My gut reaction to John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate?

I love it.

Oh, I have no idea if I’ll like Palin as a candidate. I know she is socially conservative, which isn’t my thing. And I know she’s a reformer, which is very much my thing. So I’ll give her a fair shake.

But I love the selection because it’s bold. Risky too. I don’t think Tim Pawlenty or Mitt Romney would have changed the game at all. In fact, I think they would have calcified the Republican ticket and the election would have become a battle of margins and small maneuvers. Now? Now it’s an election. Even us political junkies don’t know an awful lot about Palin, other than what we’ve read. We’ve certainly had almost no chance to see her in action.

Can she be the kind of independent woman who attracts oh, I don’t know, Hillary Clinton supporters? Will she bomb like Dan Quayle? Did McCain find a smart, tough running mate or did he overreach and pick a lightweight? We don’t know. We’ll have to wait.

But what we do know is this: McCain is sending a signal that, despite the pandering he’s done in recent years, he doesn’t want to be a stay-the-course president. He wants to shake things up in Washington. Even if Palin were a man, the selection would still be a clear sign that McCain doesn’t plan to shelve his maverick, reform-minded attitudes.

But, of course, Palin is not a man. Which makes McCain’s choice even bolder. And historic. No matter how this election turns out, the winning ticket will make significant American history. Significant.

This election just got a lot more exciting.

Home Politics Reacting to Palin


  1. McCain is not trying to be a “maverick” once again. This is pure pandering by the desperate Republican party of Karl Rove and company who play games with the minds of the electorate. They want the Hillary voters. They want to look like “change”. Sarah Palin until 2 years ago was mayor of a wilderness town of 30,000 people. She was a Miss Alaska contestant. She’s been governor less than 2 years. McCain is old. Do people really want this chick to potentially be President during of the most difficult, dangerous and critical periods in American and world history? Do the Hillary voters really want to have Rowe v Wade overturned by a new McCain-Palin Supreme Court? Do we really want someone in the White House who denies climate change and wants to tear up ANWR for… wow, more oil? Do we want then to be further in the grip of the oil companies and continue to let corporate America control our economy and environment at the expense of the rest of us? How dumb do they think Americans are? OK, don’t answer that.

  2. I’ll admit a pro-Obama bias right off the top, so please take what I say with that in mind.

    I’m just not sure what she brings to the ticket. One of the few criticisms of Obama that sticks is his lack of higher office experience, just a few years in the Senate. Still, he has about twice as much time in higher office than Palin does. I don’t know that the McCain camp can maintain that criticism with a straight face, especially given that the vice presidential slot has more attention now than it ever did before, with the concerns about McCain’s age and the expansion of vice presidential powers in the last administration.

    To me, this pick seems to sacrifice long-term success for short-term gain. Picking Palin certainly helped deflect attention away from the Democratic convention, much more so than a Romney or Huckabee ticket would, but after three days when the ooh-ing and aah-ing over the curveball is done, what does she bring?

    Did Kay Bailey Hutchinson turn him down? She too would have been viewed as a bold pick, but she also has experience and name-recognition. That pick would have the “wow” factor, but there’d also be some substance behind it.

    ometimes there’s a fine line between bold and irrational, and McCain may have crossed it. McCain won’t win because of Palin, but he may win despite her.

  3. Add me to the list of people who don’t get this. The GOP is in full-throated howl over Obama’s lack of experience so they put an even less experienced candidate one step away from a 72 year old cancer survivor?

    Did you see McCain? Did he look happy? He wanted Leiberman or Ridge. Ridge would have given him PA. Palin gives him an unprotected flank and a reminder that McCain is 100 years old so we should really care who he picks.

  4. Tim, at least you came out with a good disclaimer: you state you are pro-Obama.

    However, the pick was perfect because of the reaction. It was a break-neck moment that completely took away from Obama’s spotlight. For long has yet to be seen.

    Palin is intriguing and people will want to get to know her. Biden’s pick was ok, but does not add mystique. As people will want to get to know Palin, this will either win or lose the election for McCain. He took the fresh and new aspect of Obama’s campaign and took it for his own.

  5. if palin were a man she wouldn’t even have made the consideration list. while she seems a smart, capable politician her nomination is a gimmick. if the election were this tuesday it would have been a brilliant choice, it may have garnered a few more clinton supporters. as people get to see her on her own and more importantly with mccain the stunt casting will become more and more obvious. the novelty will wear off and people will realize while she may be very good as the big fish in a small pond, she doesn’t belong on the ticket, or in the white house.


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