McCain Taps Palin for VP

>> Friday, August 29, 2008

So the political world was shocked today by the announcement that Sarah Palin, the first term governor of Alaska, was John McCain's pick for VP. The net has been in a serious upheaval trying to determine exactly what McCain was thinking with this pick. Why her what does she bring to the table that no one else did? In my own opinion it is a completely cynical pick.

Kevin drum laid out what he believes to be the McCain camp thinking.

Their thinking is that she's a hard-right conservative who appeals to the base (David Brody was just on CNN telling us that Christian conservative leaders were high-fiving each other over the Palin pick), but not a famous hard-right conservative who's going to scare off independents. Soccer moms will like her. She's inexperienced, but no one can hold that against her this year — and anyway, her lack of a track record also means she doesn't bring a lot of baggage to the campaign. She's got great anti-corruption cred. She's young and vibrant and has an attractive family. Joe Biden will have a hard time going on the attack against a woman. She's unknown, but frankly, to most low-information voters (i.e., to most voters), all VP picks are unknown.

I think that is pretty solid over all. What i would say though is that there is a lot more to this pick. The first thing to note, this is not McCain's pick. This is a pick done by his staff and advisers. This was a pick designed to mollify the right. I think the McCain campaign has made a fundamental decision about the candidacy. They are not winning. I would be very interested to see the internals of the campaign polling. They must be losing the independents badly.

I say this because the Palin pick is an effort to reinvigorate the far right who have been rather unenthusiastic up to this point. The far right, the true believers, are the ones who hit the pavement to run GOTV drives and voter registration. They are the foot soldiers of the party. McCain is looking at voter registration defficits in many key states. He is way behind in campaign infrastructure. He needs these people to turn out the base. With Obama consolidating Dem support and winning a big chunk of the remaining indys McCain needs every drop of his base.

We know for a fact that McCain has met Gov Palin only three times. He does not know her. He has a group of people he goes back decades with like Joe Lieberman. He has high profile tested national politicians like Romney. Instead he chooses someone virtually unknown not only to the country but to him. That tells you who made the pick.

Palin is already being defined in the media as someone not ready for prime time. She is a former beauty pageant runner up, a first term governor. She has several quotes that portray her as less than sharp. She is being painted as a lightweight someone picked for interest groups and not to be president if McCain is incapacitated. It is that possibility that draws a great deal of fire. It reinforces the idea that McCain is not running a campaign serious about fixing American problems.

The only way this works for McCain is if she comes out and just blows people away. If she is like Obama at his 04 convention speech the pick has a chance at being genius but other than that i think it hurts mccain in the long run.


O-le,O-le, O-le, O-le! O-le, O-le!

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