Rhymes With Fuchsia

Friday, August 29, 2008

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Blog

As a rule, I don't mention politics often here, partly because I'm not a good enough writer to change any minds, dearly as I would like to, partly because the mere mention of a certain name reduces me to dumb, impotent, weeping, teeth-gnashing fury. (That might have something to do with the first part.) Nonetheless, I am a fairly heavy-duty political junkie, reading lefty blogs daily and praying as I visit this site that Obama stays in front — if the blue parts of the map start turning red I may have to practice adding "eh" to the end of every sentence.

At the moment, of course, the leftosphere is licking its chops at McCain's choice of Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, as his running mate. She's relatively young (44), she has less than two years' experience in government even at the state level, defanging what has hitherto been McCain's strongest substantive argument against Obama, and she's embroiled in a scandal of her own.

What was McCain thinking? Kevin Drum has a go:
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 dunno. I'm a soccer mom myself, but hardly a swing voter, so I can't be sure, but I can't imagine suburban women voting for McCain/Palin just because she has good-looking kids. As a bunch of commenters have already pointed out, "great anti-corruption cred" doesn't square with allegedly getting your ex-brother-in-law fired from his job as a state trooper because he's in the midst of a messy custody fight with your sister. Although surely McCain's people vetted her up one side and down the other? Maybe there's no more dirt there.

I'm watching the video of her acceptance speech on BBC News online, and she is well-spoken, engaging and attractive, but she won't blow anyone away. It's possible that I'm so clueless about political strategy that I don't appreciate the brilliance of this pick, but I just can't see how.

What am I missing? Your thoughts?


  • I don't see it either...not at all! But the guys (I'm in a hugely RED State) LOVE the choice. They only know she has 5 kids so that means she's wonderful.
    I especially like the "uninformed voters" comment.

    By Blogger Margene, at 4:11 PM  

  • I don't either, but then again I am a swing voter. I change my support from one party's nominee to the other's all the time because I hate the majority of what both of them stand for.

    By Blogger pigbook1, at 4:20 PM  

  • I thought it was rather clever of McCain. He himself is not nearly as far to the right as he would like super-conservatives to believe. If a far-right veep can placate the fanatics enough to get him elected without alarming anyone else too much, he gets the presidency and a vice-president with absolutely NO power base to give him trouble. Very risky, but it could work.

    By Blogger Wool Enough, at 10:30 PM  

  • You write that "surely they vetted her..." but I wouldn't be sure of complete diligence on that part. You'll remember that these are the same staffers who shot over the bow at Paris Hilton without realizing or maybe without caring that her family are big Republican donors. I'm not all that sure he's hired the sharpest crayons in the box.

    By Anonymous Annie, at 6:19 AM  

  • I only learned this news this morning in the paper (which we only get on weekends... so uniformed!). My immediate thought was that it was brilliant of McCain (not that I like him in the least) to choose a woman, and a young one. It may well appeal to the average voter who is undecided. Then there's her conservatism, which will appeal to a bunch of right wing people, even though she's a woman. Then there's the thought that he's such an old geezer, that it's likely he'll kick the bucket during his term, and she'd end up as president... which, again, has some appeal to some folks. But honestly, isn't the choice of president about who will do best for the country?? I don't think she's got nearly enough experience, and he plainly is frightening. DH is saying he thinks she may not play out well with the state trooper vote... which will be interesting, especially if that sentiment carries to the rest of law enforcement. He also said earlier today that McCain probably wouldn't die in office, because the aliens would come in and keep him alive.

    By Blogger knitnzu, at 8:52 AM  

  • When I first heard his choice, I thought, "Canny." But as I dwell on it I wonder. Surely people are smart enough to vote for the person, not just for the person's sex or race. Aren't they? Oh crap- this IS the American public we're talking about. McCaine can hide behind her skirts. I hope Hillary stumps hard for Obamah!

    By Blogger Roxie, at 9:43 AM  

  • My first thought was that he was trying to appeal to Hillary's disappointed supporters. But if he thinks Hillary's supporters are going to support a woman candidate who's anti-abortion and pro-gun rights, just because she's a woman, then the right wing is even more clueless than I thought. I do think he's counting on his choice bringing excitement to his side of the campaign. So far all the excitement has been on the Obama side.

    By Anonymous christi, at 5:31 PM  

  • i was really surprised by that choice, mostly cuz i'm living in alaska and lots of people think it's a different country (seriously). politics in general makes me see red and gnash my teeth, which means i ignore it as much as i can. mostly i subscribe to douglas adams' theory that presidents wield almost no real power whatsoever and are picked to divert attention from power by being highly controversial. this whole race has focused a lot on tangental attributes like race, gender and religion, and i think choosing Palin keeps that going. in my low-information voter opinion ;)

    By Blogger the boogeyman's wife, at 6:21 PM  

  • I am amazed at the political commentary that Palin will draw in the disenchanted Hillary votes. Just because Palin is a woman??? Mother?? Do they think we women are that shallow? That clueless? My opinion of McCain sank further on hearing his selection. I am not the least impressed by Palin.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:43 AM  

  • I didn't intentionally leave my comment as anonymous. I'm happy to own up to my opinions. :)

    By Anonymous Chris, at 7:46 AM  

  • I can't comment. The whole issue makes me all speechless with frustration. Politics and diapers both stink because of what they're full of.

    By Blogger Alwen, at 6:29 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home