Friday, August 29, 2008


Veep Olympics

In a move that cannot help but liven up his campaign and shift it into high gear, John McCain has made the surprise move of selecting a political novice as his running mate:

Michael Palin!

Political insiders were stunned by the choice of the comedian and founding member of ...

What? ... Sarah who? ...

Excuse me, it seems that I made a mistake. Senator McCain has apparently chosen an obscure governor from a state with a small population and almost no sense of humor.

This woman is strongly opposed to gay rights, favoring a same-sex-marriage ban and opposing spousal benefits to same-sex partners of government employees. She has expressed support for the teaching of alternatives to evolution (i.e. Intelligent Design Creationism) in public schools but later backtracked and said that it "doesn't have to be part of the curriculum" but there should not be a prohibition against debate if it [cough] "comes up in class." And, of course, she is antiabortion.

As Nick Baumann at Mother Jones pointed out:

Unconventional running-mate choices (and a first term governor who until recently was the mayor of a town of about 9,000 people is certainly an unconventional pick) signal desperation. Confident candidates make safe picks. Candidates who are trailing and need to make big moves make unconventional ones.

The selection of Palin smacks of tokenism. Every four years, the Republican party trots out its few non-white, non-male leaders for the Republican National Convention. Many get prime speaking spots. Apparently Sarah Palin gets the Vice-Presidential nomination. The pick is clearly partly directed at disaffected Hillary voters with the idea that simply putting a woman on the ticket will win their votes. This is obviously wrong, as Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro will tell you.

Joe Klein at Time adds:

Does the McCain campaign actually think that Hillary supporters will be lured to the ticket by a militant pro-lifer who also believes in the teaching of intelligent design?

Admiral Stockdale, please pick up the white courtesy phone ...

On the other hand, according to this piece on The Volokh Conspiracy this selection might be resonating with Clinton supporters more strongly than might have been expected.
I can only go by my live-in Clintonista who thought it was insulting.

I think there could be (at least) two factors working here: some women who went for Hillary were "natural" Republicans who are going back to the fold no matter what and some are just expressing frustration that Clinton didn't get the warm bucket of spit, which will fade, especially once Palin's views become more well known.

Still, two words for the Obama camp: Ned Lamont.
Michael Palin? I had the same reaction when I heard. I wonder who president (God forbid) McCain would appoint as Secretary of Silly Walks?

Don't forget S. Palin also is against polar bears; they don't need endangered species listing because global warming is a myth.
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