I woke up this morning to a phone call from my father informing me that John McCain was set to name Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. That got my attention.
Over the last few months, I had heard Palin's name mentioned frequently, though not loudly, as a potential VP. I personally preferred Romney and thought he could have helped in New Hampshire, Michigan, Colorado, and Nevada, but I understood the risk of giving social/religious conservatives another reason to stay home on election day.
So yeah, I understood the positives and negatives of Romney for VP. I was persuaded that the campaign was too smart to select Lieberman, would never tap Charlie Crist or Tom Ridge, and though I might like it, Colin Powell was unlikely to get the nod. The people I read and whose opinions I trust all suggested Tim Pawlenty. He's a successful governor and a social and fiscal conservative and importantly, hails from a battleground state--Minnesota, a state McCain has an outside chance of winning. But I don't want to overstate the state-specific electoral boost of VP candidates. It didn't work out so well for Edwards or Gore.
But back to Sarah Palin. This woman is awesome. You've read it all elsewhere, but it bears repeating here. She was a mayor. Compare mayor to the nebulous community organizer. Does anyone even know what a community organizer does? More specifically, as CO, does anyone know what Obama did?
But folks, that's not all. She chaired a reformist, investigative committee which put her in a position to take on the corrupt elements in her own party. This wasn't a partisan thing. She saw corruption and she rooted it out.
And then, she became governor. As governor, she has run an incredibly tight financial ship that does not kowtow to special interest and broke up the corrupt Republican political machine.
Governor Sarah Palin, Republicans' #2, has more executive experience and is far more prepared to be President than Democrats' #1, Barack Obama. So Biden has more foreign policy experience than Sarah Palin? So what? Biden is not the Democrat's Presidential nominee, Obama is. And he has no executive experience and little to no foreign policy experience. Sarah Palin would be a better POTUS than either Biden or Obama.
This raises what is, I think, a ridiculously stupid line of argument: that Sarah Palin is inexperienced.
Pot, meet kettle.
This is an argument that makes itself. Conservative pundits don't even have to argue this one. Joe American is going to hear the reactionary Obama surrogates make this argument and say to themselves, "community organizer is criticizing mayor & Governor Palin?" Seriously? Seriously?!
And this woman walks the walk. Pro-life, she gave birth to a child with Downs syndrome.
As a woman, she will peel off the women who wanted to vote for a woman and are not ideological. This eats away at Democrats' traditional advantage among women.
When Obama picked Biden and McCain picked Palin, the outside-the-beltway narrative was ceded to Republicans. The Democrats, with Biden on the ticket, are the ultimate insiders. At a time when the public is dissatisfied with Washington, this was a mistake and huge advantage to McCain/Palin.
Importantly, Governor Palin fires up the base. This was the one concern shared by all conservative pundits--that social conservatives would stay home. No longer. My survey of the conservative interweb shows a base that, maybe for the first time this election, is ready to work hard to get McCain/Palin elected.
Not to be overlooked, adding Governor Palin to the ticket neutralizes, to some degree, the Democrats' narrative that they are "making history."
So are the Republicans.
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