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August 29, 2008

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McCain is thinking short-term impact--which will obviously, rightly be BIG--over long-term success.

after the country gets used to this idea, the knives will come out. Palin has no opinion on Iraq or whatever, but she can tell a hell of a good fishing story.

Well, this also means that we don't have to worry about a strong VP "fourth branch" in a McCain administration.

she wrecks the all-Senator fight I was hoping for.

"Would you trust Palin in the Oval Office?"

99% of Americans say, "who?"

ok, I lived in AK when she was elected. She's got nothing. This is a joke. This is Harriet Meiers level of unqualified. This is an impulsive act of a desperate man, flailing and failing.

I think this is probably a good sign (from a Dem POV). It's a desperation-choice. I don't know precisely *how* desperate it is, since I haven't yet heard Palin speak and don't know much about her yet - although I note that she is for prohibiting abortion by law (assuming that's what 'pro life' really means); IOW, vis a vis PUMAs, there can be no wilful ambiguity about abortion with her. At first blush this just reeks of 'hail mary'.

99% of Americans say, "who?"

A: you know, she's that woman on 30 Rock, used to be on SNL.

I have only vaguely heard of this person before today, and then only via TPMMuck because of her being investigated for corruption.

Why I trust her? How about this from Politico:

Her oldest son, Trick, turned 18 last year and enlisted in the Army on the sixth anniversary of 9/11. Palin’s youngest child, Trig, was born in April and diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome.

As the Anchorage Daily News reported, Palin sent an email to friends and family at the time in which she said: “. . . Trig will be a joy. You will have to trust me on this." The paper said Palin wrote the email in the voice of God and signed it, “Trig’s Creator: Your Heavenly Father.”

Sympathetic to her child's condition and all, but that's just creepy.

From Atrios

Andrea Mitchell: "The campaign has just given up the experience argument."

Prediction: Palin goes the way of Harriet Miers and becomes the first person to dropoff the ticket after the convention since...well I'm sure someone has, but not recently. McCain then goes with Cheney.

Trick and Trig ?

I think this could hugely backfire. McCain always to be careful with the VP, because whenever he made a choice the issue of his age would be raised, making the VP a lot more than just window-dressing. I know all his options were bad (hey, that's the party you chose, pal) but there's no way you can tell me that picking the one person who undermines the central issue of his campaign so far (if it had one) is anything other than a hail mary.

phoebe: can you say more?

To be clear, the prediction is mine, not Mitchell's.

Even if there are only twelve women who voted for Clinton in the primary and are now going to vote for McCain because he chose a female running mate, you can bet that those twelve women will spend the next two months going from one TV camera to the next.

Bristol, Willow, Piper, Track and Trig

Abandoning your newborn Down's syndrome baby to run around with a 72 year old man?

Th-that's not ch-change we can believe in!

First thought: OK, I see what they're doing here.

Second thought: McCain needs to turn off the TV. The McPundit is buying his ilk's own bullshit.

Third thought: Dan Quayle.

Fourth thought: Joe Biden just found out what he's going to eat for breakfast.

I wonder who turned the gig down? This is so obviously not a first choice, that there are barons in the party who were passed over, and pissed about it.

They're likely to sit on their hands now, and when you already face an enthusiasm gap, that's not helpful.

McCain just made himself the risky choice. that's awesome.

I wonder who turned the gig down? This is so obviously not a first choice,

Hutchinson?

I can't help thinking, given his personal history, that he's not the wrong wrong person to make this pick.

Fourth thought: Joe Biden just found out what he's going to eat for breakfast.

He needs to be careful, though - in our sexist society, demolishing a woman candidate comes off differently from doing the same thing to a male candidate.

I will say that this does seem like a better pick than Pawlenty. Does anybody really know anything about Pawlenty besides the fact that people have been talking about him as a VP pick forever? He's a bit older than Palin - 47 rather than 44, and he's had considerably more experience in state politics - he's been governor since 2003 and was a prominent state legislator for ten years before that, whereas Palin was only the mayor of a tiny town. He's also the governor of a much larger and more important state

So Pawlenty isn't as much of a lightweight as Palin, but he would clearly be seen as kind of a lightweight as well - like Palin, he's virtually unknown outside his home state. But he would have been a totally boring lightweight. Would anyone anywhere have been energized by Pawlenty? Palin's more of a lightweight, but at least it's an exciting pick.

I doubt it will do McCain much good in the long run, but it at least gives him a bounce in the short run, and gets everyone talking about him rather than Obama's speech last night, in a way that Pawlenty and Romney would not have.

Pass the popcorn - the debates will be something to behold.

She could always go the Bush 2000 route and talk about how she's been serving as governor of the largest state in the country.

Seth: Even if there are only twelve women who voted for Clinton in the primary and are now going to vote for McCain because he chose a female running mate, you can bet that those twelve women will spend the next two months going from one TV camera to the next.

What's more likely to happen is that every single woman who supported Hillary Clinton during the primaries will be asked, repeatedly, and regardless of her answer to previous repetitions, if her support for Hillary Clinton means she'll now be voting McCain/Palin.

In a country of 30 Million - I'd be surprised if you didn't find at least 12 Republicans willing to claim that they would have voted for Clinton but now they're voting McCain/Palin...

You have to admit that Sarah Palin is pretty hot (remember she was in the Ms. Alaska Pageant) and MUCH BETTER on the eyes than Joe Biden

http://www.jlaforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=5055328

Davis - GOS thinks Palin was a choice the Rovites made, not McCain, and that they made it mostly for the short term gain of crowding Obama off the news. Which is about what I expect from the Rovites - actual governance has never meant anything to them - though how this makes the GOP ticket more electable escapes me.

It'd be kind of interesting if Palin turns out to be a head-fake - named ONLY to get attention - and then, once she's served that purpose, she drops out (due to family issues, say) and the 'real' VP steps in.

If, as seems more and more likely, the GOP winds up postponing or even cancelling its convention, the massive head-fake hypothesis makes more sense.

I can understand he wanted a pair of ovaries on the ticket, but aren't there better women out there? Libby Dole is the first I thought of, but there are female generals, reps, inspirational or business leaders- heck, mayors of cities with larger populations than Alaska.

I keep thinking of the Night Court bit when Judge Harry Stone says he was appointed when the outgoing gov started calling down an alphabetical list and he was the first person home on a Sunday.

"I'm walkin' on sunshine, whoa ooh oh oh! And don't it feel good!"

This is the best couple of days I can remember in a long time. Just wheel out Hillary as an attack dog and maybe we can get McCain to cry. Or at least freak out.

(Yeah, I want to make sure that it doesn't look like Joe Biden is beating up on a girl. And besides, I think Hillary is better at the throat-ripping.)

Biden will not be eating anyone for breakfast. If expectations for Bush's performances in the debates were low, hers will be underground. If she manages to form a complete sentence in response to one out of every four questions, the media will consider her a rock star. And from what I recall Dan Quayle didn't do too bad in his debate with Al Gore.

The only way this works out for McCain is if she turns out to have the charisma and empathy of Bill Clinton combined with the inspiration of Obama, and even then she'll remind everyone that McCain has none of those things.

It's wonderful to get back to the good old feckless McCain campaign we knew and loved back in the primaries.

Maybe McCain can offer Palin up to compete with Cindy in the Miss Buffalo Chip 'pageant' in NV. It's what the country needs! MORE PANTOMIMED SEX ROLES! Boys should have names like 'Trick' and 'Trig'! Masculine names! And more pickles! Say no more, say no more, wink wink.

Sullivan: "McCain has just told us how seriously he takes the war we are in. Not seriously at all."

Whereas Biden is a strong choice for governance, there is no way Palin can be presented as anything other than an electoral choice. Who looks like the serious candidate now?

Apparently McCain was looking for someone with weirdly named kids, and Romney only had "Tagg" to offer.

Since I previously noted the Michael Palin thing, I am going to have to ask (more in sorrow than in anger, of course) for a little something-something. Free lifetime subs to ObWi for all my friends should do nicely. If you had gone with a title 'No one expects a Spanish Inquisition!', I wouldn't be able to say anything.

I'm predisposed, but I'd say (to riff on the point publius made in his post speech post)that it makes McCain look very small to have used the experience attack on Obama. At first glance, this seems like a hail Mary pass making a hail Mary pass. However...

I originally typed "I'm really disappointed that we won't see neither Romney or Liebermann will get ripped a new one by Biden", but in fact, that whole notion as a conversational gambit has to get thrown out.

There is going to be some very interesting positioning based on the fact that Biden can't simply go after Palin's lack of experience, but he will be somewhat constrained, and if Biden does misspeak, expect it to be repeated over and over and over.

Also, as Biden has strong Catholic beliefs, I bet that the Rove acolytes running McCain's campaign think that abortion specifically and women's rights in general where their best, and perhaps only, chance is. Somewhere, Bill Donohue is dreaming of sugarplum like fees dancing.

jrudkis gave an interesting defense of McCain here (scroll down for it all), and, not trying to call him out, but I really wonder what he thinks of this and if it changes his mind.

Did McCain hire Mark Penn? Because lately it seems McCain's actually buying this PUMA thing, and selling non-existant voter pools as "the key" to an election is a technique that I believe Mark Penn patented.

The "Nutter Center" must be going over well in the UK coverage of the announcement.

Biden can't simply go after Palin's lack of experience, but he will be somewhat constrained, and if Biden does misspeak, expect it to be repeated over and over and over.

but he doesn't have to go after her, he can simply answer the questions in a more knowledgeable and convincing manner than she will. and he will. her own inexperience will shine through.

compare that to Obama who actually has foreign policy experience, and while it's limited compared to Biden's and McCain's, it's undeniably more than a half-term governor of a small state. Obama can hold his own on the issues. can she ?

... in our sexist society, demolishing a woman candidate comes off differently from doing the same thing to a male candidate.

Examples?

Not of sexism, obviously. But when has a woman candidate for high office not been required to be not just competent, but if anything super-qualified? Americans (humans?) have innate contempt for the weak, especially when it come to their maximum leaders.

I'm in California, so woman candidates are no novelty. Maybe that's skewing my perspective. But I don't see a pity-vote strategy going over.

The lowered-expectations point is likely valid. But again, there's perhaps also a countervailing higher-bar factor for Palin as a woman.

executive experience: Insty points out that she has more than anyone on either ticket.

In The Simpsons Movie, Homer decides to the family to Alaska, "Where you can't be too fat or too drunk. Where no one asks you to show your high school equivalency."

I think of this charitably as McCain's strongest repudiation yet of the Bush administration: he wants the next vice president to be as un-Cheney as possible.

I might think of this uncharitably as McCain's biggest yet "senior moment".

liberal japonicus,

I am contacting our subscription department immediately. BTW: One of the best comments I've read in a while. Made me laugh, made me cry, it was, as they say, better than Cats.

I wonder if McCain thought about the fact that there might just be enough sexists in the country who will refuse to vote for a ticket with a woman on it that any supposed PUMAs will be balanced out (admittedly in a bad way).

Liberal japonicus:

That would have been a better post title. Lifetime subscription guaranteed.

I think this could hugely backfire. McCain always to be careful with the VP, because whenever he made a choice the issue of his age would be raised, making the VP a lot more than just window-dressing. I know all his options were bad (hey, that's the party you chose, pal) but there's no way you can tell me that picking the one person who undermines the central issue of his campaign so far (if it had one) is anything other than a hail mary.

I think is not quite as bad as that.

It will have a dramatic short term impact for the McCain camp in terms of recapturing control of the media narrative, after Obama’s “Enough!” speech, which otherwise would have dominated the news cycle through the Labor Day weekend (if McCain had made a more conventional and boring VP pick). That is a net benefit for McCain. Any female voters who can be peeled off from Obama because of the identity politics of it will also be a net benefit.

The problems will come in deeper into the campaign.

First off, it puts the issue of McCain’s age right out there front and center, by highlighting the age difference between the top and bottom of the GOP ticket - every time they stand next to each other on stage, the visuals alone will emphasize how old McCain looks.

Second it steps all over the GOP’s last remaining good attack narrative regarding Obama, on experience, as pointed out above. This also ties back in to the age issue, because her relative inexperience compared with McCain will raise the issue of the Presidential succession, which opens the door for talking about his age. This was an issue which the Democrats could not address directly without the risk of looking nasty and spiteful, but now McCain has opened the door for the media to bloviate over it.

This to me highlights one of the big differences between these two campaigns.

The Obama camp is focused on organization and plays a long game. Their focus this summer has been to fill in the holes and weaknesses in Obama’s position without worrying too much about the short term media cycles – see the Afghanistan/Iraq/Berlin trip for an example, see FISA for another example. They have carefully and systematically worked on shoring up the remaining areas where McCain could do real long term lasting damage, while ignoring stuff like the Britney/Paris Celebrity attacks which are easily rebutted by a display of substance and intelligence (see last night’s speech).

The McCain camp on the other hand is media (rather than ground game) driven. This means that winning each news cycle is what they focus on.

But the problem with this is that it involves exclusively short-term thinking, since the media is so ADHD. As a consequence, the McCain campaign has been all tactics and no strategy. They keep doing things which help them in the short term, but hurt in the long term. While Obama spent the summer shoring up his weaknesses and pretty much ignoring McCain, the McCain camp spent the summer attacking Obama and while they won most of the media cycles, they also squandered McCain’s biggest long term advantage, which was his reputation for independence and bipartisanship, because his Rovian tactics made him look like just another standard issue GOP candidate.

This was a terrible move in the long run, because coming out of the primaries McCain’s greatest strength, which made Democrats more apprehensive about running against him than any of the rest of the GOP field, was that he alone of the Republicans could run as if he was an independent, shedding the burden of George W. Bush. Instead of using that to his advantage, McCain has run a campaign best suited to convincing voters that McCain really is a Republican. This made Obama’s job of trying to tie McCain and Bush and GOP together in one rhetorical bundle far easier than it should have been if McCain had spent the last 2 months running as the 2000 version of his persona. John McCain should claim co-authorial credit for Obama’s speech last night, because his campaign helped to write it with their attack ad-centric approach to the summer months of this election.

It is like watching a chess match where one side is using a Romantic style of play which is all about rapid development of it’s most powerful pieces to engage in attacks during the opening, and the other side is playing it Modern style and concentrating on getting pawns into position to dominate the center of the board and take over the midgame.

"One thing it will offer the McCain campaign is a sense of historical importance - something they need in the face of Obama's groundbreaking run. Further, it offers something 'new' from a Republican Party that is rightly viewed as musty and bankrupt of fresh ideas."

All that is true.

But this pick seems like a big, big stretch?

The McCain camp must have polling that tells them there are a lot of Hillary voters to be won. I just don't see it.

This is where Hillary Clinton must put her money where her month is and campaign her heart out.

Reminds me of Mondale picking Ferraro, a Hail Mary.

The Guardian's latest article on Palin concludes with this:

The news media may also seek to tie Palin to longtime Alaska Republican senator Ted Stevens, who is soon to stand trial on corruption charges.

In the Alaska capital, Juneau, Palin is under her own ethics cloud: The Alaska legislature is investigating whether Palin sacked a public safety commissioner who declined to fire a state trooper that was engaged in a custody battle with Palin's sister.

This is the time for Hillary Clinton to shine. Who better to attack Palin than the one person who can rip her to shreds without the sexism/mysogynsism argument being thrown around.

If Hillary wants a Cabinet position or complete redemption in the eyes of the Obama camp, this is her time to step up.

OCSteve -- Technically she has a couple years as governor, of a state with 600,000 people in it. Is she known for trying to do anything with that executive power other than getting her ex-brother-in-law fired from his job as state trooper? (Not that I expect you to suddenly be the expert, but you're reading different news sources than I am.)

As a former Alaskan, I have to say this rocks! And she'll be a bit of surprise to apparently all of you.

Remember she has beat Tony Knowles (D) (former governor and former potential VP pick) and Frank Murkoski (R) (former US Senator and Governor, daughter current Senator from Alaska), both seasoned politicians. She's well-spoken, smart, common sense and anti-corruption.

I don't know how anyone supporting Obama can talk about her lack of experience. As if experience as a Senator versus a governor is somehow "better."

And, sure, no foreign policy experience in the traditional sense, but remember Alaska is the only state that shares a border with Russia. The cold war was a bit more real growing up in Alaska.

And you think Biden debating her is a good thing?!! Are you kidding?!!

Whatever happens, this will be fun to watch.

And Byrningman, I think your comments are a bit out of line. As one who had my youngest misdiagnosed with Downs before he was born, I can tell you that any parent of faith turns to God in situations like that knowing your whole life is about to change. What may seem "creepy" to you was simply an expression of faith that all children are created by God and that experiences like raising a child with Downs' Syndrome is part of God's plan.

From a purely crass political perspective, her story and faith will go over extremely well with the base and reach across party lines. Soccer moms everywhere now have their candidate and more.

I've followed her political career after leaving Alaska and have always been impressed and even back in the 90's thought she would go far.

"I can understand he wanted a pair of ovaries on the ticket, but aren't there better women out there? Libby Dole is the first I thought of, but there are female generals, reps, inspirational or business leaders- heck, mayors of cities with larger populations than Alaska."

no. dole isn't even all that popular in her own state right now. (believe me, i live there)

Farmgirl, don't forget being mayor of a town of 8,000. Somehow I think that counts as less executive experience than running a Senate office.

Examples?

I was thinking of Clinton/Lazio.

Not of sexism, obviously. But when has a woman candidate for high office not been required to be not just competent, but if anything super-qualified?

Well, on the last point, I'll just note that the much less experienced Palin beat incumbent governor and longtime senator Frank Murkowski in the Republican primary for Governor of Alaska two years ago.

That being said, I agree with your general point. But the issue isn't how Palin will plays as a whole - I think my general feeling is that she's a great pick for the news cycle today, but won't play very well in the long run. My point was specifically in the context of debates. Biden just has to be careful not to look like an overbearing ogre. I think he can do that, and still easily win the debate, but it's definitely something to watch for.

Hey, she says "nucular". That should help her with the Bush fans.

bc,

My wife says you can count out her vote as a soccer mom. She feels that McCain is insulting her intelligence and the ONLY reason she picked her is to appeal to women. And she says as someone who believes in the right to choose, Palin's failed in that respect.

On that note, she'll only highlight to other women McCain's Anti-Choice position on abortion.

Wow, she specifically calls out Geraldine Ferraro for praise. Just trying to set up the Hillary pander, but that's still not a good comparison to be reminding people of.

"I wonder who turned the gig down?"

X raises a good question, and byrningman gives a good answer: Hutchinson, who I heard does not like McCain. I always thought that woman was kind of smart.

Andrea Mitchell was spot-on when she said this takes the experience argument off the table and cleek's comment was perfect: "McCain just made himself the risky choice."

Who would have seen that coming?

The conventional pick is rarely sexy but no one seemed to make more sense -- espcially if the GOP really wanted to debate the economy -- than Romney.

I guess if I am a Republican the best thing I could say: At least he didn't pick Lieberman.

Talk about faint praise.

Actually, for McCain's camp I kind of like this. It is a hail mary, but I think that they (unlike the pundits) understand that McCain was heading for a strong second place finish & that he had to do something unconventional. It was something like this or Joe, and Joe would leave the entire right wing of the GOP at home on election day.
I was expecting Hutchinson, or Fiorina, or something else odd (I heard Petraeus's name mentioned, I dont even if if that would've been possible).

Like all hail marys it's likely to miss, and it's easy to see why: she has virtually no experience, name recognition, or accomplishments. She is not known as a great orator or campaigner (ie not a bad one, but not like Obama was in '04). There is virtually no electoral angle.

And fwiw, she's got a scandal going through the works- she allegedly fired a guy for not firing her sister's ex-husband (state patrolman). She claims that a subordinate did this on his own. otoh, other than this she's almost painfully clean.

But who knows, maybe she charms America and changes the conversation.

I don't know how anyone supporting Obama can talk about her lack of experience.

she has absolutely no national experience, and only 2 years as governor of a small (pop) state where the legislature is in session only 90 days of the year. oh, and she was mayor of a town smaller than the development where i currently live. and she was a beauty queen and a TV announcer.

impressive on a local level, but even Obama makes her look like a nOOb.

I can't believe she's actually talking about her PTA experience in the speech.

I think this is where the long, drawn out primary helps Obama. People know him, or at least know of him, and he seems like he's been around forever now. Whereas Palin, although only in the Veep slot, is a total unkown, and people only have just over 2 months to get to know her. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal for a Veep, see Quayle in 88, but McCain really puts the succession question on the table with this.

John: "I think my general feeling is that she's a great pick for the news cycle today, but won't play very well in the long run."

I'm not even sure if this is a great pick for the news cycle -- other than the fact that it will dominate.

However, I think it will dominate it with a lot of second-guessing and head-scratching. Is that what you want in the home stretch of a presidential campaign?

KC -- thanks, I knew that part of her bio but don't you think they'd be too embarrassed to count it?

What am I saying, embarrassment never stopped these folks from doing or saying anything...

I don't know how anyone supporting Obama can talk about her lack of experience. As if experience as a Senator versus a governor is somehow "better."

What cleek said. Besides, you kind of miss the point. It's that Palin's lack of experience neutralizes that line of attack on Obama. You can't build your central attack around the notion that Obama is inexperienced and would thus be risky in foreign affairs and then tap someone with a wafer thin resume such as Palin as your veep.

It exposes McCain for a hypocrite.

"wafer thin" ...nice.

When does the projectile vomiting begin?

Does anybody think that McCain didn't make this decision late last night after watching Obama's speech?

"It exposes McCain for a hypocrite."

Eric Martin, unfortunately that's never stopped McCain or the Republicans before.

VP picking observes the Hippocratic Oath - first, do no harm. Palin patently fails that test.

Anything is possible, but it's a hail mary.

"Prediction: Palin goes the way of Harriet Miers and becomes the first person to dropoff the ticket after the convention since...well I'm sure someone has, but not recently."

Thomas Eagleton.

Palin last month on CNBC regarding the VP spot:

“As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?"

Looks like Rove told her it mainly involves telling the President what to do, hiding occasionally in a secure location, and saber rattling.

And Byrningman, I think your comments are a bit out of line. As one who had my youngest misdiagnosed with Downs before he was born, I can tell you that any parent of faith turns to God in situations like that knowing your whole life is about to change. What may seem "creepy" to you was simply an expression of faith that all children are created by God and that experiences like raising a child with Downs' Syndrome is part of God's plan.

I think you misread byrningman's comment. The creepy vibe I got out of it wasn't that she was turning to her faith for support during a difficult time: that is absolutely normal and expected. The creepy bit was sending a letter that she wrote signed by God. Maybe you come from a very different religious tradition than I do, but impersonating God strikes me as deeply revolting.

Just watched McCain introduce Palin and heard her talk. Their walk off music was Right Now from Van Halen.

Her speaking style is, to put it gently, rather unpolished, so I see them trying to paint Obama as too slick, too well-spoken.

=======
Random talking head:
The McCain is taking a chance picking an unproven woman with no real experience

The Plain People of America: Hey, you be nice! She baked cookies for the PTA!
=======
(homage to Myles na gCopaleen/Flann O'Brian, who had these dialogues with "The Plain People of Ireland")

I also think that they are trying to have it both ways with the media, and will squeal if they really start questioning her closely (especially about any scandal stuff in Alaska) but benefit about them wading in on women's issues, especially given the way they latched onto the PUMA thing.

(And thanks for the kind comments, Eric)

She feels that McCain is insulting her intelligence and the ONLY reason she picked her is to appeal to women.

but did she know about Palin before today? Has she heard her speak? Fine to make a choice only on the abortion issue, but as for the other things, I would hope in America we would listen and then decide. I listen to Obama.

But who knows, maybe she charms America and changes the conversation.

Ah, open-mindedness. Refreshing. And your right to keep that as a possibility, Wu. She just may do that.

impressive on a local level, but even Obama makes her look like a nOOb.

How exactly does Obama make her look like a noob? Simply from being a senator? He has zero executive experience. Is it just because he is from Chicago? Is it because he changed his style to speak in soothing, impressive low tones?

Alaska's different. Most states run themselves simply due to how long they've been in business. Just because you govern more people doesn't necessarily make your performance more impressive. And Alaska has unique challenges that makes it one of the more challenging posts out there.

How do we rate CEO's of up and coming companies? Is there experience less important? Don't we rate performance?

I've not been one to rail on Obama's lack of experience because to me there is a decided POSITIVE aspect to someone without "Washington Experience." She's got less of that than Obama, Mr. Party-Line Voter. I'd rather know their ideas and what they think is right and how they'd better the country.

Her husband is in the oil business, she's against putting polar bears on the protected species list, and she's picked the same day that the Economist (that lefty bastion of eco-dogma) runs with this brief story. I know McCain thinks there's electoral gold in the drilling angle, but c'mon. Running against charismatic megafauna?

The McCain campaign's strategy just went from 'experience + drilling' to 'drilling'.

Carleton raises the spectre of Petraeus. I think he was the one wild card who may have been a game-changer.

How often have we heard the VP choice is the first important choice a presidential candidate makes?

Obama gave us Biden -- nothing flashy, but solid, a choice that gave you confidence, a selection you could see a heartbeat away from the presidency.

McCain -- the candidate of good judgment and experience -- gives us Palin. I think this would have been the reaction if Obama picked Chet Edwards, so this isn't about the candidate's sex. It's all about inexperience and unfamiliarity.

Just heard a usually informed co-worker say she was the governor of Texas and the mayor of some small town before that. Right.

Well, MY first thought on hearing that Sen. McCain had picked Sarah Palin as his running mate was: "D*mn! I missed out on that longshot bet!"- since Gov. Palin had/has been mentioned around the blogosphere as a sort of dark-horse pick for quite a while.

My second thought was: "WTF? Sarah Palin? How desperate ARE they?"

My third thought was that this is (despite the inevitable lame media spin about its "historic" implications)) pretty much of a surrender flag for the McCain campaign. I mean, Sarah Palin may be a nice lady and all, and - even though she IS a card-carrying member of the Alaska GOP, possibly reasonably honest - but it is hard to see this pick as much more than a frantic attempt to grab some (any!) media attention away from Obama and the Democrats; issues of "experience" and "governance" be darned.

Myself, I think that if one has to offer up a sacrificial victim to the merciless Gods of Politics, it might as well be a scruffy old goat as a cute, fuzzy lamb: but obviously, someone in Sen. McCain's organization thinks otherwise...

I don't think Petraeus would be legal a candidate -- at minimum, he would have to resign immediately from his post. Would that be a serious approach to our engagement in that region, given the nearly universal plaudits for his performance there?

Gary, I'm sure you know more.

The creepy bit was sending a letter that she wrote signed by God. Maybe you come from a very different religious tradition than I do, but impersonating God strikes me as deeply revolting.

Yes, that was what I found especially creepy. A weird stage further than than talking of yourself in the third person.

I know it was an emotional time and all; but say McCain has to go into hospital, she's acting commander in chief, and some major crisis like 9/11 happens. Do we want the person who adopts the persona of the almighty in moments of high stress in charge?

It is like watching a chess match where one side is using a Romantic style of play which is all about rapid development of it’s most powerful pieces to engage in attacks during the opening, and the other side is playing it Modern style and concentrating on getting pawns into position to dominate the center of the board and take over the midgame.

Chess?!?

Elitist!

[/snark]

Well, it looks like she'll fit right into a McSame administration with "experience" like this: <(blockquote>One of her first acts as governor was to fire the Alaska Board of Agriculture. Her ultimate target was the state Creamery Board, which has been marketing the products of Alaska dairy farmers for 71 years and wanted to close down after receiving $600,000 from the state. "You don't just close your doors and walk away," Palin told me. She discovered she lacked the power to fire the Creamery Board. Only the board of agriculture had that authority. So Palin replaced the agriculture board, which appointed a new creamery board, which has rescinded the plan to shut down. (Weekly Standard, July 16 2007)

<(blockquote>Gov. Sarah Palin made the announcement the day after news broke that the dairy, financially ailing for the past two years, lost nearly $300,000 in July, possibly its worst ever loss in a single month. Her announcement also follows more than two months of turmoil in which the creamery board, which oversees the dairy operation, has tried to figure out what to do with the 71-year-old company. (Anchorage Daily News, August 29, 2008)

On a much smaller scale, of course, and nobody actually got killed, but doesn't this kind of thinking remind you exactly of how the Bush administration treated the experts who told them not to invade Iraq? Fire them all! Hire new people with better advice! One expensive debacle later....

"Does anybody think that McCain didn't make this decision late last night after watching Obama's speech?"

You mean, after Obama questioned his temperment and he got really, really mad and said, "I'll show him."


I can see it now.
====
Dear Vladimir,
Stop screwing around in Georgia.

Sincerely,
God
====

I'd rather know their ideas and what they think is right and how they'd better the country

Again, tell that to the McCain camp who have been making experience their central attack on Obama.

And yes, in terms of foreign policy, Obama has more experience and a wider range of knowledge.

Further, in many ways, Alaska is the easiest state to run. The coffers are so overflowing that the residents don't have to pay state taxes, and they actually receive a check from the oil industry every year.

She has executive experience equivalent to the mayor of washington dc, but no one's talking up Adrian Fenty for a Veep slot.

no one's talking up Adrian Fenty for a Veep slot.

After complaining about the Supreme Court ruling on the gun ban? What kind of veep would that be?

How exactly does Obama make her look like a noob? Simply from being a senator? He has zero executive experience.

she has:
no foreign policy experience.
no national experience.
no federal experience.

Obama has, literally, infinitely more experience in those areas than she does.

"executive experience" ?
1. she's not running for a position with any real executive power. and it's not like McCain is going to be asking her to help manage things - he'll have a giant staff of his own for that.
2. her experience is pretty thin. it's nice that the GOP gets to say there's someone on the ticket with some E.E., but let's be real here: she's the half-term governor of a small state (pop).

Obama, on the other hand, was the executive of a campaign that just beat the best the Dems have to offer, including the dreaded Clinton Dynasty.

bc,

I can understand how you, as an Alaskan, woould be so proud. I felt the same way when Obama picked Biden.

I didn't even back Biden in the primary. Without listing a laundry list of reasons, I felt Hillary Clinton had a better shot at winning and just didn't see small-state Joe picking up the kind of traction it takes to win a modern-day campaign.

And now -- especially after last night -- I finally caught me some Obama fever.

More than anything, I think McCain's selection process showed how weak of a field he had to choose from.

The "Nutter Center" must be going over well in the UK coverage of the announcement.

Trivia
It's not 10 miles from where I'm typing. Locally known as "the nut", of course. Named for Ervin J. Nutter, the owner of a company that left a environmental mess when it closed their local plants. My wife, who works there on occasion, says it is made for hockey, basketball and rock concerts - certainly nothing requiring thoughtfulness.
/Trivia

You mean, after Obama questioned his temperment and he got really, really mad and said, "I'll show him."

No, I mean after he got enraged, threw stuff at his staff, called his wife a you-know-what a few times, then called Mike Murphy and begged him through drunken tears to save him.

"but did she know about Palin before today? Has she heard her speak? Fine to make a choice only on the abortion issue, but as for the other things, I would hope in America we would listen and then decide."

Well, in addition to listening to what she has to say, she will have to stand on her history and record. And for me personally, I'm not liking what I see:

-Anti-choice.
-Believes marriage only to be between a man and a woman.
-Supports opening up ANWR to drilling (McCain supposedly doesn't, we'll see when he flips)
-Believes in teaching creationism alongside evolution.

And not to mention the whole trooper-gate issue will bring up the notion of Republicans abusing government power.

And my wife still believes that this is mere tokenism by McCain. As others pointed out, what about Dole, Rice, Hutchinson, & FIorina? Would McCain have picked someone with Palin's credentials if her gender were male?

McCain went to central casting and said, "Get me a woman."

The guy, sitting at the desk, chomping on the cigar, turned to his Rolodex and Alaska was one of the first states in it and a star was born.

"How exactly does Obama make her look like a noob? Simply from being a senator? He has zero executive experience."

Going from part-time mayor of a town of 6,000 to Vice President of the United States in under two years = noob.

Whereas Obama has the same experience as Lincoln.

Marc Ambinder: "Palin's reputed temper."

They both have temper problems? Yikes.

The guy, sitting at the desk, chomping on the cigar, turned to his Rolodex and Alaska was one of the first states in it and a star was born.

Funny.

Debbie Wasserman-Schulz is first to the "I know Hillary Clinton, and she's no Hillary Clinton" line.

On the down side (later in that link):

Someone really, really, really needs to lock Howard Wolfson in a comfortable, communications-free hotel room and send him room service from now until November 5:

But Howard Wolfson, the former Clinton communications director, said she could peel away some votes.

"Both campaigns seemed to have decided that Hillary Clinton's 18 millions voters represent a key swing bloc in this election -- both Barack Obama's speech and John McCain's pick were at least partially aimed at them," Wolfson said in an e-mail.

"The fact that Palin is pro-life and pro-gun will be a block for many of Senator Clinton's supporters -- but not all. And it will raise the question for many why Senator Obama didn't pick Senator Clinton as his running mate."

Way to undermine the job your employers did over the last four days, jerk.

At least one of the Cornerites thinks she's effectively Harriet Miers.

How do we rate CEO's of up and coming companies? Is there experience less important? Don't we rate performance?

For fast growing companies (i.e. up and coming companies), size IS an important consideration. There are definite questions when a company goes from 25 people to 200 or more. Or from 200 to over a thousand. Management styles change, delegation styles emerge or change.

And how well they manage at different sizes >IS< a matter of performance.

Why I don't like affirmative action.

Example #39,385 Sarah Palin.

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Whatnot


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