Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin (UPDATED)

On his 72nd birthday, John McCain named the 44 year old Governor Sarah Palin (R- Alaska).  Unfortunately, she's not related to Michael Palin.  So let's discuss this.

Who is Sarah Palin?  Two years ago she was mayor of a village in Alaska with a population of 5000 or so people.  She's just been elected Governor in a state where the top two Republicans, Murkowski and Stevens, are having serious ethical and legal troubles.  She is basically the "last Republican standing" up there.  A quick look at her page from "on the issues" shows an awfully sparse record.  However, to the extent that we can tell something about her it is that she is solidly social conservative.  

I think this takes the "Obama's too inexperienced" thing off the table.  Obama was a state assemblyman for 7 years and US Senator for 4.  Compare that to being on the village council and mayor of Wasilla, Alaska then being governor for two years.  This in the context of McCain's age and health making the whole "heart beat away" thing that much more important.

I also think that to the extent this is an attempt to convince Hillary's female supporters to vote for McCain, it could backfire.  She's out of step with most women on social issues.  Also, I saw some polls earlier this summer that the only way Obama would lose his advantage among women would be to appoint a female VP nominee OTHER than Hillary.

Finally, she's going to make McCain look even older.  If they think that people will look at the two of them add their ages and divide by two and say "wow, what a young couple" they're nuts.  It will look like Sarah Palin and her grumpy grampy.  

UPDATE:  Sarah Palin is under investigation in Alaska for allegedly using her position of government to push for the firing of her sister's estranged husband from the State Police.  When the public safety commission refused he was fired by Palin because she wanted to make the department "more energetic."  She replaced him with a man who has since resigned amid accusations of sexual harassment.  


The Law Talking Guy said...

Palin is too obscure and inexperienced to make her appointment look like anything other than a transparent attempt to woo women voters. I mean, she's been a governor less than two years, and of state with about 500,000 inhabitants. That is smaller than Anaheim. I don't think Hillary's gender was her only draw, was it?

She is certainly not a religious right champion. This will depress those voters even more.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Seriously, is this the most experienced female candidate McCain could find? Kay Bailey Hutchinson wasn't available? She would have worked better. Liddy Dole?

I guess this counters Obama's outreach to Alaska. Bully for Mccain...

Dr. Strangelove said...

I think it is a good choice--surprising and newsworthy choice. McCain had to do something maverick-y and swing for the fences.

But she is terribly inexperienced.
I read one Democratic operative said snidely that her signature achievement was that she, "won an award from the National Arbor Day Foundation." And unless Joe Biden comes off as being too hard on her, she will do poorly in her debate with him (if she even agrees to a debate).

The Law Talking Guy said...

It's a good choice for a couple news cycles. Then people start to wonder who the heck she is and what sort of judgment McCain has shown to pick her.

The real damage is in the GOP itself. By picking Biden, who will be too old to run for president in 2016, Obama has assured the Dems that even if he wins two terms, anyone can be his successor. Even HRClinton, who will be younger than McCain is now. But Palin is 44. She will be 52 in 2016. This means that she will be the heir apparent, and the GOP always nominates the heir apparent. So all the current crop are screwed.

Raised By Republicans said...

McCain introduced her as an "oustanding point guard in high school." Geez. You know you have a short resume when they have to bring out your high school sports pedigree.

She's also very poorly educated. She has a degree in Communications from the U. of Idaho. I'm guessing that if Biden thinks he can get away with "picking on a girl" he'll just shred her in a debate.

LTG raises a good point about the possible reaction of the other Republican hopefuls. What will Jeb Bush think if he hasn't already figured out his brother ended his political career for him. What about Huckabee or Romney? Or Crist?

But most importantly, do we really think she understand the first thing about Washington? Biden should ask her about the Cloture Rule. I doubt she knows it.

PS: She just tried to imply that John Glenn endorsed McCain. Glenn won't put up with that.

Raised By Republicans said...

Check out the update about Palin's scandal. I think its a problem because even if she's cleared of abusing her office to get her brother-in-law fired, her appointment of a small town cop with a sexual harassment case against him as the head of the state police does not inspire confidence in her supposed "executive experience."

Dr. Strangelove said...

I think the cry of "tokenism" will be damaging. Sarah Palin is totally inexperienced and was selected for her gender alone. In the 21st century, with all the great women who have earned their places in American politics, to stick a token woman on the ticket is nothing less than an insult to women everywhere. It's an insult to the Vice-Presidency too. I'd like to hear Hillary herself say that!

Bert Q. Slushbrow, Sr. said...

A very shallow choice on McCain's part. She has several qualities that, at first blush, appear to be good for McCain (female, youthful, conservative) but as soon as you actually look at her substance and at how those very qualities highlight, rather than complement, McCain's own problem areas.... ppffffffttttt.

Excellent choice, in my opinion. Let her selection as VP ferment with the GOP for a few weeks and then sit back and enjoy the chaos as the reality of the situation smacks them upside their greedy, selfish heads.

USwest said...

I think this is hillarous. If people thought Joe Biden was an unkown!

It's the oil people, the oil! Do you think McCain has ANWAR in his sights? That is pretty narrow. I really hate it when these Republicans pick women like . . . what's her name again ? Planin? Palin?

It's an insult to women. After the preformances we had that DNC all of these amazing women who spoke, and he comes up with Palin. What a slap in the face to use women. That shows us what the Republicans really thing of women: Ornaments to hide behind.

Pombat said...

I'm hoping Hillary comes out with some very strong statements about how insulting it is, and lists strong, intelligent, educated, worked-for-their-position women from both parties as examples. Especially if it turns out that Biden can't "pick on a girl"...

Must admit, my first reaction was "hmmm, possibly shrewd choice [in terms of picking up dumb Hillary voters]. Who is she?". Don't celebrate the who is she part too much - that's my reaction to most foreign politicians. But now, having read a bit about who she is - oh boy. As long as the news decide that the big story is how inexperienced she is, or how insulted Hillary is, or the infighting caused in the GOP, then I think she's a great choice. Just not for McCain.

History Buff said...

When I heard her speech today on central casting I thought, where'd they find this woman, central casting? She sounded like the stereotypical right wing woman voter, with some McCainisms thrown in (Thanks but no thanks for the bridge to nowhere). When she listed off her kids names though she kinda sounded like a hippie--doesn't she have a kid named Peek-a-boo?

I was having lunch with some coworkers today and one of them was late because he had been talking to his wife because she was sooooo excited and happy about McCain's pick. Of course, she's a dyed in the wool conservative.

I think I would be alot more worried if he had picked Kay Bailey Hutchenson, someone I greatly admire, eventhough I'm not always in line with her politics, and not to mention, from the great state of Texas. This chick Palin sounds like she's way outta her league, but I guess time will tell...

Raised By Republicans said...

I mentioned her to a friend of mine who studies international relations and her reaction was "who is Sarah Palin??"

I agree with US West and Bert that this highlights existing McCain policies. She's an ultra conservative, who is even more in favor of drilling than McCain is (at least McCain would keep ANWAR itself drill free). She'll try to pass herself off as an energy expert by virtue of being governor of the biggest oil producing state.

Anonymous said...

My initial reaction was, "this really reminds me of Harriet Miers." Why does the Republican party think the best way to attract women voters is to pick a woman who is completely unqualified and unknown?

Of course, part of the problem is that some of the most qualified Republican women (Liddy Dole, Olympia Snow, etc.) are pro-choice.

I am sort of impressed (and also sort of horrified) that she went back to work a week after having her fifth child. I probably couldn't remember my home address at that point...

-Seventh Sister

The Law Talking Guy said...

According to the Anchorage Daily News in 2006, Sarah Palin was a pot-smoker at a time when it was decriminalized under Alaska law (but still illegal under federal law). Sorry, I can't paste the link b/c I just lost it. She said that "I can't pull a Clinton and say I didn't inhale."

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Family Values Folks.

USwest said...

I just don't know what to think about this. It's too weird. It's gotta be a Republican trap. Not even they can be this dumb. What are we missing? Is it possible that this is some kind of decoy game? Is it possible that McCain is trying to appease women voters and the PUMA's by purposely picking somone that the that the convention will not select? I mean this woman is one big contradiction. She is a conservative Christian with a brother-in-law who I have heard tazers his kids. Yet she names these 5 children things like Trig, Track, Willow,Piper etc. and smokes pot. She is, apparently, a former beauty queen. I can't bear to listen to her speech. Reading the transcript was bad enough. She definately is a Hockey Mom. No more.

'I've stood up to the old politics as usual, to the special interests, to the lobbyists, the Big Oil companies and the "good old boy" network.'Really? With a husband who works for big oil? And I hate to tell her, but she has just been co-opted by the "old boys network".

This is her take on Iraq from The Atlantic with Andrew Sullivan:

"I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."

Great. Just Great. In another clip that i can't find, she said something like "I ahve no idea what the VP does."

Can the RNC really be so stuid?

The Law Talking Guy said...

Yes. The scuttlebutt is that (as I feared) he wanted Joe Lieberman. Over abortion, of all things, the party chairman told McCain last week he would get a floor fight. So, determined to make a hail mary pass, he went with Sarah Palin. Other similar rumors are that the Palin decision was made after Biden was picked, indicating that 'experience' had run its course as an argument.

I think the bottom line is that this was a shoot-from-the-hip emotional not-thought-out McCain thing that is exactly why he must never be president. He'll get us into war in Iran, screw up foreign relations worse, and end up being deadlocked with Congress for petty reasons and get nothing at all done.

Raised By Republicans said...

"I think the bottom line is that this was a shoot-from-the-hip emotional not-thought-out McCain thing that is exactly why he must never be president. He'll get us into war in Iran, screw up foreign relations worse, and end up being deadlocked with Congress for petty reasons and get nothing at all done."

I couldn't agree more. The more we find out about Palin the more obvious it is that this choice was not very well thought out. It was rash and probably made in anger (over being told he couldn't pick Lieberman or Ridge).

The Law Talking Guy said...

She's the Alan Keyes of the 2008 race.