What If Kerry Had Picked Obama As VP in 2004?

If Sarah Palin is a dud, will conservatives lose one of their rising stars?

Conservative writer Ross Douthat publishes a reader comment that is quite insightful - what if John Kerry had picked Barack Obama as his vice presidential running mate in 2004?

By early summer 2004, Obama had just barely appeared on the national radar, but had already impressed Democratic activists and people in high places with his political skills. Put aside the feasibility of such a pick for a second (even though John McCain's is nearly as insane). Imagine Kerry, frustrated with his other options, makes a rash decision to tap the up and coming Senator as his running mate. A feeding frenzy in the press ensues. The Democratic base, and African Americans in particular, are thrilled about this young, charismatic African American politician plucked out of nowhere.

But would Obama have survived? In the pressure cooker of a fall presidential campaign, all of the vetting would have occured in a compressed time period. Rezko, Reverend Wright, and any controversial votes in Obama's record would have all surfaced, and been given breathless attention in the media, all in the space of just two months. In addition, Obama would have had to learn to cope with the pressures of a presidential campaign, vastly increased his knowledge of foreign policy, convinced the country he was ready to be president AND survived a debate against Dick Cheney, all while avoiding gaffes in the media.

It sounds like a crazy scenario, but that's close to the situation facing John McCain and Sarah Palin today. And you can almost bet that if it had happened, it's highly unlikely that Obama would be running for President today - because his credibility would have been severely damaged by being thrust into the spotlight too soon.

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More Evidence of a Hasty Pick: Still No Palin Bio On McCain's Site

OK, maybe this Sarah Palin thing is getting overdone, but...I thought I'd point out one more thing that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere. I was fascinated by the ABC News report that Palin was a last-minute choice for McCain, and that she may have not gotten a real look until this week, when it became clear that McCain could not pick Lieberman. That info also fit with reports that Rove had pushed hard to prevent McCain from picking Lieberman, and the fact that Robert Novak had emerged from retirement to urge against it.

Now, another piece of evidence that Palin was a hasty, last-minute pick - there's still no actual bio for her up on John McCain's site! When Obama announced his choice of Joe Biden, the campaign was ready to go with a full bio detailing Joe's life story and many accomplishments, as you'd expect from a national presidential campaign.

So what about John McCain? The "Meet Sarah Palin" page on his site currently consists of...the text of her speech from yesterday's Ohio rally, and that's it. No real biographical information, no list of accomplishments, beyond what's there in the speech. You would think at the least they would provide a list of basic facts about the Governor, seeing as how she's a complete unknown on the national stage and all.

It might seem like a minor thing, but knowing how modern campaigns run, I think it's quite revealing. Apparently the Palin bio is still a work in progress.

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Nine Polar Bears at Risk of Drowning. Palin Applauds.

The GOP now has a VP candidate who thinks there are too many polar bears.  These furry mammals have made the egregious mistake of chosing to move to the area Ms. Palin and her oil buddies would like to start landcaping.

Fortunately, she won't have to personally go shoot all of the remaining polar bears, since her oil friends are working on drowning them all.

Nine polar bears are at risk of drowning after the ice floe where they lived melted because of global warming, scientists have said.  The bears were spotted in open ocean off the northwest coast of Alaska, miles from their normal hunting area by US government oil survey scientists flying over the Chukchi sea.

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Scientists who study the polar bear see this group of nine bears trying to swim 400 miles to safety as a bad sign.  In an area as vast as the unprecedentedly-large open waters of the Arctic, spotting one group this large and this lost means there are likely many others.

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DAVID FRUM: Palin the irresponsible choice?

Not all the Conservatives are completely bonkers.  

David Frum is someone I normally detest in a very special way.  Today's column is well worth a read for more than this: Ms. Palin's experience in government makes Barack Obama look like George C. Marshall.  The full column @ http://www.nationalpost.com/nationalpost /story.html?id=756704 , read it for yourselves.  

After the bump I'll save you the trek to The Corner for his quick take, which is also rather savoury.

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Views from Alaska

It seems that not all Republicans in Alaska approve of the McCain-Palin ticket.

The reaction wasn't so rosy elsewhere. State Senate President Lyda Green said she thought it was a joke when someone called her at 6 a.m. to tell her the news.

"She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president? said Green, a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla. "Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"

...

House Speaker John Harris, a Republican from Valdez, was also astonished at the news. He didn't want to get into the issue of her qualifications.

"She's old enough," Harris said. "She's a U.S. citizen."

http://www.adn.com/news/politics/story/5 10249.html

To be fair, in the article a former Republican opponent does offer praise and suggests that she should not be underestimated.  However, these reactions from her own colleagues are somewhat shocking and underscore various criticisms of the pick that have been discussed today.
 

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