Punchy Pundits

08.30.08 | Comment?

Gov Palin & Bike
Gov Sarah Palin and Harley

It’s likely that Sarah Palin is a decent person, though she’s virtually unknown. But setting aside any of the substance of knowing her, since her selection I’ve heard pundit after pundit claim that her selection will cement the PUMA (party unity my ass) Hillary Democrats to vote for McCain.

What do we know about Mrs. Palin? She’s pro-life and pro-gun. On these two issues alone, I can’t imagine that pro-choice, anti-gun Democrats are going to flee an Obama/Biden ticket in any substantial number. I don’t know what these pundits are smoking, but keep it away from the rest of us. That assertion is ludicrous.

Fundamentally, I think the VP choices show a great deal about each candidate’s judgment – in fact, they’re demonstrating publicly their “first hire” in advance of securing the office. Obama’s choice of Biden demonstrated a calculated selection of a running mate that would complement his strengths and weaknesses while he governs.

What exactly does McCain’s choice say? I think it is a “Hail Mary” (maybe better as Hail Sarah?) pass to neutralize three issues: historic ticket of Obama (hey, we’ve got a minority too!), age (notice McCain’s 72nd birthday went mostly without comment yesterday), and having a bonafide conservative on the ticket (which many neo-cons don’t think of McCain.) But was his choice calculated to help govern?

Since 40% of the population would vote Democrat or Republican regardless of the ticket, the remaining 20% actually select our leaders. While the choice of Palin will help secure the 40% base, it will likely hurt the 20% of people who will make a choice (hopefully on the merits.) I remain interested in seeing McCain and now Palin’s speeches at the Republican National Convention next week. I’d like to hear the substance of the ticket and make some comparisons to what we heard last week from the Democrats. But, I have to admit, I’m skeptical.

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