I have just one question

If today is John McCain's birthday, why did he give us a present?

I strongly disagree with the idea that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is a game-changer for the Republicans.

Hillary Clinton gave a strong endorsement of Barack Obama on Tuesday and will be out campaigning for him this fall. I'm supposed to believe that women who preferred Hillary in the Democratic primaries will flock to McCain, with his horrible record on women's issues, because a conservative woman is his running mate?

I get the rationale for picking Palin, as laid out here by Chris Bowers and in a different way by Iowa blogger Douglas Burns.

But McCain is staking his campaign on persuading Americans that Obama is "not ready to lead." I cannot see how it helps McCain to choose a running mate who is younger and less experienced than Obama. Palin has served less than two years as governor and before that was mayor of a town with fewer than 10,000 residents.

At 72 years old, McCain would be the oldest president ever elected. He is also a cancer survivor. Can the Republicans make the case that Palin is ready to lead this country should the need arise?

Supposedly the GOP base will be thrilled to see the anti-choice Palin on the ticket. I read some "mommy blogs" written by religious conservatives and will be checking them in the next few days to see how they react to this pick. (These bloggers tended to favor either Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul.)

I assume they will be relieved that McCain did not choose the detested Mitt Romney. However, I am not convinced these rank and file members of the religious right will celebrate Palin's selection. They believe women should be homemakers who homeschool their children, and they think feminism and the trend toward working outside the home is undermining "Biblical womanhood."

No matter how enthusiastically the Republican pundits welcome Palin, I suspect that many social conservatives will feel she should be at home, taking care of her special-needs infant and schooling her older children.

The business wing of the Republican base tended to support Romney in the primaries. Mitt himself is reportedly furious at the way McCain strung him along. Look for the knives to come out if anything goes wrong with Palin--for instance, if she gets tainted by the trial of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens.

I'm skeptical that Palin will neutralize Joe Biden (supposedly because he can't afford to be seen as a bully). Biden has two jobs: to alleviate concerns about Obama's lack of experience, and to be an attack dog. The first task will be easier with Palin as his counterpart. As for the second, Biden can ignore Palin most of the time and focus his fire on McCain during the only vice-presidential debate.

Choosing Palin looks like a Hail Mary pass from a candidate who knows he will lose unless he shakes things up in a big way. I'm feeling much more optimistic about Obama's chances than I did five days ago.

Tags: 2008 elections, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Republican Party, Sarah Palin, VP (all tags)

Comments

183 Comments

Re: I have just one question

http://www.reason.com/blog/show/128450.h tml

I wonder if the base knows that she is an admitted pot smoker?

by ND1979 2008-08-29 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

And how is the fact that her husband is in a steel union going to help? That seems like one of the biggest conflicts of interest ever. Maybe not on a state level, but how is she going to be a union-buster or serve with a union-buster?

by vcalzone 2008-08-29 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

And when she talks about opening up ANWAR for drilling, I'm sure her oil exec husband has no interest in the subject either.. haha.

by thatpurplestuff 2008-08-29 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

You are such a troll. Her husband work on the fields, he is not an executive.

by kristoph 2008-08-29 12:58PM | 0 recs
by judybrowni 2008-08-29 03:22PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Troll?  No.  Wrong?  Yes.  I misread his bio earlier and misrepresented it, and I sincerely apologize.

Honestly, I messed up and what I wrote is flat out wrong.

You, on the other hand, seem more than willing to adopt right wing frames as long as it benefits you.  Good luck with that.

by thatpurplestuff 2008-08-30 01:59AM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Wow. That's so awesome. LOL

by kristoph 2008-08-29 01:03PM | 0 recs
Over at talkleft
they are having orgasms over Palin.
I just don't get it. Obama was not to be allowed to pick any woman other then Hillary, but some folks now think Palin is a great pick.
by parahammer 2008-08-29 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Over at talkleft

Over at talkleft they are having orgasms over Palin.

Yeah, I think TalkLeft is more ecstatic than RedState at Palin (and RedState is pretty happy about it).

Of course, TalkLeft absolutely despises the progressives nominee of the Democratic Party, so I guess that's to be expected ...

by Collideascope 2008-08-29 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Over at talkleft

Yeah, I am pretty sure Pumas are the only ones excited about this pick.  I was talking to my boss, repub, he agrees this is a parlor trick and shows McCain is desperate because he cannot win without really "mixing it up".  He hates mccain, because he is a bellicose bully, but he thinks this will end up losing votes for mcc.  I am sure the media loves it too, McC being all mavericky.  

Actually, I love the pick too but onyl because it is a gift to Obama.  

Funny how a pick so illogical and senseless would only appeal to a Puma

by KLRinLA 2008-08-29 02:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Over at talkleft

Clinton is awesome. Palin is cool. Sibelius is kind of lame.

I know, I know, not good reasons to vote for someone
;-)

by kristoph 2008-08-29 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Over at talkleft

Of course, because TALKLEFT has always been about defeating Obama, not about electing progressives.  They love Palin because she has a uterus and two x chromosomes.  The fact that she is rabiddly anti-choice and opposed to health care for all, doesnt matter, because she is a woman.

by gavoter 2008-08-29 01:06PM | 0 recs
your ignorance is showing

Talk Left is not a PUMA site. Big Tent Democrat has supported Obama for a long time thinking he was more electable than Hillary, although BTD is often critical of Obama's strategy.

by desmoinesdem 2008-08-29 02:44PM | 0 recs
I have come to the conclusion

that it is fact a moronic choice.
Let's count the number of frames he has destroyed:
1.  He will put the country first
No - he has selected someone with 20 months experience as the Governor of one of the least populated states in the country.  Politics came before country.
2.  Experience matters
The number 1 concern people have about Barak Obama is lack of experience.  That frame now lies in tatters.
3.  He is a maverick
No, he will do anything to get elected.  One minute he goes on and on about experience, and the next he does something completely opposite.

Whatever her strengths are, they are nothing compared to what has been lost.

In the morning I thought this was a great choice.

Now I think it is a terrible

by fladem 2008-08-29 01:40PM | 0 recs
precisely

"Not ready to lead" is the tag line for every Republican ad against Obama. Now how can they use that line with a straight face?

by desmoinesdem 2008-08-29 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

"Can the Republicans make the case that Palin is ready to lead this country should the need arise?"

Even though it may not be politically correct to make inferences about McCain's age and health, that's absolutely what will go through the minds of people when they look at this ticket.

by thatpurplestuff 2008-08-29 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Is Obama ready to lead the country from Day 1?

Palin was a state executive for 2 years. Obama has been in the Senate for 2 years and mostly he voted along party lines.

Why do you have issues with her experience and not with his?

by kristoph 2008-08-29 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Because he's worked at a national level. Has traveled around the world as an agent of the U.S. goverment and because until 18 months ago Palin was the mayor of a town of 9,000 people... Obama's State Senate district had more than ten times that many people... and he served them for 12 years.

by Tatan 2008-08-29 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Seriouslly though, you need to drink less Kool-aid.

I like Obama for many of his qualities. Experience is not, however, one of them.

1) He worked on the 'national level' as US senator for 2 years where he did not lead anything of any significance.

2) Obama's IL district has 200k people. Suggesting that this prepares you to be president is as absurd as suggesting being a mayor of a town of 9k makes you  prepared to be president.

Now being a governor does make you prepared but Palin has only done it for 2 years so she is still pretty green - but Obama has nothing on her.

by kristoph 2008-08-29 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

while we are setting the record straight, Obama was elected in2004, so he has been in office nearly 4 years.  Palin gas been less than 2 years.

by yitbos96bb 2008-08-29 01:42PM | 0 recs
I was suggesting that

Obama's strong suit is his experience. Just that he has more of it than Palin... which he does, by an order of magnitude.

by Tatan 2008-08-29 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

I think the point is, you can't say that there is a massive experience advantage for a ticket when there is a statistically significant chance that your President of 300,000,000 people hasn't even run a state larger than a top 15 city.

At least Senator Obama has some familiarity with the federal government.

I think if you think of the choice as Senator Obama vs. an X percent chance (determined actuarially) of no federal experience, all of a sudden experience is not the advantage it was because X percent of the time you'll get someone who doesn't even have any federal experience.

I think Hutchinson, Romney, Collins, Snowe or Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT) would have all been better choices on the experience side.

That sound that can be heard is the issue of experience falling off of the table.

by AZphilosopher 2008-08-29 01:30PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

The vast majority of presidents were governors with no experience with 'federal government'.

Obama has never actually ran anything. So sure, Palin was mayor of a tiny town and a governor of a tiny state but that's more management experience than Obama has had by far.

by kristoph 2008-08-29 01:44PM | 0 recs
Executive Experience

Of Obama, McCain, Biden, and Palin, who has the most executive experience?

Governor Sarah Palin

by oliver777 2008-08-29 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Executive Experience

try context, Alaska isn't a typical state with typical problems that one will face as President.
As someone metioned earlier, her part-time mayorial experience is probably more on level with Obama being head of law review.

So, out of curiosity, where do you normally hang out to blog?

by KLRinLA 2008-08-29 02:35PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

But what about the question of scale?  Alaska is smaller than the city of Columbus, Ohio.  

By this measure, the mayor of Columbus would be more qualified than Senator Obama.  Surely that can't be right.  Putting aside the issues of National Security and Foreign Policy (which one does receive exposure to in the legislative branch), here is a place where President Palin would face a challenge of scale: highways.  

Highways are a topic any governor has to deal with.  However, has she dealt with the topic of how to provide these topics for 300 million people?  What about when the consequences of not allocating money properly are catastrophes like the 35W bridge collapse.

Is there a point where executive experience just isn't as valuable as federal experience?  Would the mayor of Kirkwood, MO (pop. 25,000) be more qualified?  How about Independence, KS (pop 8,000)?

Governor of NY or IL vs. Sen Obama, maybe you have a point about experience.  Remember, Reagan was Governor of CA.  

by AZphilosopher 2008-08-29 02:10PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

And in no way qualifies her to run government at a federal level.

by trustno1 2008-08-29 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Great, she can be in charge of the program to cut the ribbon at new Walmarts. John Wayne Gacy was an experienced clown. It doesn't make him funny.

by vcalzone 2008-08-29 02:43PM | 0 recs
I checked with Rapture Ready.

They are ecstatic about the choice of Palin.  So I guess we know who McCain was trying to win over.  It's the evangelical base which we were not going to win anyway.  The Republicans must be very worried if they went so far just to shore up their base.

by GFORD 2008-08-29 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: I checked with Rapture Ready.

yeah I'm thinking this is a desperation pcik just to secure his base.  The debates will be interesting.

by parahammer 2008-08-29 11:55AM | 0 recs
More likely it secures his ground game.

I don't know how many McCain rallies you've watched, but the one I saw today was the first one I've seen that the crowd showed any enthusiasm.  The pick of Palin gives his enthusiasm gap a big shot in the arm, and likely will energize the Karl Rove foot soldier brigade that was so crucial to Bush's win in 2004.

Plus, she's going to have crossover appeal to independents, particularly independent women with kids.  

I see this as a savvy, gutsy pick, not one made in desparation.  She makes the ticket alot better.

by jimotto 2008-08-29 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: More likely it secures his ground game.

Not when they find out about her extreme anti-choice position, they won't.

Try harder next time.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-08-29 12:06PM | 0 recs
they will spin it this way:

When asked the question by a member of the press, "How would you contrast Sarah Palin giving birth to a Down Syndrome baby with Barack Obama supporting leaving Down Syndrome babies to die when born alive?", Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life stated, "A lot of pro-life groups will make sure that contrast comes out...it is a very striking contrast....there is also a contrast between Sarah Palin (being pro-life)... and Joe Biden being a pro-abortion Catholic.  I expect that there will be very strong statements from Catholic Bishops all over the country."  

by doberman pinche 2008-08-29 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: they will spin it this way:

Nope, fail.  Palin was able to make her choice and did, but it does not mean that choice should be taken from others.  There's no spin for that.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-08-29 01:55PM | 0 recs
Nobody is pro-abortion.

The difference between the two sides on the issue is not even a moral/religious one.  It has to do with theocracy vs. freedom.

One side says the government should legislate a moral/religious issue and the other side says it is between a woman and her conscience/god.  It's a question of whether we want the government to force everyone to conform.

by GFORD 2008-08-30 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: More likely it secures his ground game.
Enthusiasm? I listened to the "rally" on Sirius, and had to laugh at the people chanting "USA. USA. USA." It was funny because they all started and stopped chanting at exactly the same moment.
by zenful6219 2008-08-29 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: More likely it secures his ground game.

Man, in order for McCain to have a ground game that comes within 100 yards of Obama, he'd have had to start building it six months ago.

by bobestes 2008-08-29 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: I checked with Rapture Ready.

at least McCain tried to shore up his base with his VP pick..unlike Obama

by emmasaint 2008-08-29 12:33PM | 0 recs
Wrong - we love Biden.

He is a strong progressive who has worked very hard for women's issues.  He's a wise selection by Obama.  Did you see any lack of enthusiasm for Biden at the convention?  

by GFORD 2008-08-30 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: I checked with Rapture Ready.

Agreed.  McCain needed to shore up his base.  

While I am sympathetic to the pander argument, I think Palin would have been compelling (to the base) whether she was a woman or a man.  If we can afford her that respect, we will be in a better position to fight against her.

by Fluffy Puff Marshmallow 2008-08-29 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: I checked with Rapture Ready.

i'm all about respect, but is that really true?  don't you think part of the goal was to exploit the (vastly overstated) rift between Hillary and Obama supporters?  i have a hard time reading this any other way.

by the mollusk 2008-08-29 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: I checked with Rapture Ready.

I'm sure part of the goal was to attract (ie pander to) HRC supporters.

Pointing that out is not a great way to win over voters.  It comes across as "look little lady, McCain doesn't respect your intelligence.  let me tell you how to think instead."  Far better to let folks draw their own conclusions.

My main point is that we need to respect the Palin pick.  If we don't, we'll end up like Al Gore sighing at the first debate.  The first step IMO is to stop the gender discussion altogether and "help" the media focus on Palin's positions and her, ummm, experience.  

I am deeply sympathetic to the fact that Palin was chosen because of her gender (why her instead of Pawlenty?).  Plenty of folks will be rightly insulted by that fact.  We don't need to go there explicitly.

Not trying to start a fight here and sorry for any confusion.  If Palin is truly a lightweight, that will become painfully apparent in short order.

by Fluffy Puff Marshmallow 2008-08-29 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: I checked with Rapture Ready.

Why do we need to respect the Palin pick exactly?

There is nothing respectable about it.

by JDF 2008-08-29 01:47PM | 0 recs
Your In Denial

McCain picked her to energize the Christian base, from her Wikipedia listing:

On April 18, 2008, while in office as governor, Palin gave birth to her second son and fifth child, Trig Paxson Van Palin, who prenatal genetic testing showed would have Down syndrome.[76] She returned to the office three days after giving birth.[16] Her decision to have the baby was applauded by the pro-life community.[77][78]

Details of Palin's personal life have contributed to her political image. She hunts, eats moose hamburger, ice fishes, rides snowmobiles, and owns a float plane.[18][79] Palin holds a lifetime membership with the National Rifle Association. Her oldest son deploys to Iraq on September 11th, 2008.
Her current approval rating as Governor is 88%, the highest of any Governor in the country.

You are simply in denial. This pick is a grand slam. By the way, did someone say there was a speech in Denver last night?

by oliver777 2008-08-29 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Your In Denial

Please come back next week and tell us you told us so.

Also, bring your pictures of Bigfoot.

by Fluffy Puff Marshmallow 2008-08-29 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Your In Denial

Ya she is a pilot and a hunter.

I wonder how that will play out.

One thing. She adds flavor to the race.  Last thing this race needed was another old white guy. Between Biden and McCain we have the covered.

Whether it works or not, I don't know. But it is worth a shot.

by dMarx 2008-08-29 12:14PM | 0 recs
No, You're In Denial

That's freaking hilarious.  What does she know of economics?  She's got a little scandal of her own that taken the bloom of the rose of her approval ratings.  And she was endorsed by newly indited Ted Stevens.  Give it a few days, and people will realize how incompetent McCain is for choosing her.  At least Romney was a heavy weight.  

by NewOaklandDem 2008-08-29 12:14PM | 0 recs
as I wrote in the piece

I wouldn't be surprised if part of the evangelical base doesn't want Palin as a role model for girls and women, and I think the business part of the base will be pissed it wasn't Romney--especially if Palin goes out and makes some rookie mistakes Romney wouldn't make.

Palin undermines McCain's central argument against Obama.

by desmoinesdem 2008-08-29 12:22PM | 0 recs
Why are there so many Rethugs

And their bootlicking trolls on this site? Am I blind? Is this not a Democratic site?

This place needs a purge.

by BrighidG 2008-08-29 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Your In Denial

If the Republicans need a pick to "energize the Christian base", then, to continue the baseball metaphor, even if it's a grand slam they were down by double digits in the 9th. Even a grand slam leaves them looking for a couple more to get back in the game.

This is a pick that does not reach out to Independents or Clinton supporters (PUMA's, who do not count as real Clinton supports, excepted). While I'll grant you the high approval record, remember that it's based on prosperity in a state where there's been a giant oil windfall. The current economy is great in Alaska.

This is a person who:
1) Has extremely limited experience. Yes, she's a popular governor. The state she governs is smaller than the metro area that I live in, which is the 5th largest in this state. Alaska is less than 3x the population of Barack Obama's state senate district. No foreign policy experience whatsoever, not even strong statements of the sort that Bill Clinton had in 1992.

This destroys the argument that Obama is inexperienced. On that basis alone, this amounts to a self-inflicted disaster for the McCain campaign, immediately neutralizing their so-called strongest argument against Obama.

This is also a non-starter for people who supported Hillary based on experience.

2) Is anti-choice, pro-creationism, anti-environment.

This is a non-starter for people who supported Hillary based on the issues, and a big problem for many/most Independents.

There are more issues than that, but right off the bat this is a severely damaging pick in terms of the McCain campaign strategy. In theory, with current registration numbers, 35% or so of the population is presumed Republican, 45% or so Democratic, and we're arguing over the remaining 20% in the middle. McCain's opting to shore up the 35% with a pick that will hurt him in the 20%. If they're making a pick that reduces their ability to reach outside the right-wing base just to shore up that base, their internal polling must be disastrously bad.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-08-29 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Your In Denial

Proof that you have no idea about what you're talking about.  You act like every woman who finds out she's going to have a disabled child automatically has an abortion.  It doesn't necessarily have to do with being pro-choice or not.  Lots of pro-choice women give birth to disabled children every year.

by trustno1 2008-08-29 02:23PM | 0 recs
She will get the Stevens taint

She straight out lied today when she said "I told Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks,' on that bridge to nowhere."  The New Republic already has the story that this is a complete lie:

Republicans have been touting Sarah Palin's reformist credentials pretty heavily, with her supposed opposition to Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere" Exhibit A. But how hard did she really fight the project? Not very, it seems. Here's what she told the Anchorage Daily News on October 22, 2006, late in the race for the governor's seat (via Nexis):

5. Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?

"Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now--while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist."

So she was very much for the bridge and insisted that Alaska had to act quickly--the party of Ted Stevens and Don Young might soon lose its majority, after all. By that point, though, the project was endangered for reasons that had nothing to do with Palin--the bridge had become a national punchline, Congress had stripped away the offending earmark, shifting the money back to the state's general fund, and future federal support seemed unlikely. True, after Palin was sworn into office that fall, her first budget didn't allocate any money for the bridge. But when the Daily News asked on December 16, 2006, if she now opposed the project, Palin demurred and said she was just trying to figure out where the bridge fit on the state's list of transportation priorities, given the lack of support from Congress. Finally, on September 19, 2007, she decided to redirect funds away from the project altogether with this sorry-sounding statement:

"Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer," said Governor Palin. "Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island," Governor Palin added. "Much of the public's attitude toward Alaska bridges is based on inaccurate portrayals of the projects here. But we need to focus on what we can do, rather than fight over what has happened."


http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank /archive/2008/08/29/did-palin-really-fig ht-the-bridge-to-nowhere.aspx

by Piuma 2008-08-29 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

I agree, the move reeks of desperation.  Palin's overt pandering with the "glass ceiling" comments and Hillary shout out will not fool real HRC supporters.  

True Clintonistas will be appalled at the McCain Camp's attempt to win their favor with a conservative pro-lifer who stands opposed to all that Hillary has worked for.

The fundies may like the pick, and some a healthy chunck of the PUMA crazies will love it but we weren't getting those votes anyway.

by fogiv 2008-08-29 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Wait until the cheesecake pictures of Palin make their way from the Internet onto the newspaper pages.

by Khun David 2008-08-29 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Sarah Palin, Google image search, page one:

by Obama44 2008-08-29 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Puh-lease.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-08-29 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Any complaints should be sent to Google.

by Obama44 2008-08-29 03:58PM | 0 recs
Hillary will go after Palin

when Joe B marginalizes Palin by ignoring her

by dcrolg 2008-08-29 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary will go after Palin

I don't think so ...

"We should all be proud of Governor Sarah Palin's historic nomination, and I congratulate her and Senator McCain," Clinton, the first woman to win a presidential primary, said in the statement. "While their policies would take America in the wrong direction, Governor Palin will add an important new voice to the debate."

I bet the first sentence is a sound bite in a McCain add inside of a two weeks.

Anyway, Clinton can't hit Palin because she needs Republican women in 2012.

by kristoph 2008-08-29 01:31PM | 0 recs
Obama needs women in 2008

Barack Obama and Joe Biden joint press release:

We send our congratulations to Governor Sarah Palin and her family on her designation as the republican nominee for Vice President. It is yet another encouraging sign that old barriers are falling in our politics. While we obviously have differences over how best to lead this country forward Governor Palin is an admirable person and will add a compelling new voice to this campaign.

Clinton is doing what Obama needs now, this has nothing to do with 2012.

by souvarine 2008-08-29 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary will go after Palin

typo there you meant 2016.  She won't run against president Obama.  

by yitbos96bb 2008-08-29 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary will go after Palin

"I bet the first sentence is a sound bite in a McCain add[sic] inside of a [sic] two weeks." LOL, you don't understand women at all, do you?  Or history.  Or, apparently, politics.  Or spelling, for that matter.  

by trustno1 2008-08-29 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

It is not a pick without risk.  

However, I think a lot of my fellow Democrats are again missing the point by disecting all these facts and figures and coming to a rational opinion on the quality of McCain's pick.

The average undecided voter isn't going to do any of that.  The average undecided voter looks at the whole ball of wax, the speeches, the news clippings, the soundbites, the looks or appearances, the attacks, the clothes, the hobbies, the spouses, the debates, and a thousand other silly little things and decides who they like the best.

Palin has an interesting bio.  She may win some people over.  She may turn some people off.  In the end I don't think VP do much to move the needle.   But if she moves John McCain 5 points with the womens vote then she was probably worth the pick.

One thing I think is clear today.  McCain got past the risk of splitting his own party.  We are know looking at a good old fashioned red state, blue state election just like the last two.  It is clear that Obama isn't going to flip Mississippi or Alabama, Georgia, or South Carolina, like some thought he might.  

Like the last election it seems our best chance to flip states is in the west where Democrats have had a lot of recent success and migration has continued to add voters that may look favorably on our message.

by RichardFlatts 2008-08-29 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

VP rarely does much to help the ticket, but it damn sure can HURT it. In the long run, we'll see that this one did just that.

by vcalzone 2008-08-29 12:10PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

they have already set the bar for her that she will have to crawl under it to get over it.

by Monkei 2008-08-29 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

as a resident of TN where my democratic congressman won't even tell me if he is supporting Obama, let me say that there never was anyway for Obama to flip any of the states you mentioned anyway, not even a remote chance.  5 point bump for picking Palin is huge and totally unrealistic, 2 max.

by Monkei 2008-08-29 12:10PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Recall the primaries.

Obama and his supporters claimed over and over he was the guy because he would change politcs and change the map in the process.   They also touted the Afrtican American vote and said it could change these states.

A lot of people bought into these claims.  

by RichardFlatts 2008-09-01 04:44AM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

short term bump, long term disaster. that's why i don't get it.

by bruh3 2008-08-29 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

I am not sure there is even a short term blip here except for taking the media off Obama's speech all morning long.

by Monkei 2008-08-29 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

I agree.  There will be a lot of gushing over the fact that she's a woman and so on, complete with a couple point bounce for McCain.  Then, someone will dig deeper.

I wasn't alive in 1984, but wasn't it that way with Ferraro: lots of early gushing followed by lots of negative publicity?  I know Ferraro's finances didn't help matters, but wasn't that what happened?

by TheUnknown285 2008-08-29 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

I think the Ferraro pick however was even more of a desparate hail mary than this pick is.   Mondale was much further behind.   When all the news comes out about her being pro big oil, pro life, far right and relgious wing nut, she will end up being just another factiod.

by Monkei 2008-08-29 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You are so right!!!!!!!!!

Wait till they find out she is a Christian!!!!!!!!!! And loves Jesus!!!!!!!

Crazy. Crazy. Wingnut. Christian. Jesus lover is what she is!

by dMarx 2008-08-29 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

nothing wrong with loving jesus ... as long as he stays in the church and out of the courthouse.

by Monkei 2008-08-29 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

the problem is how this affects her public policy views relating the women's issues. the very voters that mccain wants to attract with this pick. do you honestly think clinton supporters or indies aren't going to be bothered by her views? seriously?

by bruh3 2008-08-29 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

48% of women voted for George Bush in 2004, I would be surprised if a female vice president fails to improve that number. It was Kerry's weakness among women that doomed him, Gore won 54%. Bush won 25% of the "abortion should always be legal" crowd in 2004, I'll bet a female VP can improve that number too, regardless of her policy views.

My electoral argument for Hillary Clinton was that she had a larger pool of winnable general election voters to pull from: women. The argument is the same, if not as powerful, given a female Republican VP.

After our convention I am optimistic again about Obama's prospects, but Palin is a real danger. I hope Obama surprises me and Palin fails to improve the Republican ticket's performance among women.

by souvarine 2008-08-29 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

so your entire argument is based on thinking 2008  is 2004?

by bruh3 2008-08-29 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

I haven't seen much difference in the fundamentals. Same close polls, same 18 targeted states at the beginning of the general. Regardless of various differences in demographics, party id, etc. there is one overwhelming fact: women make up 54% of the electorate. If the Republicans can match or beat George Bush's 48% performance among women in 2004 then they win.

There is not enough margin in higher African American turnout or new young voters to overcome that. And if McCain succeeds at making a case to women then all Obama's huge investment in field does is increase McCain's turnout.

by souvarine 2008-08-29 01:36PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

there in a nutshell sums it up. if you believe that 2004 is 2008 then there isn't much that I can say that will matter.

by bruh3 2008-08-29 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

No, Ferraro never hurt the ticket.  Reagen was just really popular.  Mondale was a good candidate as well but there is a reason the conservatives still genuflect to Reagen.

by dMarx 2008-08-29 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

not just conservatives.  as one pundit put it "we have now entered the race for Ronald Reagan's eighth term".

by the mollusk 2008-08-29 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

when did the stuff about ferraro's husband happen?

by bruh3 2008-08-29 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Before the election.   The ironic thing is that Mondale actualy skipped over Feinstein because it was beleived her husband would be a liability.

by gavoter 2008-08-29 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

this is why pallin to me is a ticking time bomb. they got to know that this will now gain national scrutinyt, and i read through the rumor mill at openleft that she wasn't even fully vetted

by bruh3 2008-08-29 01:14PM | 0 recs
my first reaction: they're throwing the race

McCain and Palin are sacrificial lambs.  The GOP doesn't want any of its real candidates getting their records tarnished with a certain loss in '08.

by chiefscribe 2008-08-29 02:11PM | 0 recs
Maverick

This is yet another chip off the old "maverick" label of McCain.   While the bible thumping wingnuts are agush (supposedly) with Palin, the fact is McCain sold is soul here to get in tight with the religious right again and collect on their soley needed cashola to run his campain.   These kooks are all about pro life issues and could care less about a woman who has no experience of any kind except for mooseburgers and salmon fishing being a heartbeat away from a 72 yo cancer survivor.   Screw national security as long as women no longer have pro choice rights.   I guess she will be a great resource for the 101st mounted snowmobile light infrantry from Tuk, Alaska

by Monkei 2008-08-29 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Maverick

You are denigrating a woman who is the most popular governor in the US. She's had 5 kids, took on her own party and still became a governor of a US state.

In fact, she much more a reformer and a maverick then McCain.

She also happens to have more executive level experience than Obama, McCain and Biden put together.

by kristoph 2008-08-29 01:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Maverick

Incredible ... watching wingnuts on TV defending this lady ... not only claiming she has as much experience as Obama, but even has more.

Let's see how she handles 60 days of extreme press and vetting now.  

by Monkei 2008-08-29 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Maverick

oh, and how am I doing that?   I merely mentioned the truth.  If she was a he I would make the very same comments.

by Monkei 2008-08-29 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

diarist

"I'm feeling much more optimistic about Obama's chances than I did five days ago."

Really?

Really, like, for real?

by switching sides2 2008-08-29 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

You must be too, since you only show up to talk smack when Obama is winning.

by vcalzone 2008-08-29 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Sorry, I've been on the french riviera for the last month.

by switching sides2 2008-08-29 12:17PM | 0 recs
Of course you have

by BrighidG 2008-08-29 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

You mean like one of those elitists who takes vacations to exotic places?

by gavoter 2008-08-29 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

This is in conjunction with the convention.

by dmsdbo 2008-08-29 12:16PM | 0 recs
yes, for real

Which key state does Palin help McCain win? Iowa? Colorado? Ohio? Virginia? New Mexico? Nevada?

I am not saying Obama is a lock, I'm saying his chances are better now than McCain's are.

by desmoinesdem 2008-08-29 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: yes, for real

I disagree.  Obama exposed his throat by not picking Hillary as his VP and McCain has slashed his jugular.

I truly think that this one is over.

by switching sides2 2008-08-29 12:26PM | 0 recs
uprated for ratings abuse

I think you are wrong, but your comment did not deserve a zero rating.

by desmoinesdem 2008-08-29 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: yes, for real

if you think this is over that sums up why you are pretty clueless. how does mccain for example get the base to like her for her idealogy (while ignoring that she was picked based on identity politics- something they hate) while also getting indies/disgruntled hrc supporters to like her given her policy views? the answer is that these are incompatable groups. that's why its a stupid move. it looked good on paper , but in day to day election strategy over 60 days? not so much. especially when in big strength - ethics- is blunted in an eliot spitzer since with her own state corruption issues.

by bruh3 2008-08-29 12:57PM | 0 recs
That's the Argument We Have to Make

We have to argue that McCain practiced affirmative action by picking Sarah Palin. Palin is not as experienced as Hillary nor as talented as Obama. However, I do think that Palin is potentially a grand slam home run for McCain.

Palin will win few Hillary supporters. However, this choice (1) electrifies the Republican base, (2) Brings back the soccer moms (independent and moderate Republican women) back into the McCain column, and (3) be very attractive to 35-50 year old working class women.

As much as she'll offend some women with her pro-life stands, most people do not base their vote on abortion. In addition, her refusal to abort her child even though he has Downs Syndrome will make a very appealing story for her.

If Palin doesn't screw up or her scandal doesn't blow up, she'll make McCain tough to beat in the fall.

by Zzyzzy 2008-08-29 01:36PM | 0 recs
Re: That's the Argument We Have to Make

Like Ferraro made Mondale tough to beat. I think the problem here is that many of you seem to not appreciate the fundaments of this year and the structure disavantages that Mccain (the actual prez candidate) faces. People don't elect, regardless of gender, prez based on vp nominations.

by bruh3 2008-08-29 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: yes, for real

You're right.  It's over.  Obama wins in a landslide.  Best. Week. Ever.

by yitbos96bb 2008-08-29 02:01PM | 0 recs
Re: yes, for real

You're right.  It's over.  Obama wins in a landslide.  Best. Week. Ever.

by yitbos96bb 2008-08-29 02:01PM | 0 recs
Re: yes, for real

If I had to guess, I'd say Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado in that order.

by the mollusk 2008-08-29 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: yes, for real

sorry but let's remember this is vp nom. not the prez nom. right now there exist a conflict in both mccain's message and in the group that he needs to stitch together to win. see my comments above as to why.

by bruh3 2008-08-29 12:59PM | 0 recs
Re: yes, for real

i say those states for the reason that they are the ones i think are most likely toss-ups to begin with and that are likely to have a sizable conservative evangelical population.  ohio is first because obama's chances there seemed not too great to begin with and if you can mobilize the evangelical community, that's one more strike against him.  virginia is next because i didn't think obama had much of a chance there, but if he did win it would have been because the turnout in the red areas was somewhat lower.  again, mobilizing the evangelical base is antithetical to this endeavor.  colorado was third because i sense that it is trending blue, but there are some evangelicals as well as mountain folk here that will be turned on by sarah palin's story and her roots in the mountain west and frigid northland.

by the mollusk 2008-08-29 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: yes, for real

your argument depends on faulty assumption. that mccain can mobilize more evangelicals or mine more than even bush in 2004 did. and don't be mistaken- your argument requires this.

however, they pretty much tapped the supply of evangelicals in 2004. the problem in 2004 is that obama is better organized than mccain, the dem to rep ration favors the dems, mccain isn't bush, 2004 isn't 2008, etc.

there is also the ticking time bomb of whether pallin violated ethics issues in her state. those same conservatives are big on personal responsibility.

and how exactly does this appeal to indies? which mccain will need to have even a shot against obama. you are right - its close, but i dont see how the fundamentals change with this. ohio will be a ground game, but even those favor obama this cycle.

by bruh3 2008-08-29 01:20PM | 0 recs
Re: yes, for real

I've been skeptical of whether Obama can win Ohio for pretty much this whole election cycle.  Don't get me wrong, I'd love it if I were mistaken, but I think there are structural hurdles to overcome in terms of Obama's demographic being mostly in urban areas that have faced budget shortfalls and voting infrastructure challenges and mischief for a long time.  So while Obama's voters will stand in line for hours to cast a vote, and potentially showing up late for a job that they can't be late to, McCain's voters will zip up in their SUV, be in and out in 15 minutes and still have time to pick up the organic milk on the way home from work.  Now, you're potentially adding more enthusiasm from suburban and rural evangelicals who would also have an easy time casting a ballot and giving them a reason to vote (Palin).  I think that's the strategy for McCain.

by the mollusk 2008-08-29 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: yes, for real

google obama's structural approach in Oh versus mccain as well as the ways in which these issues of being addressed this time.  also note that the state is run by democrats, not republicans.

by bruh3 2008-08-29 01:45PM | 0 recs
Re: yes, for real

She shores up McCain in Alaska, which is looking like a swing state this year. It probably, but not definitely, takes Alaska out of play.

I can't see this doing any good anywhere else in the country, except possibly among states dominated by religious conservatives (i.e. the states he was already winning). This is a horrible pick for McCain in OH, FL, MI, IN, MO, and so forth.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-08-29 01:02PM | 0 recs
Re: yes, for real

Don't underestimate the moose hunter vote in Missouri ;-)

by Fluffy Puff Marshmallow 2008-08-29 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Barack Obama picked Joe Biden as someone who could help him govern.  Obama is putting America's interests first.

John McCain picked Sarah Palin because he hoped she could help him win.  McCain is putting his own interests first.

by kenfair 2008-08-29 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Excellent point, this is clearly not a governing pick, and while that notion is lost on the bulk of voters it is a clear insight into the thinking and motivations of McCain's campaign.  They are playing high-risk politics because, frankly, they haven't got a lot to lose.

So assuming we are structurally sound on the basis of this assessment by McCain campaign's it would seem time to continue to run a disciplined, mature campaign straight down the home stretch.  The McCain campaign just abandoned an eight-week long attack on Obama's character on grounds of 'inexperience' and 'celebrity' with this pick, never mind that Obama basically vaporised their narrative with one good, widely viewed, speech.  They are shifting the field around late in the game in the hopes of appealing to whatever demographic margins they can get their hands on and with that strategy Palin makes good sense.

But it clearly indicates that they are reactive, not pro-active, on policy and issues and that is where we need to drive home the message.  Palin may threaten some single-digit shifts among wavering Republican base voters here and there but it seems essentially a defensive move, necessitated by Obama's aggressive ground game.

Barring an 'October surprise,' for which we now have an 'all-star' goalkeeper, the issues relating to the election seem to be clearly established and it looks to me like Democrats have the winning position.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-08-29 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

"They are playing high-risk politics because, frankly, they haven't got a lot to lose."

Romney/Huck can thank their lucky stars they weren't on this sinking boat so as not to be tainted for later runs.  my colleague thinks Palin is just a toss-away repub while the repub party focuses on the future and tries to rebuild its brand (or figure out wtf they stand for besides being puppets for MNCs).  No big names really get hurt, except McCain, but the party doesn't care/like him anyway...interesting to think about.   SO yeah, it is a parlor trick for the "what the hell, we're fucked anyway" angle.

Ever wonder why his staff is all lobbyists?  It appears only big business is supporting mccain, not his party for the most part.

yeah a little tinfoil maybe, but it makes sense, Repubs have been feeling the need to re-brand  since 06 and some have said the loss was good in order to refocus

by KLRinLA 2008-08-29 03:06PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Taking that notion to it's logical conclusion it would give the Republicans the dubious luxury of blaming McCain rather that the architects of the Bush administration.  My hunch is that if Obama wins big with long coattails the Republicans are going to be 're-branding' for quite a while, perhaps a decade or so.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-08-29 03:17PM | 0 recs
Another present:

Windfall profit taxes.  It turns out the that the biggest chunk of what she called oil "revenues" that she returns to consumers is actually a windfall profit tax, something McCain opposes.  From the Seattle Times:

Over the opposition of oil companies, Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and Alaska's Legislature last year approved a major increase in taxes on the oil industry -- a step that has generated stunning new wealth for the state as oil prices soared.

At a time when Americans are feeling the pinch at the gasoline pump and oil companies are racking up record profits, Alaska's choice foreshadows one of the sharpest debates in the upcoming presidential election.

Democrat Barack Obama supports a national windfall-profits tax, while Republican John McCain opposes it.

Alaska collected an estimated $6 billion from the new tax during the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to the Alaska Oil and Gas Association. That helped push the state's total oil revenue -- from new and existing taxes, as well as royalties -- to more than $10 billion, double the amount received last year.

While many other states are confronting big budget deficits because of the troubled economy, Alaska officials are in the enviable position of exploring new ways to spend the state's multibillion-dollar budget surplus.

Some of that new cash will end up in the wallets of Alaska's residents.

Palin's administration last week gained legislative approval for a special $1,200 payment to every Alaskan to help cope with gas prices, which are among the highest in the country.

That check will come on top of the annual dividend of about $2,000 that each resident could receive this year from an oil-wealth savings account.

by Piuma 2008-08-29 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Another present:

I have family in Northern Alaska - the structure (nay, the existence) of the Permanent Fund is both fascinating and somewhat shocking.

And rather socialist, I might add - it's a reverse income tax to make living in Alaska reasonable for middle-income people.  Personally, I love it, though I realize that most states don't have the benefit of the vast licensing and other fees that AK can assess the energy industry.

by auronrenouille 2008-08-29 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Another present:

it also makes a lot of Alaskans rabidly pro-oil and pro-drilling.

by the mollusk 2008-08-29 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Another present:

Yup, that it does - I don't bother having political conversations with that uncle.  But the world looks a lot different from Alaska, both figuratively and literally, so I move on with my life.

But Palin is running for VP of the US, not VP of Alaska, NWT, and Nunavut, so she's not going to be able to escape with "oh, it's just Alaska."

by auronrenouille 2008-08-29 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Another present:

can you link this article this really needs to spread.

This shows that she supports and it shows that a windfall tax works! it will get money back to the people.

if this was the lead story by wendesday, this would really be a great ending for the convention.

by TruthMatters 2008-08-29 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Another present: Link

Sorry.  Here's the link to the Seattle Times article:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/lo calnews/2008103325_alaskatax07.html

by Piuma 2008-08-29 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Another present:

It's worse than that. She's come out in favor of Obama's energy plan -- except for the windfall profits tax part of it. Yet in governing Alaska she's benefited enormously from a windfall profits tax.

Fits in to Kerry's point that McCain (and now his VP) have been for it before they were against it and vice versa.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-08-29 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

I totally agree - between last night's speech and the opportunity to make the Alaska GOP a campaign issue, I'm having trouble seeing a downside here.

by auronrenouille 2008-08-29 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Obama did most of the work to pull the party together over the past few days, so I am optimistic, but I'm not as sanguine about Palin's effect. Seems to me she presents a whole series of traps for us, and so far the blogs, Democratic surrogates and initially the Obama campaign are falling for them.

Biden's first statement was the wisest of the bunch, probably because of his very sharp communications director Ricki Seidman. The new joint statement from Obama and Biden is much smarter than the idiotic Burton comments:

"We send our congratulations to Governor Sarah Palin and her family on her designation as the republican nominee for Vice President. It is yet another encouraging sign that old barriers are falling in our politics. While we obviously have differences over how best to lead this country forward Governor Palin is an admirable person and will add a compelling new voice to this campaign."

The most dangerous trap is to underestimate and dismiss Palin. Burton's reaction, the Quayle comments at DK, and Cokie Roberts giggling on NPR all fall for that trap, lower the bar for Palin, raise the bar for Obama, and make it easy for Palin to show them to be sexist fools if she can make it over that lowered bar. The "abandoning her special needs downs kid" is another sexist, predjudiced trap and could turn into an abortion trap, just ask Michael Berube.

I'm also not convinced of the "Hillary can save us from this!" argument. We just spent four days putting to bed the notion that the primary was about Hillary Clinton, how does making Hillary Clinton a focus of the general election help Obama?

by souvarine 2008-08-29 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

exactly!!! thank you for this comment, I was thinking of a dairy myself but the Obama statement gave me hope that they see this.

they also need to stop hitting her on experience, the press will do that, let em. just hit john Mccain nonstop

and forget his VP, the press will do all that work for you non-stop while they vet her.

I am afraid that democrats will fall into that trap.

and all she will have to do is show up to the debate, look pretty, and remember her name and the press will hail her the winner.

by TruthMatters 2008-08-29 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Well said, thank you.  My vote for the most pertinent comment of the day on the subject.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-08-29 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Even a rock can make a big splash. But what after that?

by Obama44 2008-08-29 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

It sinks, naturally.

by fogiv 2008-08-29 01:33PM | 0 recs
I disagree

This is a brilliant move, it absolutely will solidfy the evangelical base: She is pro-live and even a borderline creationist.

And, THIS is the master stroke, for all those bitter Hillary folks.

Take a poll here? Our Pumas, SwitchingSides, Nekkid, you name them, are throwing aside ALL those criticism they made of Obama for all the "present votes" and becoming champions of Sarah.

Even Candadian Girl seems to be holding her powder.

It won't matter a bit that she is Pro-life, nothing will override that McCain picked a woman and Obama didn't.

This was a fricking genius move from the Republics.

I think, this is gut check time, and, this is the WORST thing that could have happened to democrats.

They will run her and her kids out nationwide as "the womans champion?"

She is already gushing over Ferrao and Hillary.

I have ONE five dollar bet on this election, and as of right now, I have never felt that money more in jeopardy.

by WashStateBlue 2008-08-29 12:31PM | 0 recs
every rookie mistake she makes

and she is bound to make them, will be a reminder that she is not ready for prime time.

"Not ready to lead" is McCain's main slogan against Obama. He just severely damaged his ability to use that argument. It would be one thing if Obama had stupidly picked Tim Kaine, but Obama has a very experience running mate at his side.

by desmoinesdem 2008-08-29 12:36PM | 0 recs
calling out other other members are you?

by TaiChiMaster 2008-08-29 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: I disagree

I normally HR GOP ads like yours. But I know your normal stuff and will just tease you for being an old school Fraidy-Crat about this.

It's a gimmick. And the splash will wear off even before Gutav hits New Orleans again.

by Obama44 2008-08-29 12:55PM | 0 recs
Hey, I am just fine with being a scardy cat....

As long as I am proven wrong, call me a yellow livered coward.....

It's NOT a GOP ad, seriously, I know this was a hail mary, but, it shows, the Republics will do ANYTHING to keep a Democrat out of the WH.

I HOPE you are right, but I will again say, this does TWO masterful things.

I heard Richard Viguerre on the radio, the evangelical base, which as just yesterday, absolutely devistated, is now energized. Palin is one of them.

And, I believe, she will play amazingly well with the unhappy distaff voters.

5 Kids, one with Down Syndrome, one in the service.

OK, I HOPE you are right, but I will check in with you after the GOPER convention, let's see how they ride this horse.

by WashStateBlue 2008-08-29 01:06PM | 0 recs
scardy crat...

the Republics will do ANYTHING to keep a Democrat out of the WH.

That doesn't mean anything will work. McSmear's much vaunted attack campaign of the past six weeks reulted in a net swing to Obama among "likely voters" since the end of July according to Gallup.

I can't find the poll online and think it must be subscription only.

by Obama44 2008-08-29 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: I disagree

Maybe or some might find it repulsive. Sorry. I found her whole mentioning of it hypocritical and repulsive. The GOP has not done much to improve the rights or lives of women now have they. I hope Obama and the dems will smartly counter with townhalls and meetings highlighting women and their issues.

by Iceblinkjm 2008-08-29 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: I disagree

"I hope Obama and the dems will smartly counter with townhalls and meetings highlighting women and their issues. "

Absolutely, and then draw the distinction with Palins record on womens issues....

by WashStateBlue 2008-08-29 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: I disagree

I share some fraction of your apprehension.  The challenge is to go toe-to-toe with her on exactly the women's issues, and there are several, which so diametrically isolate her from the demographic where she is expected to erode our support.  Roe vs Wade?  Creationism?  No abortion for rape victims?  Hard to see how this couldn't be contained with a little careful effort.

As for shoring up the Republican base, there's not much we can do about that but keep on goin'.  Let's hope the corporate Republicans keep their wallets shut now Romney's out of the picture.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-08-29 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Here's an interesting summary of Palin's "executive" experience in Alaska, along with a more detailed description of "trooper gate."

http://mudflats.wordpress.com/

Once people see the picture of downtown Wasilla, I think that part of the argument will disappear.

by kjblair2 2008-08-29 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

I liked this post

I found this on another blog... kind of interesting

Eric August 29th, 2008 2:20 pm ET

Today we found out that the Republican Nominee for Vice President is Governor Sarah Palin. I have watched all the debates after her acceptance speech and no one brought up the fact that she, in front of a worldwide audience, broke Operational Security the Military prides itself on. She announced the MOS of her son serving in the Army, and went on to say the exact date and the country her son's unit will deploy too. She has not only endangered the life of her son, but all the other soldiers in his unit. Senator John McCain never talked about his own son's service for that very reason. I think it shows the lack of Judgment on the part of McCain's Camp to not screen her speech and shows her own inexperience on the National Stage. For a candidate who prides himself on National Security his Vice Presidential choice just blew that argument out of the water. So why are we not talking about this issue?

by TruthMatters 2008-08-29 12:34PM | 0 recs
Palin vs. Putin

That's the most frightening Subject Line ever entered at mydd.com.

by Cleveland John 2008-08-29 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

we are naive to think that hillary supporters (even pro-choice ones) will not vote for mccain/palin simply because palin is pro-life.

and we are also naive to think that somehow her lack of experience or quayle-like comparisons will turn people off. remember bentsen drummed quayle in the 1988 VP debate, but bush drummed dukakis in the general election.

we are also naive to think that evangelicals will be turned off by her female ambition. palin is pro-life women with 5 children (one of which is about to leave for iraq) and she is a lifetime member of the nra. all of that trumps her female ambition.

we are naive to think the republicans are desperate or have written this election off. that's exactly what they want us to believe.

we are naive to think that mccain or the republicans are stupid.

this election will be difficult to win and obama knows that. that's why his campaign and others have worked so hard to register new voters. we will definitely need them to win. And we need to continue to donate to and volunteer for his candidacy.

take absolutely nothing for granted.

by tomanderson13 2008-08-29 12:45PM | 0 recs
Palin is going to make mistakes

and people are going to learn a lot about her besides the thumbnail sketch we have at the moment.

I do not believe the mcCain/Palin ticket will be an appealing option for Hillary supporters when all is said and done.

I never said the Republicans have given up or that McCain is stupid. I think he had zero great options, as I've written at Bleeding Heartland (where I do most of my writing).

Obviously, Obama can't win without mobilizing lots of new voters. Which is why his campaign is building a field operation on a scale never seen before:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/8/27/1142 1/0028

Don't accuse me of complacency. I've never been on the Obama bandwagon, and going into this convention I was not optimistic. But Obama made a good choice for VP, our convention went great, and I think Palin will turn out to be a net negative for McCain.

by desmoinesdem 2008-08-29 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin is going to make mistakes

desmoinesdem,

my comments were not directed at you in particular, but at the many comments today both here and on other sites that are generally excited about our prospects of defeating a mccain/palin ticket.

we already know that mccain has a solid base of approximately 30% (those who continue to approve of bush's performance). and we all know obama could win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote.

and the mccain/palin ticket just might play better than anticipated in nevada, colorado, and perhaps virginia. (obama needs one of these in addition to iowa and new mexico to win if he only carries 2004 states).

like i said earlier and you reiterated, the election will rest to a great extent on the ground work laid by obama's campaign.  

in the end, a mccain/palin ticket is formidable in a nation that elected bush/cheney twice.

by tomanderson13 2008-08-29 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Palin stands against nearly everything Clinton stood for.   If Clinton supporters run to Palin it shows that their support was nothing more than identity politics and a cult of Personality.  

by gavoter 2008-08-29 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

I don't think that this is official!

http://wonkette.com/402363/your-first-lo ok-at-mccain-palins-america

by ND1979 2008-08-29 01:05PM | 0 recs
Let us not

underestimate the stupidity of the average American voter. Remember we represent one tiny fraction of the electorate in that we actually pay attention. I've already had to clarify two of my friends that she is anti-choice. Being relatively unknown may help her.

by SocialDem 2008-08-29 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: My brother told me

My mother texted me this morning and quote "how transparent can that mac cain vp choice be?"

No offense intended or anything, but I'd figure I'd add my own anecdotal evidence.  She did however, spell McCain's name wrong.

by KLRinLA 2008-08-29 03:30PM | 0 recs
And that's what

I am talking about. I hope people have the ability to see through this.

by SocialDem 2008-09-01 07:16PM | 0 recs
Potentially a Home Run

From a political point of view, this is a potentially a home run (and actually a very predictable pick once Obama picked Biden as VP - I predicted a month ago that McCain would pick a woman). Palin excites the Republican base and will be attractive to suburban white women (soccer moms). She'll also be attractive to 35-50 year old working class women.

I've read statistical studies which suggest that Republican women make strong candidates in general elections. One study  (albeit very old) showed that Republican women are the strongest general election candidates. In the study, Democratic men came in second, Republican men third and Democratic women were the weakest candidates. The study was done when Democrats were the majority party. I suspect, the gender factor which favor Republican women candidates is particularly strong at the presidential level.

However, the risk for McCain is Palin's possible scandals. There is also the Harriet Myers factor. If the Democrats can convince the public that this is an "affirmative action" pick, then this selection could backfire. However, given Obama's own lack of experience, this argument will be difficult to make. I think Obama's best argument is that he is a far superior political talent than Sarah Palin.

by Zzyzzy 2008-08-29 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Potentially a Home Run

Wow. Great Comment!

by kristoph 2008-08-29 01:42PM | 0 recs
A Dukakis question

I think Democrats should by and large lay off the experience point for the moment.  There is time for that to come out and it is not helpful in the short term.  Let the media do its work without getting our hands dirty.  Same with McCain's age.

Do hope she gets the equivalent of a Dukakis question from the media at the debates.

"Gov. Palin, you are opposed to allowing women to choose abortion even in cases of rape and incest.  Imagine the worst thing a parent fears has occurred and your daughter Piper was raped and impregnated.  Can you help American's understand what you would say to your daughter about why she should bring her rapist's child to term?"

Maybe better yet: "Gov. Palin, you are opposed to allowing women to choose abortion even in cases of rape and incest.  Can you share with the American public how you would justify to that daughter and her family your view that the government should compel her to bring her rapist's child to term?"

Too harsh?  Not suggesting the question come from Dems, but what if it came from a reporter?

by Trond Jacobsen 2008-08-29 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: A Dukakis question

I think anyone stupid enough to lay off the experience argument deserves to lose.

by bruh3 2008-08-29 01:26PM | 0 recs
Re: A Dukakis question

For now, not for good, as I said and presume you read.  And the media is raising it.  The campaign should for now adopt a more congratulatory tone.

Not every attack must be made by everyone at any point it can be made.  That view is the absence of strategy.

As you say though, I may be stupid. It is surely a good thing I do run national campaigns.

by Trond Jacobsen 2008-08-29 01:32PM | 0 recs
NOT run

by Trond Jacobsen 2008-08-29 01:35PM | 0 recs
Re: NOT run

Damn!  for a moment there I thought we found someone who did! ;~)

by chrisblask 2008-08-29 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: A Dukakis question

I dont think its smart at any point to conceed territory- especially early on where it becomes the narrative and cw

by bruh3 2008-08-29 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: A Dukakis question

Fair point, though I am not afraid that CW will set in over the next few days that Palin is experienced.  Particularly not given early media coverage.

Now, during the GOPer convention when Graham and the rest are lambasting Obama's experience in their speeches, then the interviewed Dems can say "they should tell their nominee who put a less experienced person a heart beat away from the presidency".

But I do get your pugilistic attitude.

by Trond Jacobsen 2008-08-29 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: A Dukakis question

Oh- I think we agree now. I agree not in the days, but in the coming weeks and next 60 days. First I think this story will be over by Monday once the new wrapping wears off, and the GOP will have to tell America what they will bring in the next 4 years. Their central problem is that even with her, they are the same party.

by bruh3 2008-08-29 02:47PM | 0 recs
something to keep in mind about Palin

Palin's addition to the ticket takes Republican faux-feminism to a whole new level. As Adam Serwer pointed out on TAPPED, this is in fact a condescending move by the GOP. It plays to the assumption that disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters did not care about her politics -- only her gender. In picking Palin, Republicans are lending credence to the sexist assumption that women voters are too stupid to investigate or care about the issues, and merely want to vote for someone who looks like them. As Serwer noted, it's akin to choosing Alan Keyes in an attempt to compete with Obama for votes from black Americans.

I can't help but be, oh, a little bit skeptical of Republicans' sudden interest in the glass ceiling. After all, this is the party that threw women like Lilly Ledbetter under the bus, in favor of businesses that practice wage discrimination. The party that stymied the Equal Rights Amendment. The party that not only wants to force women here and abroad to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, but also wants to deny them access to a range of contraception options.

Not to mention hypocrisy at play. Republicans directed an inexcusable amount of sexist vitriol at Hillary during the primary. As Michelle Malkin said on Fox News about Hillary, "If that's the face of experience, I think it's going to scare away a lot of those independent voters that are on the fence."

hat tip:  The American Prospect

http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?arti cle=mccains_sexist_vp_pick

by cChalfonte 2008-08-29 01:17PM | 0 recs
Just like Clarence Thomas (eom)

by NM Ward Chair 2008-08-29 04:31PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

I disagree with you in a way. This campaign till now has been framed by both candidates as a contest of personalities and not ideologies. Selecting Palin does the following things:

1. neutralizes the soft media stories of Obama's life

2. tries in a big way to co-opt the idea of change and new direction for the GOP

3. makes this a campaign of competing personalities now. You have Obama-Biden and McCain-Palin, it's McCain's way of saying that he is for change while Obama is for status quo

4. shores up and energizes the conservative base and also the civil libertarians. Palin is a self-described conservative yet she is intentionally ambiguous on gay rights and Roe.

Which brings me back to my point which I had diaried on. This election cannot be about post-partisan schtick and unity on the capitol hill. Obama can do all that once he wins till then he has to energize the base, run along Democratic and ideological party lines. Blurring the lines between progressive and conservative, Democrat and Republican as some his advisers (Daschle, Sebelius, McCaskill etc) are prone to do is perilous. The people have to be given a clear choice. I believe we have the better platform and that is what he needs to highlight all the time.

by tarheel74 2008-08-29 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

you think the debate is one of personalities? this may have been a primary argument, but not one of the GE.

by bruh3 2008-08-29 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

90%, 90%, 90%

just shot mc cain's change meme out the window

by bobestes 2008-08-29 01:44PM | 0 recs
Nice feebe attempt at spin ...

stretccchhhhhhhing beyond the beyond, lol.

by cChalfonte 2008-08-29 01:59PM | 0 recs
Ambiguous on Roe v. Wade?

Are you kidding?  Palin is so anti-abortion that she wouldn't allow her daughter to have an abortion if she were raped!  That's hardly ambiguous.

by NM Ward Chair 2008-08-29 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambiguous on Roe v. Wade?

she is very strongly against abortion but she has never gone on record about overturning Roe, that is being intentionally ambiguous. Now if you ask me I would say she would overturn Roe if she could but try telling it to the quasi-democrats or Obamacans or any of those people.

by tarheel74 2008-08-29 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

" Palin, like about 60 percent of Alaska voters, favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Her environmental credentials are, at best, mixed. She favors what we in Alaska call "predator control," including, gif necessary, the hunting of wolves from the air. Just recently her Dept. of Fish and Game pulled some wolf cubs from their den and shot them as part of a program to improve moose survival.

She also opposes the listing of the polar bear as an endangered species."

She's not the least bit cool. She's an asshole.

by Zorkon 2008-08-29 01:38PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

yeah, but she's cute, has a family, and looks like the mom that lives down the street from you. I say the way to handle her is to dismiss her and focus on mc cain.

by bobestes 2008-08-29 01:42PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

she will be pretty easy to ignore. since she hs no national standing from which to outline her principles, her main job is be an attack dog on obama.

on what basis does she have to do this? she cannot attack him on experience because she has none. she cannot attack him on the economy since the people in her state receive oil subsidies to live there. she cannot attack him on the environment for too many reasons to mention here (like drilling up ANWR. even mccain opposes that.)

i am still dumbfounded as to why people consider this a "gamechanger".

if anyone thinks hillary's supporters are going flock to mccain because of this choice, just wait until Hillary lets loose on Palins hard-right, extremist views on womens reproductive rights.

one of the big reasons hillary had so much support was her experience and expertise? what is mccain doing?

by KoolJeffrey 2008-08-29 02:17PM | 0 recs
A gamechanger

like the prevent defense.  Palin prevents McIdiot from winning.

by NM Ward Chair 2008-08-29 04:23PM | 0 recs
mark my words

this is not cocky obamamaniaspeak, this is the truth: Obama won the election yesterday and today.

by bobestes 2008-08-29 04:51PM | 0 recs
thoughts on palin

1. She's a nobody. She should be treated as such. Biden should say hello at the debates, then hammer mc cain.

2. Obama has the right idea: acknowledge Palin, pat her on the head, then get right back to "90%, 90%, 90%"

by bobestes 2008-08-29 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: thoughts on palin

perhaps palin's strength is that she is expendable to an extent: from her own position of inexperience she will attack obama as being equally inexperienced while indicating that perhaps biden or clinton should be at the top the ticket. then mccain can take the high road. just a thought.

by tomanderson13 2008-08-29 01:45PM | 0 recs
I agree

100%

by cChalfonte 2008-08-29 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

by rfahey22 2008-08-29 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

very good analysis of the "Biblical womanhood." argument. a lot of deeply evangelical women voters will understand, just like a lot of female hillary supporters, that this is just a cynical, political ploy with no real change affecting women's rights or their "place in the home."

on the flip side, i dont see how this choice appeases the business side of the republican coalition. romney understood them. palin is governor of a state in which everyone receives subsidies based on oil revenues to live there. what business model supports that situation?

all in all, a gift to obama, with a focus on putting up a woman to run against hillary in 2012 or 2016 (yes she can!).

by KoolJeffrey 2008-08-29 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

I can see the brilliance of picking a woman sportscaster, but shouldn't he have rewarded one who had risen to the top of her profession- like Hanna Storm?

by wrb 2008-08-29 02:12PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

I think we are underestimating the value of this pick to McCain.  In a year when the Democrats have such a large "generic" lead, the only way a Republican can win is be winning over large number of centrist voters, including independents and some Democrats.  McCain is perhaps the only Republican candidate that has a chance to do that, because of his record as a maverick.

However, he was somewhat boxed in in his VP choice.  If he made a non-traditional pick, such as Joe Lieberman or Meg Whitman, he would have infuriated his right-wing base.  But if he picked a candidate that satisfied his right-wing base, he would have undermined his message as a maverick.

Palin has solid support from the right-wing base -- probably as much as anybody else under consideration.  However, because of her gender, her quirky background, and her successful fights against the corrupt Republican establishment in Alaska -- she also strongly reinforces McCain's maverick reputation.  Her pick thus allows McCain to pivot from the nominating contest, when he had to reassert  his conservative credentials, to the presidental campaign, when he will reemphasize his maverick tendencies, thus allowing him to better appeal to centrist.

Finally, this pick will also allow McCain to dramatically capture the media narrative the next 1-2 weeks, which could possibly be the weeks in which this campaign is pretty much decided.

Let's look at the bounce the Republicans get in the next two weeks.  If McCain Palin are able to take a lead in the polls following the Republican National Convention, it could be a very tough campaign ahead.

by markjay 2008-08-29 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

Like everyone else you assume the right wing base is enough in 2008. You also assume that any woman will do ethe job for McCain. You also overstate how long the media will focus on this. By monday in this news cycle they will move on to the convention and specifically mccain.

by bruh3 2008-08-29 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

ps- let me remind you that mccain didn't have a base problem. obama did. that should tell you why this choice is a hail mary.

by bruh3 2008-08-29 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: I have just one question

McCain's base was going to vote for him anyway, they were just going to hold their noses.  Now, they'll be enthusiastic about it.  He's also making a play for the women's vote and he'll get the disgruntled PUMAs who'll never vote for Barack Obama(like that chick on Chris Matthews).  I think at least 85% of women who supported Hillary supported her b/c she was the first qualified woman to ever run for the top spot, you could put her in there and feel comfortable with the decision.  The other 15% are just women voting based on gender and most likely Obama wasn't going to gain them back anyway.

by venavena 2008-08-29 03:05PM | 0 recs
I have a question, too.

which body part did you pull those numbers out of?

by chiefscribe 2008-08-29 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: I have a question, too.

I said, I think, as in, it's my opinion.  There was absolutely nothing in my original post that required a troll-rating.  Just b/c you didn't agree with it, didn't make it troll worthy.  Grow up.

by venavena 2008-08-29 05:30PM | 0 recs
hmmm, wonder who TRed my post.

by chiefscribe 2008-08-30 02:59PM | 0 recs

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