Friday, August 29, 2008

He Picked A Girl

As I'd been saying all along, McCain had to pick a girl. There weren't many choices for him. However, the Governor of Alaska? Look, VPs have come out of left field a few times and ended up elected, so let's not get casual about the clever threat now presented.

While Republicans have the same pipeline problems we have (that is: we have a few high profile elected women, but we have gaps in the system and too many of our high profile women are foreign born), I think they have some more experienced gals to choose from than the Governor of Alaska.

I saw the "Special Report" on the Today. Matt Lauer listed a few facts about the VP pick. His first fact: she is a Washington outsider. Is she? How do we know that? Because she's from Alaska? Isn't EVERYONE a Washington outsider during an election year? Hell, Clinton went from a former First Lady and two-term Senator to an outsider during her bid, it's like electoral magic.

Is it good or bad that the Reeps have now beat us to the woman-punch? (Wait, woman punch? Is that a VAWA violation? Ha! Domestic violence humor, always a knee-slapper.) Does Palin pack the same emotional punch as Clinton? Is it a good enough substitue for the sobbin' women and men smarting over the out come of the Democrats nominating process?

There's been much ink spilled and keystrokes expended discussing this foolish post-post-feminist decision of some women to feel it unnecessary to vote for Clinton because we've come to the point where we're so liberated we don't vote for people BECAUSE they are women. Will we now vote for Palin because she's a woman? I can't help but feel McCain chose her BECAUSE she's a women and a conservative and that's pretty much all he needed/wanted, experienced be damned. Am I now being that post-post-feminist foe of feminism for discounting Palin because I've never heard of her?

Or is it totally fair to say that Palin is no Clinton?

I think it is.

Maybe Palin is brilliant. If Obama can go from failing to get a floor pass in 2000 to accepting the nomination in 2008 (btw: even I scored floor passes in 2000, but apparently, I've done nothing with my life since), then why can't Palin go from being mayor of . . . some town in Alaska to being the Vice Presidential nominee?

And it doesn't really match Obama's speech last night. Though I have little doubt the pundits will treat it like it does.

It's going to be really frustrating if the Republicans out Democrat us.

Maybe it's just a byproduct of my being a Democrat: I can't help but feel like this selection was contrived. It's pandering.


Anonymous said...

You are right about it being pandering and an incredibly bad selection by McCain. At his age she is a heartbeat away from the Presidency and unlike Barack Obama who was pushed to run by fellow Senators who were impressed by the way he did his job there have been several discussions of Sarah Palin possibly moving to the national level that have stressed her contemporaries didn't think she was ready. Big break for Barack and makes the Biden pick look phenomenal.

Anonymous said...

I dunno about that. I think Biden looks like the safe bet. And I'm betting many Dems, like me, are asking themselves anew today why we couldn't have an Obama/Hilary ticket? Really, why couldn't we?

Read her Wiki page. She's a pretty compelling gal. I disagree completely with her politics, but you can't argue with the strength of her narrative. And liking Alaska is cool. She's a beer-drinking, plane-flying, snowmobiling beauty queen from the frontier. As Slate said, she's Daniela Boone.

The experience argument didn't have real legs. If it did, HRC would be the nominee and McCain would've been way far ahead in the polls the whole time. Experience, though it should count for more, has been a red herring all along.

Anonymous said...

Three points. I agree on Biden although with this selection, Barack comes out smelling like a rose.

On Hillary, beyond the rivalries that existed long before the campaign, I still think you give too much credibility to her political strength.

She got a lot of support in contrast to Barack, but polling consistently showed that large numbers of voters questioned her own qualifications and doubted her real influence in her husbands decisionmaking. You may remember Dick Morris's claim that Bill adamantly refused to take Hillary's advice on any political decisions and in fact gave more credence to the views of the White House chef. That may or may not have been true, but the fact is while Democrats accepted the idea that the Clintons were political partners, that case was never convincing to middle of the road voters which were the people Barack Obama needs. As for Palin, someone who is known for being nonpolitical is going to raise questions from voters about having their finger on the nuclear trigger.

The sad thing about the whole rivalry between Barack and Hillary is that Kathleen Sebelius probably would have been chosen if there wasn't the fear of alienating Clinton supporters and that's too bad.

As to the experience argument, I think it does have legs although voters are still not sure what experience is relevant to being President.

Clinton's primary support was as much a tribute to doubts about Barack's background as anything else. But you should remember that Barack was pushed to run for President by people like Tom Daschle who made the case that he was ready and his country needed him and he has been praised for his political skills by Senators from both parties.

Beyond that every voter who knows what the Harvard Law Review (or who has even heard Barack speak) accepts that his basic intelligence is way above normal. Experience is an issue that hurts, but voters understand that Barack's resume is much better than John Edwards was the first time he ran for President and in fact it's better than Ronald Reagan's was when he ran, so they cut him some slack. But it's the only thing that keeps McCain in the ballgame.

Anonymous said...

Forget experience - Hill's biggest problem was that people disliked her - mostly intensely. Hell, I've been on the ABH (Anyone But Hillary) train since November 2004, I just felt compelled to jump off. I never loved her. I'm only now warming up to Obama (though there's never been a single moment's doubt I'd vote for him).

Did you seen Sebelius give the State of the Union response? HORRIBLE. Not ready for prime time AT ALL. Ugh. That's my one and only impression of her.

Are you implying that serving on a law review is evidence of anything? I give far more credit to people who avoided law review or any law journal like the plague. Ugh, journal, pa-tooey.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen Sebelius is a brilliant lady. As for serving on a law review, I can understand that might be a mark against Barack in some places, but I tend to think it shows his overall intelligence. By the way, you never write on this site about how you are enjoying your job. You should give an update here.

Anonymous said...

Do you think it's an accident that I don't mention my job here? (btw: any comments identifying where I work or the precise nature of my work will likely be deleted immediately.) Moving on . . . .

She may be brilliant, but she presented poorly during her great primetime opportunity.

As for law review, I tend to stay away from formulating opinions on anyone's relative intelligence based on schools attended or titles held. For the best example of that see George W. Bush and Yale. Because he went to Yale does not mean his is smart. People can fall up just as easily as down. And if your dad's his dad, then, well, you don't have much of an excuse to avoid Yale, do you.

I think Obama is plenty smart, mind you, I just don't see law review as evidence. I observe smarts in him. After 8 years of Bush I'll take smarts over intelligence any day.