Friday, August 29, 2008

Is it Sarah Palin?

The hot rumor du matin is that McCain's vice presidential pick is Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. The blog Change and Experience is reporting that a charter plane just flew in from Anchorage to Middletown, Ohio near Dayton and that a woman and two teen-agers got off the plane. Jonathan Martin is reporting that Governor Pawlenty is telling people that he's not the guy and he'll be spending the day at the Minnesota State Fair. And, as the clincher, Wikipedia is already reporting this and we know that they're never wrong.

Well, this could certainly shake things up. It rather puts an end to that charges about Obama's lack of experience. She's only been governor for two years. Of course, she's not at the head of the ticket, but with a 72-year old candidate celebrating his birthday today, the experience of the vice presidential candidate has to be of interest and concern.

But she is an exciting new face. She will certainly garner lots of coverage. And her story is an interesting one, Beauty pageant contestant and commercial fisherman. She has a history of ethics reform in the stinkhole that Alaska's politics have become. She'll be an eloquent and knowledgeable advocate for a comprehensive energy policy that includes expanding drilling in both Alaska and offshore. And she'll be able to effectively bring up Obama's record voting against the bill to protect infants born alive after a botched abortion, especially when people learn that she just gave birth to a Down's Syndrome baby that she refused to abort. She also has a son who joined the Army last year and who will be deployed to Iraq.

I think that Republicans will be jazzed up by this nomination in a way that Tim Pawlenty wouldn't have done. She's an impressive woman and speaker. Whether she's up to speed on foreign policy is a question mark. And whether independent and Democratic women who were so upset about how Hillary Clinton was treated by the media and who think that Obama was not sufficiently respectful towards Clinton will now come over to the McCain side is not clear. But the nomination will earn McCain a second look. And now it would be up to the two of them to close the deal.

UPDATE: ABC now says that Governor Palin is still in Alaska. Drudge is showing Lieberman up as the only guy who is actually with McCain in Ohio. That would be such a letdown and just anger people. I'm crossing my fingers that the pick is not Lieberman - a fine man, but not suitable to be a Republican vice presidential nominee.

UPDATE: Forget ABC; CNBC says it's Palin. Hot Air has a round up of the people now reporting that it's Palin.

Michael Medved has some thoughts on what the media will say. John Hinderaker worries that this will come across as a desperation ploy. She may be the Geraldine Ferraro of this year. Or even worse, the Dan Quayle.

Michael Lindauer of the Dallas Morning News thinks it's a huge mistake. If anything, the media will certainly have something to talk about this weekend.

I do expect that McCain will guarantee himself well over 90% of the Republican base with this pick. Something that wouldn't have happened with some of the more meh choices like Pawlenty or Romney or the purely objectionable choices like Lieberman or Kay Bailey Hutchinson.