Around the Horn: Sarah Palin for Vice-PresidentPolitics, Republicans — By Dustin R. Steeve on August 29, 2008 at 11:02 am
John McCain has announced his choice for Vice-President. Sarah Palin is McCain’s choice for the next president of the United States should something happen to him while in office.
Media outlets are buzzing with stories about McCain’s interesting and unexpected nominee choice – here is a quick trip around the horn on McCain-Palin 08:
The Trumpet Resounds
Tim Grieve and Jonathan Martin give voters unfamiliar with Sarah Palin a quick history of the Republican governor from Alaska.
Trumpeting from the Left
Comparing her to Dan Quayle, Kos celebrates the end of an election about “experience,” “Obama is not ready to lead” attack lines. Those are dead… Palin is also a an ideologue, on choice, on the environment, on energy — all the way down the line. This an ideological pick…McCain has abandoned any notion of playing for the center. He’s looking to shore up his right flank and hoping that the Evangelical Right can somehow drag McCain over the line.”
Joshua Marshall at Talking Points Memo echoes Kos line about experience adding that Palin enters the race with baggage that could weigh McCain’s campaign down. “It’s a daring pick but I think a very weak pick. I’m perfectly happy with it. Palin is in the midst of a reasonably serious scandal in her home state. Her brother-in-law is a state trooper who is in the midst of an ugly custody battle with her sister. And she’s accused of getting the state police to fire him.”
Clinton campaign adviser Howard Wolfson notes the stinging question: “… you are going to have a lot of women voters wondering why Senator Obama didn’t tap Senator Clinton as his running mate. Trumpeting from the Middle
Jonathan Martin gives the upsides and downsides of a Palin pick. Upside: “Palin is a strong conservative, opposing abortion rights and enjoying a life membership in the NRA.” Downside: “She has no foreign policy experience whatsoever. She’s also entirely untested on the national political stage.”
Klause Marre at The Hill believes that Palin is a “high-risk, high-reward” candidate. It works to her benefit that she is outside the Beltway (way outside the Beltway) but she disagrees with McCain on ANWAR and supports drilling in that region.
Trumpeting from the Right
Fred Barnes gives a celebratory narrative of the relatively unknown governor. According to Barnes, Palin was the star born in the 2006 dark night of conservative politics: “The triumph came in Alaska where Sarah Palin, a politician of eye-popping integrity, was elected governor. She is now the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating in the 90s, and probably the most popular public official in any state. Her rise is a great (and rare) story of how adherence to principle–especially to transparency and accountability in government–can produce political success.”
Katherine Jean Lopez at National Review poignantly notes that any charge of inexperience leveled against vice-presidential pick Palin can be reflected back to Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama. The media is in a quandary. Lopez seems happy with the tap saying, “That’s what authentic authenticity looks like.”
Michelle Malkin is “impressed. Very impressed.” She is tracking responses from the right.
Blowing My Own Horn
I agree with the buzz that McCain’s pick re-affirms his reputation as a maverick.
I am concerned that Palin does not bring many (if any) key battleground states such as Colorado or Michigan firmly into the McCain camp which would have happened in the event of a Romney or Pawlenty nod. However, I do not resonate with celebration on the Left about the death of the “experience” attack line.
Defined by experience, clearly there is a mentor/mentee relationship occurring on both tickets. However, the Republicans are not running their mentee as the presidential candidate. The vice-presidency has traditionally been understood as a preparatory role for the presidency. Therefore, it seems appropriate that John McCain would choose to groom a young, conservative star for the presidency by tapping her to be his VP nominee.
One final thought which I have not seen in the blogosphere as of yet. I am energized. I am a young, evangelical, conservative voter and I did not expect to be so energized by McCain’s vice-presidential choice. However, Palin is a woman who has a right philosophy of life and family issues. She glows with the kind of youthful authenticity that gave the pre-Rezko Obama his appeal. She fights oil companies where it makes sense to do so but does not bow before the altar of those who forget that nature is ours to steward, not worship.
I am energized. My conservative friends who are politically savvy are energized. People unfamiliar with her who find out about her story and her political philosophy become energized. Wake up Republicans, wake up conservative evangelicals, it is a new day.