Friday, August 29, 2008

Who's McCain Going to Pick? Why, Sarah Palin, of course. [Updated]

Update: Apparently, it is Palin.

Pawlenty's out.

Romney's out.

Is it Lieberman?


She and Pawlenty apparently switched positions on InTrade overnight and she's approaching 100% now. Thoughts? Does this pull in those Hillary voters? It certainly shakes things up, though perhaps not in the way that David Brooks alluded to on PBS the other night. Does her age take Obama's age/experience off the table to some extent?

Recent Posts:
Obama is the J.K. Rowling of Politics?

The Ohio Plan has One More Chance...

On GOP Conventions and VP Selections


Josh Putnam said...

Not to call out Nate or anything -- he likely was in something of a news vacuum in Denver last night -- but he did say in the Twitter feed early on prior to the speech that Pawlenty was the choice.

A lot of stuff happening these last two weeks.

Jack said...

Well, it sure looks like it's going to be Palin. She is a truly awful choice, in my opinion.

Yes, she locks up Alaska, but that's not the reason she was picked. If McCain was focused on locking up Alaska that would be the equivalent of the admission of defeat and there is no reason for that.

I had argued a few times that picking a woman would help pick up some Hillary supporters, but I don't think Palin is really their type.

She doesn't look presidential at all.

And she's from Alaska! Voters who feel they can't identify with Obama surely won't identify with someone who goes moose hunting and does all that other Alaskan stuff.

She has a recent minor scandal hanging over her head.

And her husband works for BP. As if McCain wasn't already close enough to Big Oil ...

Because of his age, it was very important for McCain to pick a VP that voters are comfortable with. Alaskans love Palin and McCain must figure that as the rest of the country gets to know her, they'll grow to love her too. But after 18 months, 10% of Americans think Obama's a Muslim, so apparently the American people aren't very good at getting to know their candidates.

SarahLawrenceScott said...

OK, Josh--I'm not sure your allowed to make the first comment on your own post. :)

Palin might end up popular during the campaign, but that doesn't make her a good pick. It destroys the ability to paint Obama as too inexperienced to be President.

Jack said...

Josh, Nate said that Pawlenty was not the choice.

Allen said...

Palin seems like a very good person. Way too socially conservative for my taste, but she has some good qualities like her willingness to buck the entrenched powers. I guess she now has two months to prove she's ready to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency. Its going to be interesting to watch the social dynamics play out, in several ways: the contrast between her and McCain; the contrast between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin; how the Dems and the media talk about her without tickling the "unfairly picking on a semi-helpless female" sentiment.

Josh Putnam said...

I was worried about that Scott. Ha! But I knew the traffic had moved away from yesterday's VP post, yet wanted to respond. And I'll get to your questions about frontloading penalties in a bit. It has been one of those mornings.

Nate did say that Pawlenty was not the choice. But he said he heard Pawlenty was the choice before he said he heard he was not. Oh, John Kerry. What a wonderful addition you made to the political lexicon!

You'll have to scroll down some, but here is the Twitter feed with the initial Pawlenty rumor.

This move is an obvious play to Clinton voters and gives us a very strong signal that McCain feels good about his standing among those to the right of the GOP. He felt he needed a gamble and a gamble that would perhaps pull in those Hillary voters.

I suspect that Obama and Hillary Clinton will be repeating her line from her speech the other night. Are you in it for Hillary or the cause? I had to look, but Palin is pro-life. Look out Supreme Court justices! You just jumped up the priority list of things to include in ye olde stump speech(es).

This also indicates to some extent that McCain feels the controversy over Palin's firing of Alaska's public safety commissioner, is not and will not be an issue. It has not hurt her in polls in the Last Frontier.

Map-wise, it does nothing. Alaska has been closer in polls than the recent 20-30 point GOP wins there on the presidential level. But Alaska was not going to Obama, despite it being in pink on our maps. It is a curious selection, but one that shakes things up and shifts the focus from last night in a way that Romney or Pawlenty likely would not have. But that cannot have been McCain's only rationale.

Josh Putnam said...

An excellent point, Allen. Biden will have to watch himself in that debate. He'll definitely have to rein in that verbosity. The Clinton-Lazio debate will be on constant rotation for him, I'd imagine.

Jack said...

McCain attacks Obama for being young and inexperienced, but this pick communicates that they are perfectly comfortable with someone even younger and with less experience being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

McCain calls Obama a celebrity and picks a beauty pagaent winner as his running mate.

McCain says Obama can't identify with average Americans and picks an Alaskan with whom average Americans can't identify.

I guess the only question remaining, especially considering McCain's general attitude towards women, is whether or not he leaves Cindy for Palin.

Jack said...

Okay, I suppose I went over the line with that last one. Apologies to Senator McCain, Cindy McCain, Governor Palin and Todd Palin.

Robert said...

With Palin as the pick, it seems that it was in response to the Biden pick and the Democratic convention. The message that Hillary did not approve makes more sense now. I don't think the McCain campaign would have run them if Romney was the preset running mate.

If McCain wins, Palin will be a brilliant pick. If he loses, it will be a terrible pick. One thing the Palin pick does is it steals the news away from Invesco Field and all that was achieved by the Democrats there. It is a game-changer. If you had told me at the end of the 2004 election that the two major tickets in 2008 would feature an African-American, a woman and ties to both Alaska and Hawaii I would have wondered what you were smoking!

SarahLawrenceScott said...

I do think we've seen the last all white male ticket, for either party, for a long long time. One of these two tickets will win, and from then on it will be like geographical balance used to be; all tickets will include some member of a traditionally underrepresented group among US Presidents (i.e. not white male).

If Obama wins, I would place high odds that the Republicans bring out one of their big gun women to lead the ticket, if not in 2012, then in 2016.

Josh Putnam said...

Who would you place in that "big gun" category?

Thomas said...

This is a very bad decision on McCain's part. She has very little experience and just seems very out of her league.
The choice really seems like more of a campaign decision more then finding someone who is actually ready to be president. They will gain some would be Hillary voters but I'm not really sure who else she will appeal to.

Robert said...

I think Hillary will see the Palin nomination as a direct challenge to her. The Clintonistas indicated that Sibelius was unacceptable because it would be seen as patronizing. For Sarah Palin to become the first woman elected VP, and worse yet, move up to President would be unacceptable to her and many of her die[hard supporters. She will now be very motivated to help elect Obama.

HollyWilson said...

I think that Palin is actually an excellent choice. Although I'm not sure of McCain's rationale in choosing Palin I think his choice provides the Republican base with something to get excited about. She is not a Washington insider and she has fought corruption throughout her career. As for experience, she arguably has more executive experience than McCain, Obama, AND Biden.
About those Hillary supporters... while Palin's conservativism may be a problem, I do not feel that most Hillary supporters would reject a McCain/Palin ticket simply because Palin would be the first female VP - or possibly even President. "Clintonistas" would have been upset by an Obama/Sibelius ticket because that would have been a slap in the face to Hillary. In contrast, Palin made sure to mention and give great praise to Hillary Clinton for making her VP nomination possible.
I guess we'll just have to wait and see what, if anything, this does to benefit McCain in the long run.

Josh Putnam said...

I think this is a good distinction to make, Holly. Long-term vs. short-term benefits. The short-term benefits are obvious: the McCain campaign was able to shift the media narrative for the day with this pick. It is those long-term gains that are much less obvious at this point.

The race now is to define Palin and that will determine whether this pick translates into a gain or loss in the long-term.

Allen said...

I've been following the coverage yesterday and this morning. Palin as VP just ain't gonna fly. This race is over. Of course, you still have to complete the process and cross the finish line, but the outcome is no longer in doubt.

Robert said...

In my lifetime I remember only four true dark horses as VP picks -- William Miller (Goldwater '64), Spiro Agnew (Nixon '72), Geraldine Ferraro (Mondale '84), and Dan Quayle (Bush '92). All picks appeared to have an impact on the race. Miller was a disaster who doomed an improbable quest. Ferraro picked up an equally desperate campaign. Agnew was a real plus, providing a domestic balance to Nixon's foreign policy credentials and, as a moderate/liberal Republican had shown toughness against civil-rights activists. He also became a very effective attack dog before he became a joke and an impeachment-insurance policy until he had to resign. Quayle stepped into George Bush's shadow which allowed him to step out of Reagan's shadow and be viewed on his own. It will be interesting to see if Palin follows the pattern of any of these forerunners or charts a course of her own. If McCain wins, and particularly if McCain can get at better percentage of the women's vote than GWB, Palin will be cited as a factor in that victory. If he loses, she will get a large part of that blame.