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6 things the Palin pick says about McCain

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    Jim VandeHei, John F. Harris
    2 hours, 25 minutes ago



    The selection of a running mate is among the most consequential, most defining decisions a presidential nominee can make. John McCain’s pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says a lot about his decison-making — and some of it is downright breathtaking.

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    We knew McCain is a politician who relishes improvisation, and likes to go with his gut. But it is remarkable that someone who has repeatedly emphasized experience in this campaign named an inexperienced governor he barely knew to be his No. 2. Whatever you think of the pick, here are six things it tells us about McCain:

    1. He’s desperate. Let’s stop pretending this race is as close as national polling suggests. The truth is McCain is essentially tied or trailing in every swing state that matters — and too close for comfort in several states like Indiana and Montana the GOP usually wins pretty easily in presidential races. On top of that, voters seem very inclined to elect Democrats in general this election — and very sick of the Bush years.

    McCain could easily lose in an electoral landslide. That is the private view of Democrats and Republicans alike.

    McCain’s pick shows he is not pretending. Politicians, even “mavericks” like McCain, play it safe when they think they are winning — or see an easy path to winning. They roll the dice only when they know that the risks of conventionality are greater than the risks of boldness.

    The Republican brand is a mess. McCain is reasonably concluding that it won’t work to replicate George W. Bush and Karl Rove’s electoral formula, based around national security and a big advantage among Y chromosomes, from 2004.

    “She’s a fresh new face in a party that’s dying for one — the antidote to boring white men,” a campaign official said.

    Palin, the logic goes, will prompt voters to give him a second look — especially women who have watched Democrats reject Hillary Rodham Clinton for Barack Obama.

    The risks of a backlash from choosing someone so unknown and so untested are obvious. In one swift stroke, McCain demolished what had been one of his main arguments against Obama.

    “I think we’re going to have to examine our tag line, ‘dangerously inexperienced,’” a top McCain official said wryly.

    2. He’s willing to gamble — bigtime. Let’s face it: This is not the pick of a self-confident candidate. It is the political equivalent of a trick play or, as some Democrats called it, a Hail Mary pass in football. McCain talks incessantly about experience, and then goes and selects a woman he hardly knows, who hardly knows foreign policy and who can hardly be seen as instantly ready for the presidency.

    He is smart enough to know it could work, at least politically. Many Republicans see this pick as a brilliant stroke because it will be difficult for Democrats to run hard against a woman in the wake of the Hillary Clinton drama. Will this push those disgruntled Hillary voters McCain’s way? Perhaps. But this is hardly aimed at them: It is directed at the huge bloc of independent women — especially those who do not see abortion as a make-or-break issue — who could decide this election.

    McCain has a history of taking dares. Palin represents his biggest one yet.

    3. He’s worried about the political implications of his age. Like a driver overcorrecting out of a swerve, he chooses someone who is two years younger than the youthful Obama, and 28 years young than he is. (He turned 72 Friday.) The father-daughter comparison was inevitable when they appeared next to each other.

    4. He’s not worried about the actuarial implications of the age issue. He thinks he’s in fine fettle, and Palin wouldn’t be performing the only constitutional duty of a vice president, which is standing by in case a president dies or becomes incapacitated. If he was really concerned about an inexperienced person sitting in the Oval Office we would be writing about vice presidential nominee Mitt Romney or Tom Ridge or Condoleezza Rice.

    There is no plausible way that McCain could say that he picked Palin, who was only elected governor in 2006 and whose most extended public service was as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (population 8,471), because she was ready to be president on Day One.

    Nor can McCain argue that he was looking for someone he could trust as a close adviser. Most people know the staff at the local Starbucks better than McCain knows Palin. They met for the first time last February at a National Governors Association meeting in Washington. Then, they spoke again — by phone — on Sunday while she was at the Alaska state fair and he was at home in Arizona.

    McCain has made a mockery out of his campaign's longtime contention that Barack Obama is too dangerously inexperienced to be commander in chief. Now, the Democratic ticket boasts 40 years of national experience (four years for Obama and 36 years for Joseph Biden of Delaware), while the Republican ticket has 26 (McCain’s four yeasr in the House and 22 in the Senate.)

    The McCain campaign has made a calculation that most voters don’t really care about the national experience or credentials of a vice president, and that Palin’s ebullient personality and reputation as a refomer who took on cesspool politics in Alasksa matters more.

    5. He’s worried about his conservative base. If he had room to maneuver, there were lots of people McCain could have selected who would have represented a break from Washington politics as usual. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman comes to mind (and it certainly came to McCain’s throughout the process). He had no such room. GOP stalwarts were furious over trial balloons about the possibility of choosing a supporter of abortion rights, including the possibility that he would reach out to his friend.

    Palin is an ardent opponent of abortion who was previously scheduled to keynote the Republican National Coalition for Life's "Life of the Party" event in the Twin Cities this week.

    “She’s really a perfect selection,” said Darla St. Martin, the Co-Director of the National Right to Life Committee. It is no secret McCain wanted to shake things up in this race — and he realized he was limited to a shake-up conservatives could stomach.

    6. At the end of the day, McCain is still McCain. People may find him a refreshing maverick, or an erratic egotist. In either event, he marches to his own beat.

    On the upside, his team did manage to play to the media’s love of drama, fanning speculation about his possible choices and maximizing coverage of the decision.

    On the potential downside, the drama was evidently entirely genuine. The fact that McCain only spoke with Palin about the vice presidency for the first time on Sunday, and that he was seriously considering Lieberman until days ago, suggests just how hectic and improvisational his process was.

    In the end, this selection gives him a chance to reclaim the mantle of a different kind of politician intent on changing Washington. He once had a legitimate claim to this: after all, he took on his own party over campaign finance reform and immigration. He jeopardized this claim in recent months by embracing ideas he once opposed (Bush tax cuts) and ideas that appeared politically motivated (gas tax holiday).

    Spontaneity, with a touch of impulsiveness, is one of the traits that attract some of McCain’s admirers. Whether it’s a good calling card for a potential president will depend on the reaction in coming days to what looks for the moment like the most daring vice presidential selection in generations.

    Mike Allen contributed to this report.
  2. MilesAustinforMVP

    MilesAustinforMVP Benched

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    From what I have been reading this choice has actually offended a lot of woman. Thinking they are dumb enough to vote for anyone with a vajayjay no matter what her views or experience is. This was an obvious political move and it might turn on McCain.

    Instead of choosing the most qualified person for America's Veep he chose the least qualified person as a political gimmick. I think that says something about McCain. Putting politics first.

    Moreover, it took away McCain's best argument against Obama off the table: Experience. This was just a bad move, pure and simple.
  3. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    What website is this from?
  4. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    Is there a link to what website ran this?
  5. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    :laugh2:

    the left is really running scared now.

    They are making themselves look pathetic.

    I love this. I hope it keeps up.
  6. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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  7. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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  8. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    No problem. I'm a lil more relaxed about posting links down here, since most of my articles come from Yahoo which were fed from elsewhere.
  9. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    I get 2-6, but I'm not understanding how this make him desparate? He may be desparate, but I don't see how the pick indicates he is.
  10. peplaw06

    peplaw06 That Guy

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    People love to be offended.

    And no THIS didn't take experience of the table. Give me a farggin break.
  11. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    Count me as one who don't necessarily thinks it takes it off the table, but it surely lessens the argument

    They might be going for two different offices, but emphasizing that on the one hand leaves you open for criticism on the other hand.

    It makes for a go-nowhere argument, IMO. We'll see how McCain & Co. approaches it, but I don't think he'll be hammering Obama personally on his lack of experience. Republican supporters might, but McCain shouldn't pull that card anymore.
  12. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    Why is that WG? McCain's VP pick has more experience than Obama does. She at least has executive experience and he has 2 years as a Senator. Sorry but He has every ground to hammer him on experience and not have to worry about them hammering Palin on experience. Obama is trumped no matter which way they go.
  13. peplaw06

    peplaw06 That Guy

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    IMO you have two ways of thinking here.

    McCain is more experienced that Obama. He can hit him on that because these are the two guys who are actually running for pres.

    If you believe that Joe Biden's experience makes up for Obama's lack of same, then THAT is where the focus should be, and that would be where the argument ends for you.

    There's no point in saying Palin's lack of experience has anything to do with this because her lack of experience doesn't negate McCain's experience.

    I can see Repubs still hitting on Obama for lack of experience, because compared to McCain he is.

    IMO the experience thing is less of an issue now because of Biden, not because of the presence of Palin.
  14. Ben_n_austin

    Ben_n_austin Benched

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    Oh, yeah, I've been hearing this today from some of my friends and I was surprised given they seemed to lean towards females in general because they're, sort of, feminists....which I understand (I think) and I admire. But I also admire the principle of patience and understanding.

    It seems women voters have more of that than men. This goes for women on both sides of the fence, imo.
  15. Ben_n_austin

    Ben_n_austin Benched

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    I doubt Obama will stoop to George W. Bush levels of ad hominem on McCain, but I do think he'll make some pretty dirty arguments and insinuations other than the obvious ones....

    But it's not time yet. We still have to let the calm of the beauty pageant storm set in. Then it's back to business.
  16. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    Like twice accusing McCain of making racist statements? Nah, he'd never stoop to those levels.
  17. peplaw06

    peplaw06 That Guy

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    Impressive set of blinders you got on there. Where did you get those? Do you have to show them proof of registration as a Democrat to be eligible to buy?
  18. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    He just ran to the fax machine to get Media Matters' latest talking points.
  19. Ben_n_austin

    Ben_n_austin Benched

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    Says you as you set off to save the marfa *** day yeah. I guess it's easier to see the fluff from this side of the fence. Of course I know, statistically, that Republicans tend to mobilize their vote on election day simply because they tend to actually follow through with their vote.

    Unfortunately, I think world events will change the mobility of several Democrats who didn't vote previously.

    My assumption, and I think it's a logical one, is based on my general knowledge of voting behavior and that %90 of so-called "swing voters" already have their minds made up.

    I don't think I'm the one wearing binders.
  20. Ben_n_austin

    Ben_n_austin Benched

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    Let's see your brilliant correlation. Or would that be asking you to provide too much of a substantial retort or statement?

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