August 29, 2008

McCain Veep: It’s Palin

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is John McCain’s vice-presidential pick. Makes good sense, overall — if you have the convoluted political goals of trying to appear you’re still a maverick, trying to approve you’re a creative political thinker, pandering to the Religious Right, pandering to Hillary’s PUMAs while not actually appointing a woman strong enough or sensical enough to overshadow you.

A woman Veep is certainly an attempt to appeal to Hillary Clinton diehard PUMAs. That’s why I had earlier said Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison would be a good choice, as well as her being perceived as a moderate conservative, not a last-ditcher, in today’s GOP. That said, the only way this brazen a pander works is with Clinton supporters dumb enough not to know how firmly Schmuck Talk is planted in the pro-life camp. (Why can't we have a true intelligence test for voting?)

Palin has the advantage of being younger, while I think a young woman will less directly make Schmuck Talk Express™ look old than a younger male Veep would have done. George H.W. in 1988 didn't look that old, and did not have to worry about Quayle like that.

That said, she brings plenty of baggage to the plate. She’s under investigation by the Alaska Lege for allegedly trying to fire her ex brother-in-law as a state trooper, and she has at least tenuous connections to Sen. Ted Stevens, as covered in muck as Prudhoe Bay oil-drilling equipment.

Plus, without meaning to sound anti-family, how well can a 44-year-old mother with five kids handle the rigors of a vice-presidential campaign?

And, how high will the Religious Right’s cynicism go in trying to accept a five-child mother who should be a stay-at-home mom by its lights? These last two points are especially true as her youngest is a four-month-old with Down's Syndrome.

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