It’s McCain-Palin

John McCain has selected Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate:

ARLINGTON, VA — U.S. Senator John McCain today announced that he has selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate and to serve as his vice president.

Governor Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president. She has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her Administration and has a record of delivering on the change and reform that we need in Washington.

Governor Palin has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources. She leads a state that matters to every one of us — Alaska has significant energy resources and she has been a leader in the fight to make America energy independent.

In Alaska, Governor Palin challenged a corrupt system and passed a landmark ethics reform bill. She has actually used her veto and cut budgetary spending. She put a stop to the “bridge to nowhere” that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars.

As the head of Alaska’s National Guard and as the mother of a soldier herself, Governor Palin understands what it takes to lead our nation and she understands the importance of supporting our troops.

Governor Palin has the record of reform and bipartisanship that others can only speak of. Her experience in shaking up the status quo is exactly what is needed in Washington today.

I have been pleasantly surprised by how astute both the Democratic and Republican candidates have been in their choices of running mates. However it may seem to political junkies Sen. Obama is a relative unknown, just now being introduced to much of the American people who haven’t been paying attention until quite recently. He needed to convince voters that he wasn’t a wild-eyed frightening unknown and picking Joe Biden was a move in that direction.

I’ve long said that just as Sen. Obama needed to make a conservative choice Sen. McCain needed to shake things up. Picking Sarah Palin has done just that.

There’s plenty of other commentary on this in the blogosphere and I’ll be linking to the best of it as it appear. I’ll add a few observations of my own. First, during the Iditarod I was struck by the fondness that Alaskans showed for their governor. I commented on it at the time. Second, I expect the McCain campaign to double down on the executive experience issue. Leaders are trained as well as born and despite his years in the Senate Sen. McCain began his adult life with formal training to be a leader from folks with quite a bit of experience in it: the military.

One last thing: is she the first person on a national ticket to have been a commercial fisherman?

14 comments… add one
  • Here are a couple more firsts! (I think.)

  • I have to confess that I just don’t get this. The GOP is in full attack mode on Obama’s thin resume, so they put a woman with an even thinner resume one 72 year-old heartbeat away from the White House?

    Can someone explain why this is a good idea?

  • There is a difference between an inexperienced candidate for President and an inexperienced candidate for Vice-President. That line of attack (which I’ve seen on a lot of the leftosphere blogs today) is as vapid and meaningless as attacking Obama for picking Biden after talking about McCain’s age, and for the same reason. There is a difference in experience, slightly in Palin’s favor for an executive position, but it’s so small as to be not worth noting. But it would be a bad line of attack for the Obama campaign simply because the Republicans could respond with “we would be happy to pit our Vice-Presidential candidate’s résumé against your Presidential candidate’s résumé.”

    I don’t know much about Palin yet, but I have to say that as a strategic move, it was fairly brilliant, as was McCain’s classy congratulatory ad last night congratulating Senator Obama for his historic moment. In purely strategic and purely political terms, McCain is well inside the Obama campaign’s OODA loop, and accelerating. (Well, he is a former combat pilot; I’m sure he gets the idea of strategic competition and tactical maneuver to throw an opponent off their stride.) And with the Republican convention this week, McCain has a chance to put some real holes in the Obama campaign early on. Whether he will capitalize on that remains to be seen.

    I do wonder if McCain, having served so long in the Senate, and given Palin’s background, actually wants her to do the Constitutional job of the Vice-President and preside over the Senate more directly than has been done for some time. That would be interesting, in any case.

    Personally, though, I prefer to vote on the basis of who would make the best President. And I expect I’ll see the McCain-Palin ticket much as I see the Obama-Biden ticket (and for that matter the way I saw Bush-Cheney): I’d rather see the ticket order reversed. I cannot vote for Obama under any imaginable circumstance. I do not want to vote for McCain, and ordinarily would write in Fred Thompson (since the third-party field is particularly weak this year) or someone else I would rather have as President. But if Virginia really becomes a swing state, and if the race is close, I might reevaluate that on the simple grounds that I really don’t want to see a President Obama.

    Actually, on two grounds that I don’t want to see a President Obama. First, I think that Obama would be solidly in the bottom tier as a President, with Buchanan, Carter, Nixon and Harding. (I hope, if he wins, that I am wrong, and he turns out to be a stellar and successful President.) Second, given the first, I think that an Obama presidency would be a disaster for race relations in the US. The worst of our former racial problems are behind us, but if the first black president is a bad president, the racists will be out shouting about how they “told us so,” and the race-hustlers will be out shouting about how “the man” is “sticking it to the blacks again.” That indirect consequence would in some ways be worse than anything that a bad president is likely to do directly, because it would far outlast their term in office.

  • So far the Obama campaign’s response has been to shoot itself in the foot. They have begun attacking Gov. Palin as being too inexperienced to be VP, even going as far as to say that “the American people aren’t ready to throw the dice” and put someone this inexperienced a heardbeat away from the Presidency…Sen. McCain, obviously responded, Gov. Palin has executive experience, which makes her more experienced than Sen. Obama.

    It will be interesting to see how that plays out. As Mr. Reynolds noted, she does have a thin resume. I think Sen. McCain did it, hoping for this reaction, because while Sen. Obama’s campaign says she’s too inexperienced to be a VP, the McCain campaign can point out that he’s just as inexperienced, and yet leading a major ticket.

  • Jeff:

    I see. It would be bad for race relations because Obama would be a bad president. Uh huh. I’m sure black people everywhere appreciate your concern. Strange how Mr. Bush has not harmed race relations by his poor representation of the white race.

  • NY:
    Palin and Obama both have thin resumes. But as the last decades of Atwater-Rove politics has demonstrated, an attack does not have to be logical to be effective. For example, having a chickenhawk attack a war hero on his war experience.

    The point of going after Palin on her lack of experience, incidentally, is to remind voters that McCain is 72 years old. The more Dems can talk about how ready she is, the more people will remember that McCain is old and a cancer survivor. They aren’t shooting themselves in the foot.

  • Michael,

    There have been both good and bad white Presidents, so no, Bush hasn’t harmed race relations in that sense. And frankly, I don’t give a flip about “black people” as a general class; I do care deeply about a certain few black people. But then, I don’t care deeply about “white people” as a general class, even though I am a member of that class, so I’m not sure what your point is. I do care deeply about this country, and do not want to see it torn apart by pointless divisiveness driven by identity politics and the hierarchy of victimization. And yes, the same goes for the first woman President: she has to be a good President for much the same reason. I could have voted for Hillary (and shocked my wife once McCain won the Republican nod by saying that I would vote for Hillary over McCain), because I don’t think she would be a terrible President. I know Obama would, and I am unsure about McCain — could go either way.

    I wouldn’t vote for Obama if he was running as his white half, but that has nothing to do with his race or with the strategic issues I noted and everything to do with his policies, essentially none of which I agree with.

    His race does have something to do with why I would be worried about the country’s future with him as President, but that’s somewhat indirect. I would not be worried similarly with Jesse Jackson, for example, even though I disagree with him as much as I do with Obama; Jesse Jackson strikes me as much more competent though.

  • Mike,

    I get that, but they have to be very careful since in talking about her inexperience, they also remind undecideds about inexperienced Sen. Obama is. After all, it depends on who wins the spin argument on this one, to see what effect the attacks will have. Apparently the Obama campaign realized that by just attacking Gov. Palin, they had made a mistake and recently issued a joint campaign statement congratulating her for showing that old barriers are falling in this country…

  • PD Shaw Link

    I predicted (guessed) Palin and Richardson would be the VPs about 3 months ago, though if I had taken the task at all serious I might have chickened out in the last few weeks and switched to Romney, who seems to be better at hawking McCain’s Presidency that explaining his own various positions in the past.

    I think both are pretty good picks. Both have downsides. I think the political downsides with Biden are greater since it undercuts Obama’s judgment argument, but personaly, as an Iraq war supporter, I can’t complain. Biden has been out there engaged in the major foreign policy issues more than any other Democrat. Palin brings gubenetorial experience and underscrores McCain’s brand of Maverick Conservatism.

  • Spoker Link

    Mike, I find your point about reminding folks about McCains age is interesting but unfortunately not very well thought out. Follwing your logic we are expected to accept that it is better to put the least inexperienced person in the presidential chair on day one so he can have OJT as the decision maker. Interesting, but not very bright.

  • Spoker Link

    Mike, I find your point about reminding folks about McCains age is interesting but unfortunately not very well thought out. Follwing your logic we are expected to accept that it is better to put the least experienced person in the presidential chair on day one so he can have OJT as the decision maker. Interesting, but not very bright. (Correction – Sorry for the typo.)

  • Spoker:
    I’m not following you. “Age” and “experience” are not the same thing, necessarily, and in any case I wasn’t making a value judgment just a point on the tactics involved.

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