With nothing to really lose, the GOP rolled the dice with Sarah Palin, the Hockey Pit-bull in lipstick. And for the first time since John McCain became the presumptive nominee, I think the race is in serious doubt. Everything now seems to depend on how those dice finally fall.
Of course the article's title is wrong, but I couldn't resist the Sara Lee reference. Some people already don't like Sarah Palin, but she gave an excellent account of herself Wednesday night. The unknown woman from Alaska knocked our socks off when she hit the national stage. Her speech was so captivating that for a while I found myself thinking they had a point: Obama is pretty inexperienced, and a ticket with Palin might be the real change agent...
Maybe that 36-minute speech was just a shade too long, because it gave me time to reflect on her politics: far right, anti-choice, possible creationalist. As exciting as her youth and energy is, she's not someone I want one 72-year-old heart beat away from the Oval Office. As appealing as the idea of a woman on the ticket is, she's just not the right lipsticked pit-bull to be Vice President of the USA.
Still, it is a brilliant and desperate move by the GOP. On the other hand, they had little or nothing to lose. I firmly believe that, until this week, the Republicans were destined to lose in November. At times it even seemed to me it could be a landslide in favor of Obama. Surely, in current state of national crisis, we would never elect a 72-year-old fighter jockey! Right now, that no longer seems so certain.
Everything depends on whether she survives until November, but for now the selection of Palin looks like the smartest thing the GOP has done all season. Here's some of why:
- GOP grabs the spotlight (big time) for convention
- GOP can now also make a "change" claim
- Palin balances Obama's American Dream story with her own
- Palin makes Biden look less interesting
- Palin brings much needed youth to the GOP ticket
- Palin complicates the experience question (she's only one with Executive experience)
- A woman on the ticket appeals to many people
However, CNN's Candy Crowley voiced a thought I was having. Is the country really ready for a woman on the ticket? Watching her talk, I tried to project forward to a presidency that includes Sarah Palin. The change seems phenomenal; a woman in the White House seems a greater change than a black man in the White House. It would seem that, at least in my mind, gender is a greater leap than race. If my perception is greatly shared, then the cruel irony of the GOP putting a woman on the ticket may the backlash they'll get for putting a woman on the ticket.
In any event, is the country ready for this woman on the ticket? Even immediately after her speech, many had negative things to say. But the over-reaction of the over-reactive left has played right into GOP hands for the moment. I do think fighting Palin on character is wrong-headed and counter-productive (and off-message). The smart money is on her political views.
One thing I find very exciting is that this stands some small chance of coming down to the issues. Sarah Palin seems to trump many of Obama's personality points. In the end, it may come down to voting for the platform and ideas in which you believe.
Which is exactly how it should be.
- © www.msnbc.com front page, September 4, 2008
- © gov.state.ak.us Official Portrait
- © gov.state.ak.us Governor Sarah Palin signs HB 4001 and SB 4002 into law. The bills make up the Energy Package recently passed by the legislature, which award qualified Alaskans $1,200 from state surplus to help with rising energy costs, and also appropriate $60 million to AHFC for energy efficient home grants.
- © gov.state.ak.us Governor Sarah Palin met with Congressional challengers from Utah, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Indiana who traveled to Alaska to tour ANWR.
- © www.alaskaseafood.org Governor Sarah Palin holds a salmon caught while setnetting with her family in the Bristol Bay region.
© 2008 Chris from MN