troubles, it seems par for the GOP course. And Republicans nationally will be thrilled to hear that her husband works in Big Oil. But at least McCain gets to lock down Alaska.
Update: Kay Bailey Hutchinson on CNN:
I really don't know that much about her.
CNN's gasbag: "She knows how to eat a mooseburger!" Um. Okay. Glad that constitutional requirement has been met.
But really, it's funny seeing the top Republican woman say, "I don't know a damn thing about her, and that's a good thing!"
Let's be honest: John McCain clearly wanted Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman, but he was afraid to buck his party's choice ideologues. So then they looked at Mittens, but having a baker's dozen homes wasn't looking so hot. So he figured that with Pawlenty, he might make a play for Minnesota, but that got shot down over the last week as it become increasingly obvious that Biden would wipe the floor with him in their debate.
Throw in Obama's ground-shifting speech last night, and it was clear that McCain had to throw a hail mary to just remain in the game, much less be competitive.
So we get Sarah Palin, who has a fairly compelling personal story and is an attractive woman, but has scant political experience, zero name recognition outside of political junky circles, faces an ethical investigation by her own legislature, and will now be forced to run a grueling national campaign despite having an infant child at home.
Those are the marks of desperation, and really, given his precarious electoral position, John McCain had no choice.
Update: MSNBC chatter:
They really wanted to pick a woman, and there were no obvious choices.
Biggest political gamble I believe just about in American political history...that is not hyberbole. I can think of no choice of VP that approaches this.
I can't imagine a woman that's been a governor for a year and a half, but to debate Joe Biden on GEorgia, a remerging Russia, an emerging China and India, on the Middle East, my God, how does she do that?
Taking "experience" off the table
The Sarah Palin pick is an abandonment of the "Obama is not ready to lead" attack lines. Those are dead, and to be honest, while that line didn't work for Hillary and it had limited traction for McCain, it still had some traction. That attack line is gone.
Palin is also a an ideologue, on choice, on the environment, on energy -- all the way down the line. This an ideological pick in an election where self-identified Republicans are a dying breed and Democratic self-identification is skyrocketing. McCain has abandoned any notion of playing for the center. He's looking to shore up his right flank and hoping that the Evangelical Right can somehow drag McCain over the line.
In an interview just a month ago, she dissed the job, saying it didn’t seem “productive.”
In fact, she said she doesn’t know what the vice president does.
Larry Kudlow of CNBC’s “Kudlow & Co.” asked her about the possibility of becoming McCain ticket mate.
Palin replied: “[A]s for that V.P. talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the V.P. does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that V.P .slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question.”
John Marshal, of Talking Points Memo:
Palin's the One
So now we've learned that Sarah Palin is McCain's choice for nominee. I have to say. It's a daring pick but I think a very weak pick. I'm perfectly happy with it. Palin is in the midst of a reasonably serious scandal in her home state. Her brother-in-law is a state trooper who is in the midst of an ugly custody battle with her sister. And she's accused of getting the state police to fire him. Recently she was forced to admit that one of her aides had done this, though she insists she didn't know.
Next, John McCain's central and best argument in this campaign is that Barack Obama simply lacks the experience to be President of the United States. And now John McCain, who is a cancer survivor who turns 72 years old today, is picking a vice presidential nominee who has been governor of a small state for less than two years and prior to that was mayor of a town with roughly one-thirtieth of the citizens that Barack Obama represented when he was a state representative in Illinois.
Whatever you think of Barack Obama's qualifications to be Vice Presidential, Palin is manifestly less qualified. And that undermines the central premise of Obama's campaign.
Update from DailyKOS:
As much as the know-nothing media talked about divided Democrats, Obama felt no need to use his VP pick to rally the base and unite his party. Biden was picked precisely because Obama felt he was the best pick for the ticket, not because he needed to mollify one group or another.
Now we see McCain's pick of
Palin, and it's clear that he was forced to kow-tow to the Huckabee/Dobson wing of the Republican Party. We already know she is virulently anti-choice. But did you know she is a creationist?
The volatile issue of teaching creation science in public schools popped up in the Alaska governor's race this week when Republican Sarah Palin said she thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the state's public classrooms. Palin was answering a question from the moderator near the conclusion of Wednesday night's televised debate on KAKM Channel 7 when she said, "Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information.
Two years ago, Palin was part-time mayor of a village of 6,000. Today, she's supposedly ready to step in to run this country in the eventuality that Sen. McCentury can no longer perform those duties? Right. This was a sop to the Right, which was unwilling to accept a pro-choice Republican on the ticket, and a pathetic and hilariously desperate effort to grab the 17 holdout PUMAs (who are fake Democrats already willing to vote for McCain anyway).