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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Would Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin be a grand slam as McCain's Veep?

[UPDATE (Fri Aug 29 @ 2:45pm): What follows was the first in a series of almost a dozen posts I've written about the possibility of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin becoming John McCain's running mate. For a table with titles and dates, along with links, to those posts, click here. — Beldar.]

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Palin I fear that it may be counterproductive for conservative bloggers to make any recommendations to the McCain campaign regarding his vice presidential selection. And the conventional wisdom is that, the GOP convention coming after the Dems' convention, he ought to at least wait to see who Obama picks (although Obama may not wait until his convention either).

Nevertheless, I've spent several hours now reading about, and watching video clips of, 44-year-old Alaska governor Sarah Heath Palin. There are indications that she's on McCain's radar, along with many other candidates. I, for one, am very, very impressed with her. Indeed, I'm convinced already that it's no fluke that she's more popular with her constituents than any other current American governor (roughly a 90% approval rating). And I'm finding myself increasingly receptive to, and even persuaded by, the idea that she would be not merely a bold pick, but a smart pick, as McCain's running mate.

If you're not acquainted with Gov. Palin already, you owe it to yourself to get up to speed.

Start with Fred Barnes' July 2007 essay in the Weekly Standard. Barnes charts mostly the latter part of Palin's sharp-elbowed rise through Alaska politics as a reformer puncturing the well-feathered complacency of way-too-comfy Alaska Republicans. Barnes mostly omits her political start as a city councilman, and then (beginning in 1996) the successful two-term mayor/city manager, of Wasilla; as mayor of that fast-growing Anchorage suburb, she reduced property tax levels while increasing services and drawing in new industry. She was also elected head of Alaska's conference of mayors.

After a narrow 2002 primary loss for lieutenant governor, in 2004 Palin, from her appointed position as chair of the Alaska Conservation Commission (the state agency which regulates oil and gas), complained to "[then-]Governor Frank Murkowski and to state Attorney General Gregg Renkes about ethical violations by another commissioner, Randy Ruedrich, who was also Republican state chairman." Rebuffed, she resigned — but then deftly proceeded to drive all three of them out of office, finally triumphantly besting incumbent Murkowski in 2006 by capturing 51% of the vote in a three-way GOP primary. Palin then won handily (and against national trends) against popular former governor Tony Knowles in the 2006 general election. (Campaign slogan: "New Energy for Alaska.")

Of course, in between his apologies for his boneheaded connections to convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko and his Congressional earmarks  to Michelle's employer, Barack Obama can talk a very good game about the (toothless and ineffective) ethics bill he co-sponsored (along with many other senators) in the U.S. Senate. But Sarah Palin actually risked her entire political career to take on her own party's entrenched leadership, and then thoroughly and effectively cleaned house in the largest state in the Union. Between her and Obama, who's already proven him- or herself more likely to provide the "change you can believe in"?

PalinfishThis spring she used her line-item veto to cut $268 million from state spending bills — in a state that, comparatively, is flush with money, which makes pork projects almost irresistible. She resisted, and it appears that she's going to make her vetoes stick. That's the antidote to Bridges to Nowhere! (Which she opposed, by the way; the federal money originally committed to it, she's now re-directed into more appropriate infrastructure programs.)

As governor, she's also pushed hard against other entrenched interests, including the energy companies (BP, ConocoPhilips, and ExxonMobil) who hold the lease rights to much of Alaska's oil and gas wealth. She is a fierce, knowledgeable, and articulate advocate of responsible development of Alaskan resources to benefit not only its own residents — who actually pay among the nation's highest gasoline prices and have the least access to affordable and clean natural gas — but also the other 49 states, and she recognizes that this is not just a matter of economic necessity, but ultimately of national security.

Gov. Palin, negotiating Palin has spoken out and brought suit to prevent radical environmentalists from exploiting the ridiculous naming of the polar bear as an endangered species, showing no hesitation to stand up against them or their well-wishers in the federal bureaucracy. Yet she and her family are enthusiastic outdoorsmen — engaging in ice fishing, hunting, and snow-mobiling (her husband has won the 2000-mile Iron Dog race four times). Check out this campaign video of her and her family loading up their single-prop float-plane (not a corporate jet!) with sporting gear — that's got to be at least as cool as Obama shooting hoops.

It doesn't hurt that Gov. Palin is attractive and photogenic. (She was not, as Jonah Goldberg recently wrote, Miss Alaska, but she was Miss Wasilla; last December Vogue Magazine came to photograph her and her three daughters back in Wasilla; and comedian Craig Ferguson declares that she has a "sort of naughty librarian vibe.") But she's climbed through local and state politics on her own — not based on who her daddy or her husband is (or was) — and listening to her talk on energy policy or any other substantive matter for about 30 seconds (e.g., in this interview with Glenn Beck, starting at about 4:25) will definitively dispel any notions that she's skated by on good looks.

Miss Wasilla 1984   Gov. Palin on a normal business day

And yet Palin seems to be, insofar as one can ever tell from the media reflections, pretty well grounded — still very much your average soccer or ice-hockey mom in addition to her other roles. I really liked this video, too (alas, may only work in Internet Explorer), taken by a local TV station as she and her daughters first arrived at the newly-vacant Governor's Mansion. (I love it when the youngest daughter, Piper, is chastising the older two, Bristol and Willow, as they check out the attic!) Gov. Palin's first-born and oldest son, Track, isn't shown in that video because he enlisted in the Army on September 11, 2007 (he's volunteered to serve in Iraq). And finally, this story about the Palins' brand new infant son, Trig, born just a few weeks ago, leaves me literally teary-eyed in admiration at her and her whole family's faith, love, and courage. Suffice it to say that Sarah Palin's pro-family, pro-life credentials are absolutely compelling.

Gov. Palin, lifelong hunter & NRA member More (generally pro-Palin) punditry, weighing her political pros and cons as a Veep nominee: Josh Painter; Thomas Cheplick; Jack Kelly; Rush Limbaugh; AllahPundit; Ace; John Fund; Don Surber; Glenn Reynolds; Ann Althouse; Brian Faughnan; and a Palin for VP website.

Is she as ready to step into the presidency at a moment's notice as would be, say, Fred Thompson? No. But Thompson, as much as I love him, isn't going to be the Veep nominee; he and McCain together would look like they're running on the Whig ticket. Palin's local and state-government experience is as good or better, though, than that of Charlie Crist and some of the other youngish governors who've been mentioned. (All governors tend to be weak on national security credentials, but that, fortunately, is where McCain is strongest.) And although it hasn't yet been on a national stage, Palin has been an elected public servant, starting at the local level and rising to her state's highest office, since before Obama himself was ever elected to anything, even though she's two years younger than he is.

Gov. Palin's cover on Alaska Magazine   Gov. Palin & husband Todd Palin, a/k/a the 'First Dude,' dancing

"Sarah Barracuda," she was nicknamed when she led her high school basketball team to the state finals. I'm reminded, thinking of possible inaugural balls, of the old line about Ginger Rogers — that she did all the fancy footwork and artistic dance steps that Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire could do on the dance floors, except backwards and in a ball-gown and heels. Afterwards, though, Gov. Palin would switch to her North Face gear, shoulder up her 30.06, and hop on the snow-mobile with one of her daughters to go track down some more moose meat for tomorrow's supper.

Sarah Palin is walking, talking, governing proof that feminism, motherhood, and conservatism aren't inconsistent.

Of course, Alaska and its three electoral votes are not "in play." But shoring up even a single big state like Florida or Virginia or Ohio through a favorite-son Veep candidate is small-ball — maybe a bunt that might or might not produce a base hit, and that might or might not score a run.

I'm thinking that to unite the GOP's conservative base, peel off more independents and some disappointed Clintonistas, continue taking the wind out of Obamamania, and match Obama for sheer coolness, McCain may need a genuine four-bag home-run on the boards from his Veep nominee. I'm thinking that Sarah Palin may just be all that.

Gov. Sarah Palin, campaigning

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UPDATE (Mon Jun 9 @ 10:45am): A reader pointed out to me that Gov. Palin — unlike Sen. Obama — has recently visited our troops in the Middle East. These photos are from her July 2007 visit to Alaska National Guard troops serving in a support role in Kuwait, and to others being treated at the American military hospital in Landsduhl, Germany:

Gov. Palin at Camp Buehring in Kuwait

Gov. Palin in Kuwait with soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 297th Infantry Regiment, Alaska National Guard

Gov. Palin visits Army Private James Pattison at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center

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UPDATE (Mon Jun 9 @ 11:45am): Here's more re "First Dude" Todd that suggests how Gov. Palin might help McCain with blue-collar voters:

It's not just his title as the state's reigning snowmobile co-champion that sets 42-year-old Todd Palin apart from the nation's other first spouses. And it's not that he's one of just five who are men.

White-collar jobs in law, education or health care are typical among the current crop of first spouses, but Palin spent nearly 20 years as a blue-collar employee in the oil fields of the North Slope. And every summer he heads west to his birthplace in Dillingham to work the Bristol Bay commercial salmon fishery from his property on the Nushagak River.

A lifetime of manual labor in the state's two largest and most physically demanding industries is helping Palin carve out his role as Alaska's first spouse, or "first dude," a nickname he has in common with the Kansas governor's husband, Gary Sebelius....

"For those of us who learn by touching and tearing stuff apart and for those who don't have the financial background to go to college, just being a product of that on-the-job training is really important," Palin said one morning over pastries at an Anchorage coffee shop, before meeting with trainers at several companies and trade groups in Anchorage and Wasilla.

Palin, who took college courses, but does not have a degree, said he is grateful for the training he received from the multinational oil company BP starting in 1989.

Until recently, he earned hourly wages as a production operator in a BP-run facility that separates oil from gas and water. Palin was making between $100,000 and $120,000 a year before he went on leave in December to make more time for his family and avoid potential conflicts of interest. London-based BP is heavily involved in the gas pipeline negotiations with his wife's administration.

His grandmother, by the way, is a "highly respected elder" from the Curyung tribe of the Yup'ik Eskimos (a/k/a Native Alaskans).

Posted by Beldar at 10:17 AM in 2008 Election, McCain, Obama, Palin, Politics (2008) | Permalink

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» ALASKA GOV. SARAH PALIN -- from PrestoPundit

Tracked on Jun 8, 2008 8:21:42 PM

» Palin for VP Bandwagon from America's North Shore Journal

Tracked on Jun 9, 2008 12:56:03 PM

» My Pick For McCain's Pick For VP Is ... from Hyscience

Tracked on Jun 9, 2008 12:56:22 PM

» Palin leads Pajamas Media veep poll from BeldarBlog

Tracked on Jun 18, 2008 11:33:55 PM

» Review: Kaylene Johnson's "Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down" from BeldarBlog

Tracked on Jun 29, 2008 8:30:13 PM

» Palin would give voters grounds to consider the 2008 GOP Veep nominee on more than the three traditional occasions from BeldarBlog

Tracked on Jul 1, 2008 6:41:46 PM

» McCain should say: "I shall go to Alaska! (And I will take along the press!)" from BeldarBlog

Tracked on Jul 11, 2008 2:10:45 AM

» Yay! It's Palin! from BeldarBlog

Tracked on Aug 29, 2008 11:44:55 AM

Comments

(1) Laura made the following comment | Jun 8, 2008 12:57:49 PM | Permalink

Thank you for your kind words about our governor. We really like Sarah -- she knows how to connect with people and she'll never be accused of being a snob. The link below to the Anchorage Daily News article where she dumps the "Governor's Chef" to save the State money (and also because she prefers to cook for her family) earned praise through out the state. In the scheme of her governing, it was a small decision. But to me it says a lot about who she is -- she's one of us!

link

(2) hunter made the following comment | Jun 8, 2008 3:54:02 PM | Permalink

And she sees through the polar bear scam.
I like her a lot and I don't even know her.

(3) Rod Stanton made the following comment | Jun 8, 2008 7:16:53 PM | Permalink

To have someone as conservative as she is on the same ticket as someone as far left/progressive as McCain would make a farce out of the whole thing! It would make the GOP a joke. As long as we have a "nanny stater" heading the ticket we should have another (maybe not so hyper progressive - such as Rev Huck) on the ticket if for no other reason that to seem to have an idea of what the "modern" GOP stands for.

I would like her with Fred or Mitt but she is too extreme conservative to be on a ticket with a far left big government man; like either John or Huck.

(4) Ted made the following comment | Jun 8, 2008 8:30:43 PM | Permalink

If anyone with any political insight whatsoever (who genuinely wants McCain to win in November) can’t see why Alaska Gov Sarah Palin is far far far far far far better than anyone else, with all due respect, I can’t have too much respect for those opinions. Again, with all due respect, this is NOT rocket science, folks.

See the below C-SPAN Washington Journal program from this morning if you still have any question on this. (Watch the whole segment!)

link (requires RealPlayer; 44:04 long).

(5) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Jun 8, 2008 9:53:57 PM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: Perhaps she is TOO good for McC. Consider:

1. She's 28 years younger than McC, but has more executive experience. The Democrats will not be shy about playing the age card, saying the ticket should be reversed, with McC being #2 (they might be right.)

2. She has a record of fighting pork and integrity in government that is equal to or better than McC's. Again the Dems will try to upstage McC.

3. Given McC's stand on global warming, I see sparks between McC and Palin on this topic. He has also objected to drilling in the ANWR, another bone of contention between the two of them.

4. McC has a big ego, and I don't know how well Palin would work with him in the long run. Given McC's penchant for sticking his finger in the eyes of those who are, or could be, allies, I think Ms. Palin better put on a set of prescription welder's goggles should she meets with McC.

My objections to Palin are similar to those against Bobby Jindal: these are prospective Number Ones who are being harvested too soon. The great appeal in both cases is that both are "minority" candidates, and in this year when the Democrats are nominating the greatest prize in the sordid politics of minority symbolism, this is a "me too" attitude that won't get the GOP far. Veeps don't help the ticket; but they can hurt it. (Ronald Reagan didn't get elected because of George Bush; Dan Quayle did nothing to help George Bush.) Palin won't save the GOP if McC is too weak, but a failed effort in 2008 is likely to damage her, and she will be needed for the GOP later on.

Nope, try again. Mitt Romney would be a fine veep except for point 4. Linda Lingle, the governor of Hawaii since 2002, would do well in the symbolism sweepstakes (female, Jewish) but has some baggage: she's twice divorced, and she has bawled for the notorious Akaka bill aka "Let's Turn Hawaii Into an Apartheid State." Tim Pawlenty gov of Minnesota. Charlie Crist of Florida. There are other candidates out there who would a) bring quite a bit to the ticket, if not all that Palin would but b) not have the finger poking worry to their eyesight and c) are not going to be eating so much of the GOP's "seed corn."

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(6) Matthew made the following comment | Jun 8, 2008 10:00:06 PM | Permalink

Thanks for the post, Beldar. I've also been consistently impressed by Governor Palin. As I've mentioned elsewhere, one of her main strengths may be her commitment to increasing domestic energy supplies. As Alaska's governor, this just means opening up some of our oil reserves (not a full-fledged national energy policy), but it shows her instincts on this issue are better than both Obama's (who apparently wants us not to keep our homes at 72 degrees, lest other countries not say "okay") and McCain's (who has thus far proposed no more than a tired rule of the Republican playbook: when in doubt, propose a tax break). For Sarah, the answer is to increase supply.

I respectfully disagree with Ted that anyone who picks someone other than Sarah has less than half a brain. A number of the folks who have been named would be very good leaders of this country & I wouldn't want to denigrate their accomplishments. That said, I think Sarah would be the best candidate and the best VP of anyone who shows up on the lists.

I also respectfully disagree with Rod that Palin differs too much from McCain politically for the ticket to be coherent. Even though McCain is no libertarian, he falls squarely within Reagan's coalition of conservatism. What's more, the VP choice doesn't have to share an ideology with the President. It's only necessary that the two respect each other & can work together. And I have a very hard time imagining that Palin doesn't meet that requirement.

(7) David Rogers made the following comment | Jun 8, 2008 10:32:47 PM | Permalink

I love Sarah Palin. I love Boby Jindal. I think a combination of the two in 2012 or 2016 would be fantastic.

But I think you can't plausibly hit Obama for inexperience (his second greatest weakness, IMHO) when your running mate has less than two years experience in high office.

And that leaves Palin out--this time.

I did a fifty-state survey of governors, looking for Republicans who could add to McCain's appeal to cross-over voters and disaffected HIllary-crats.

I chose governors because I believe McCain (and, for that matter, any other Senator) need someone with executive experience to balance the ticket.

My criteria:
1) experienced (in contrast w/ Obama)
2) don't spit in eye of GOP base
3) might bring in a normally non-GOP state
4) Complement McCain's strengths

Only Rell meets all these criteria.

Palin and Jindal fail test #1.
Romney fails test #3 (unless you credit him with Michigan, which seems dubious IMHO). (some say he fails test #2)
Tim Pawlenty fits the four criteria, but doesn't appeal to cross-overs or Hillary-crats.

The only other person who comes close is Hawai'i Governor Linda Lingle, but despite her success as governor of this heavily-Democratic state since 2002, I doubt she could put her state in play against Hawai'i native Obama, though she would force him to expend some effort there. However, as a Jewish woman, Lingle might offer some help in other states and some media excitement that Rell would not offer.

Both Rell and Lingle have solid reform credentials, and a well-deserved reputation as pragmatists. Also, Rell, in combination with Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, could put the normally solidly Democratic state of Connecticut in play, and could help in New Jersey and New Hampshire, and conceivably in Maine. Hawai'i, of course, has no neighboring states.

Also, though Lingle is twice-married, she is also twice-divorced and childless, and Hawai'i Democrats engaged in a whispering campaign suggesting she is a lesbian.

Vice-presidents, it has been widely observed, can only hurt the ticket (e.g., Quayle). But I would argue that some have helped (e.g., Lieberman, Cheney, Gore, H.W. Bush, Mondale in '76). I think, at the least, that Rell does not hurt the GOP, and I believe she could add as much as the four examples above.

Rell is not nearly as exciting as Palin, but Palin just undermines the whole McCain/Obama inexperience narrative too much to be on this ticket.

(8) DRJ made the following comment | Jun 8, 2008 11:44:03 PM | Permalink

McCain has repeatedly said he wants a VP who is his Mini-me. The only person who can say that is Lindsey Graham.

(9) Beldar made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 6:52:07 AM | Permalink

DRJ: Graham is who he picks in all my nightmares, and I've previously said I think he's the most likely McCain pick. I do think it would be possible for McCain to do worse than Graham, but I would find him a very, very uninspired choice.

Mr. Rogers: I wasn't familiar before your comment with Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rall, and I thank you for bringing her to our attention. But she, too, has just been inaugurated as governor in 2007, and her previous experience as lieutenant governor and a state legislator is, I think, roughly comparable to Sarah Palin's; both of them have been in some sort of elected office longer than Obama himself, but neither in a top-level slot. I would need more convincing that she could actually deliver Connecticut to the GOP, though; it hasn't gone red since Bush-41, and Kerry carried it by 10 points in 2004. (Plus, McCain already has Lieberman there, if the state can be put into play.)

Mr. Koster: I was impressed with Tim Pawlenty's appearance yesterday on Fox News Sunday: he's clearly articulate and quick on his feet. If McCain wants a fairly conventional and safe choice who probably (although not certainly) can deliver a recently-blue state, he wouldn't be a bad choice. I also appreciate your comment about the GOP's "seed corn," but I haven't given up on the 2008 election yet (even though we share, I know, many of the same reservations about the top of the GOP ticket).

On the experience question generally, unless McCain has some health episode between now and November, I think he's got a lot more running room than Obama. McCain ought to try to get the best use out of his own age liability, which is that his own gravitas may overshadow what might be an excess of his running mate's inexperience in a more "normal" ticket (with both nominees in their 50s or early 60s).

By contrast, Obama's greatest vulnerability is his foreign policy inexperience (and inexperience in general); there are overwhelming pressures upon him to pick an older statesman figure, which probably means a present or retired senator (Biden, Nunn, etc.) or general. On the other hand, identity politics is so strong among the Dems that he will be pressured to pick another woman (any woman) or a Hispanic. I'm still thinking he's going to try to solve two of those problems, though, plus lock in a closely contested state, with Bill Richardson unless the vetters conclude that he has an insurmountable bimbo eruption problem. Richardson's résumé looks better than it really is, however; he's even more prone to verbal gaffes than McCain or Obama; and I don't have any problem imagining Palin or Jindal across stage from him at the VP debate.

(10) Mike Thomas made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 8:05:04 AM | Permalink

I think the VP selection is about the only thing of real interest left on the Republican side of the equation since I truly believe they are going to get their clocks cleaned come November regardless. Who might McCain pick to set up for a possible run for president in 2012?
In that respect, I think Sarah Palin is a very interesting choice. But I am a bit surprised that Beldar is so enamored with her. As others have already noted, she has little experience on the national stage and if she happened to have a D after her name rather than an R would Beldar still agree that she was a good choice for the other party?
Let's face it, she is a one-term governor of a teeny, tiny state. Yes, I mean tiny in the population sense. Alaska has fewer people than Rhode Island afterall. Why, twice as many people live in Hawaii. It is the 47th smallest state population wise and only merits one representative in the U.S. House. Texas has 32 by contrast.
In fact, more people live in Austin than live in the entire state of Alaska. Twice as many people live in San Antonio. So that means that Mayor Phil Hardberger is respeonsible for twice as many people as Gov. Palin.
I'm still betting that McCain will go with a Hispanic VP - someone like Sen. Mel Martinez - to try and make inroads with that ethnic group. You say that identity politics is stronger with Democrats, yet I think it is almost guaranteed that McCain will pick a woman or a minority for his VP. I would be shocked if he did otherwise.
Obama, on the other hand, is pretty much limited to picking a white male to be on the ticket. He could still pick a woman like Sebelius of Kansas, but I'm betting they will end up going with someone like Sam Nunn (the Democratic Dick Cheney!).

(11) Beldar made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 8:38:58 AM | Permalink

Mike: That Alaska has a small population doesn't mean Gov. Palin is unqualified. That's silly — a complete non sequitur. I would agree that in general, success there may be less impressive than success in governing a top-population state like Texas, California, New York, or Florida. But Alaska's geographic size and comparative isolation certainly magnify the challenges of governing that state.

Mayors have mayoral responsibilities, no matter how big their cities are. Rudy Giuliani was "responsible" for millions, but was never responsible, for example, for the N.Y. National Guard, nor for dealing with Medicaid/Medicare and other state/federal relationships, nor with setting state-level policies on crime, education, and many other such matters. That said, I think Gov. Palin's local government experience — even as mayor of a very small town — is relevant and positive.

Palin's overall experience, although admittedly limited, compares adequately with the Dems' top-of-the-ticket nominee. When Obama has to pick an elder statesman to compensate, his ticket as a whole will end up suffering by comparison. And as I've said earlier, I think McCain's overwhelming advantage in experience (both life and legislative) and gravitas will permit him to "splurge," if you will, on someone whose potential is still mostly in front of him or her.

(12) dchamil made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 9:12:54 AM | Permalink

Aw, come on, Beldar, tell us what you really think. Do you like her or doncha?

(13) Mike Thomas made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 9:23:08 AM | Permalink

A silly non-sequitur for sure, but isn't that how millions of people decide elections anyway?
Whatever advantages McCain has in experience (probably too much experience in "life") will be swamped by the disadvantage of being tied to the most unpopular presidency in modern history. I suspect many Republicans already recognize this at some deep level and are simply working to try and stem the tide and set the stage for a comeback in 2012. The big money people see it. That is why they are sitting on their wallets this election and allowing McCain to lag way behind the Democrats in fundraising.
You have to admit that things are a mess right now. The war in Iraq is a disaster no matter how you try and spin the "success" of the surge in reducing violence in the region. Nothing has gone as Republicans had intended. The economy stinks. Gas is $4 a gallon and rising. Eight years of Republican dominance and this is what we get?? Your ideas clearly are not working.
The GOP's best hope right now is for a politically damaged Obama to squeak into office, have things go poorly for the next four years and then take over in a resurgence four years from now. I know that is my biggest nightmare scenario.
But I still have faith. Not in Obama, but in the American system of government to pull through if we can just get some people in there who aren't rightwing idealogues committed to screwing things up just so they can prove that our government doesn't work.

(14) stan made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 9:30:43 AM | Permalink

There are so many fertile areas to exploit when it comes to Obama's shortcomings that inexperience is pretty far down the list. Even then, the executive experience as governor and mayor make her far more qualified than Obama. He's not only relatively young, he's never done anything.

Other than skip the tough votes and slavishly follow the party line on the ordinary stuff, what has he ever done?

(15) Kristofer made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 9:58:57 AM | Permalink

Pro-Palin for VP video clip.

[Love the music accompaniment in the intro! — Beldar]

(16) Ted made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 12:08:50 PM | Permalink

If I may take the liberty of quoting something I recently read:

“If John McCain doesn’t choose Sarah Palin, he might have to plead temporary insanity.”

(17) Robert Lamb made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 1:38:08 PM | Permalink

For years I asked my friends why a state with six hundred thousand people put up with so much corruption and they always said" what could we replace it with". SARAH PALIN! SARAH PALIN for President in 2016!

(18) DRJ made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 2:30:46 PM | Permalink

Beldar,

I think McCain has little chance to win in November but he increases his chances exponentially if he nominates a VP like Palin. She illustrates in ways words could never show that the GOP is more than a party of staid, old white men.

For the same reason, I think McCain can kiss the Presidency goodbye if he picks Graham.

(19) Laura made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 4:21:34 PM | Permalink

I have been lurking in a number of political blogs and reading a lot of posts. There are many well reasoned posts why one VP is a better pick than another.

People write about experience, electoral votes, etc. But it occurred to me that all you political junkies may be out of touch with the average American. When it comes to the experience factor, does the average American obsess over it like you all do? Or will LOOKS and LIKEABILITY be given more weight?

If that is the case, I don't think there is any potential VP nominee and spouse that comes anywhere close to Todd and Sarah Palin in those two areas.

The media will go into a feeding frenzy if McCain picks Palin.

(20) Paul Zrimsek made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 4:28:16 PM | Permalink

Are liberals ever going to make up their minds whether gas prices are too high or too low?

(21) DRJ made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 10:12:23 PM | Permalink

John McCain says he's using Google to vet his VP candidates. I hope he reads this post.

(22) hunter made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 10:14:03 PM | Permalink

I don't know how much Palin will or will not help if she is or is not picked, but what I find astonishing is how many people are writing off McCain.
Writing off McCain against a neverwuzzer like Obama is completely stupid.
Obama flusters easily, is corrupt, is a racist, has an identity crisis, has done nothing, has never faced a real political campaign, and his policies are far far to the left of most Americans.
He will not wear well.
So whoever is the VP (except Graham), hang cool.
It will be OK.

(23) Michael H. Brophy made the following comment | Jun 9, 2008 10:39:49 PM | Permalink

She would give Achmadinejad unexpected problems no doubt. The Republicans would have to change that meeting without preconditions policy. Did you all see Fox News Sunday June 8? Several of the panelists, and I don't think anyone seriously disagreed, said that the question is 'Can Obama close the deal?' In that light, frankly planing to win with Palin is like the Dallas Cowboys planning to win with better cheerleaders seriously meaning no disrespect to Palin. She doesn't dent the economic razzmatazzz of Senator Obama. McCain would just have a nicer electoral 'family' waiting for Obama to stumble. We need somebody economically trenchant. I think McClain should try to outflank his rival with Bloomberg.

(24) Charlie made the following comment | Jun 10, 2008 5:09:53 PM | Permalink

Palin and Jindal. Looks like the GOP has some good triple-A players.

Maybe the party's not dead yet. After all, the Red Sox did it.

(25) PA for Palin made the following comment | Jun 11, 2008 8:50:02 PM | Permalink

I am from PA a potential blue state that could turn red this year. The Pittsburgh radio stations have been talking up Sarah Palin for the last two weeks. There is a good chance that Hillary voters here would swing republican with someone like Palin on the ticket

(26) Ted made the following comment | Jun 13, 2008 1:20:34 AM | Permalink

This is not rocket science.
Palin as McCain’s Veep.

(27) Ted made the following comment | Jun 22, 2008 7:02:02 PM | Permalink

I can see it all now, Alaska Gov Sarah Palin’s husband, Todd, introducing Sarah as the next Vice President of the United States at the Republican National Convention later this summer, to the tune of Shania Twain’s “She’s Not Just a Pretty Face”.

Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMlcZDorjuE

Just imagine!!! (Dems, eat your heart out)

(28) seeker made the following comment | Jul 16, 2008 2:41:53 PM | Permalink

She's even better than BO.

And she's quite a hottie.

For the first time, a conservative like me is attracted to identity politics.

But...

GO SARAH, MY FUTURE QUEEN!

(29) Daymon made the following comment | Jul 28, 2008 8:00:13 PM | Permalink

It's McCain...Palin and simple!

(30) Diana made the following comment | Aug 25, 2008 1:50:54 PM | Permalink

I am a disapointed Hillary fan who likes Sarah Palin as well and would gladly vote for McCain with Sarah on the ticket.They both are Mavricks and I like that spunk! Now if only Mc Cain would choose her. I bet he would win the election as many do not want Obama / Biden.

(31) John made the following comment | Aug 26, 2008 2:37:47 PM | Permalink

I would hope that Sarah Palin is tapped to be Vice President. Some would say Sarah Palin may not be qualified now. This does not mean she won't be qualified for Vice President or President in the future. There are many reasons to consider her for natinal politics in the future. First, she is a fiscal conservative. Bush has disappointed this country and members of his own party by being fiscally irresponsible. Secondly, Sarah Palin is an independent conservative. She took on members of her own party and stood up to corruption in Alaskan State politics and still became Governor of Alaska. She will not walk lock steep with George Bush or John McCain, or any other Republican. She could serve this country better as Alaskan Governor then as Vice President. Alaska could set an example for other states to follow. She could lead by example.
I would hope she is picked to be the Keynote speaker for the Republican National Convention in 2008. She could do fund-raises for other Republicans. I would hope the RNC picks Anchorage or anywhere else in Alaska for the 2012 or 2016 Republican National Convention. As Alaska goes, so goes the nation.

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