Could-Be Commander in Chief Sarah Palin


What was that TV show where Geena Davis was an unlikely female VP is thrust into the presidency after the tough national hero president she served under passed away while in office? That’s right: Commander in Chief.
Well, life may be following fiction (again) — without the passing away part. . .
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is going to be the one to debate Joe Biden in the VP debate. It will be a competition in folksiness.
This was a shrewd move by McCain. He had a lot of other options that were low sizzle — but this choice, while perplexing, still makes a lot of sense.
This from Timothy Egan:

She hunts! She fishes! She eats moose burgers! She can gut a salmon as well as dispatch an incumbent governor! She’s a rural mother of five who clings to guns and religion — exuberantly!
In choosing as his running mate Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, two years removed from her only other political job as a small-town mayor, John McCain has certainly offered up a giant-killer — “Sarah Barracuda,” as she’s known in the Last Frontier State.
Palin, who has more than a passing resemblance to Tina Fey, took on the kleptocracy of Alaska’s Republican politics and won.
First, she ousted hated incumbent Frank Murkowski in a primary two years ago, and then promptly cleaned up his mess in Juneau, even selling his private jet on e-bay. Second, she rejected the “bridge to nowhere,” the famous earmark for a span from Ketchikan to an island of 50 people — further angering the politicians-for-life who have run Alaska for half as long as it’s been in the union.

Like in the case of Obama, there was no perfect VP running mate for John McCain. But as I have suggested before — McCain needed an out-of-the-box running mate to motivate voters. Huckabee, Powell, Condi Rice, and even Joe Lieberman would have been interesting choices — though Lieberman would have motivated a lot of voters to organize even more strongly on behalf of Obama.
Palin is an out-of-the-box choice and will draw a good number of female votes. It’s as much sizzle as McCain could generate on his 72nd birthday today — and Palin is a bold choice (though what about that whoppingly big experience deficit????)
One problem though is that in the Dem VP contest, the public helped vet the final three or four candidates, but the public played no role in the GOP selection. There was huge interest in the nation in whether it would be Biden, Bayh, Kaine, Sibelius, or another candidate. Obama reaped the benefits of learning much more via public discussion about their reaction to Bayh, Biden, et. al. from the churning on the net — before his choice was finally announced.
McCain did no such thing. And thus, it will be interesting to see whether something new and previously unknown appears about this Alaska governor who hunts, fishes, and who cracked down on corruption in Alaska during the tenure of Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski’s father.
— Steve Clemons


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