Friday, August 29, 2008

It's Palin

Looks like McCain is going all-in on the disgruntled Hill-cats. A bold move - but probably not the smartest one. Pawlenty was the safe choice, but this is a roll of the dice for sure.


Head Dude said...

My initial reaction was concern. But then I realized:
(1) McCain can no longer argue about Obama's inexperience -- this women has been governor for 20 months.
(2) Palin has a scandal in that she apparently ordered a phone call that led to the firing of her former brother-in-law as a state trooper.
(3) After the success of the DNC, the Clinton PUMAs (Party Unity My Ass) are mostly back in the fold, and we may lose a few, but I don't think an NRA-supporting, strong conservative like Palin is going to appeal to Emily's List and NOW.
(4) Because we've yet to hear Palin speak, there's a chance she'll turn into a walking Quayle by putting her foot in her mouth. She's unknown, and after the initial buzz fades, people will look closer.

It's definitely a gamble by McCain, as I also thought he'd go with Pawlenty. Like the Dude said, it shores up one thing -- his run at Clinton supporters, without offering any electoral or policy advantage to speak of.

The Franchise said...

Not the smartest choice? I hate to give credit to the opponents, but I think this may have been the best candidate for McCain and company to cover as many angles as possible.

Palin is pro-life, so the conservatives who somehow see abortion as a big issue in an election year with much bigger fish to fry will calm down. She's known as a reformer and can bring the legitimate air of change that didn't suit McCain no matter how hard the GOP tried to make it fit him.

And if you don't think some female voters will look at how old McCain is and think, "We just may get our first female president after all," you are probably kidding yourself.

It pains me to say it, but this could be an unwanted stroke of genius for the Republicans.

The Franchise said...

Hey, we must have been working on those comments at the exact same time Head Dude!

You seem to have a lot more faith that the embittered Hillary supporters are solidly behind Obama now - and that the average voter will do his or her due diligence - than I do. Let's hope you are correct.

Head Dude said...

Here's my thought on the Clinton voters -- by November 4, they're going to know Palin is pro-life, and the fact with 20 months of experience she'll be #2 for the oldest-elected President in the country's history. They may hold their noses, but I just don't see them doing it.
We'll see though -- can't wait to see how it impacts the polls. Obama looks to be surging to about a 10-point lead after the convention, but no question this may cut that down.

Big Daddy said...

I gotta go with the Franchise here.
1. I would not underestimate the backlash against Barak from Hil supporters. No matter what she (Hil) says, there are still going to be those who refuse to get behind Barak. The question will be how many. All of us thought that the convention laid the PUMA's to rest but then again "all" of us thought Obama had a better message to begin with.

2. Along with 1, don't underestimate those 50 and older women, Repub AND Dems, who would like to see a woman in position of "power" before they die. It's not Hil as Prez but it's closer than anything they've seen so far.

3. You're right there's a chance she'll be a walking Quayle (did Quayle not walk?) but there's a chance she could be a Bill Clinton. At the very least her expectations are so low that Biden will have to demolish her. Anything less and it will seem like a victory (can somebody say Bush-Gore redux?)

It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.

ThadisRad said...

I also see this as a pretty good move for McCain. Granted, no one has ever heard of her, but she calls herself a "hockey mom" (a nice way to win some appeal) and is known as a reformer, which will help McCain, especially after Obama's first truly successful job linking McCain to "more of the same."

And although she surely lacks experience, McCain has more than enough, so Head Dude, I think you're way off when you say he can't challenge Obama's experience. He can and will.

That said, I think this has a chance to backfire on him. I hope Democrats or freethinkers can label this as a blatantly political maneuver. It reeks to me as a blatant attempt to get Hillary voters, and he basically chose a woman for the sake of choosing a woman. I think if voters (men and women) see that, it could make McCain look like a shameless politician who picked someone to play a political game, rather than pick the person he thought was best for the job.

Head Dude said...

Undude's last argument - that it was a shameless political tack - echoes Barbara Boxer's comments from today.
I guess I'm just highly optimistic right now, with a bounce in the polls showing at least an 8-point lead, taken before 38 million people tuned in last night to watch the speech, I think we're in a great spot right now.

Big Daddy said...

What else is Barbara Boxer gonna say?

Not trying to be a downer but there's always a bounce during and after conventions (I know the numbers you mentioned were before Obama spoke) I'd be shocked if it's not a dead heat again after the Republican Convention.

Good to know that Head Dude's optimism balances out and negates my pessimism, like the ying and yang to achieve harmony.


Head Dude said...

I think I'm so happy because Monday and Tuesday, the tracking polls showed it a tie, or McCain up by two, and it was almost deja vu from four years ago. Kerry actually got no bump, and then the Swift boaters came, Bush had his convention, and we were 10-15 points down.
Just seeing Obama start to get a sizeable bounce was reassuring. You're right, it may very well be tied in a week, and today's announcement may stem the tide, but I just feel his speech will make such a difference and he's given himself a chance to win the election at the debates. As the dude and I discussed during the blog last night, that's no sure thing, but this week could've gone much much worse.

The Franchise said...

I just know this makes me nervous. My faith in the intelligence and wisdom of the average voter is not strong and will surely be put to the test over the next few months.

Big Daddy said...

Couldn't have said it any better Franchise