The Palin pick sure will win headlines. It wasn’t competely out of the blue, but it’s a little mystifying for one obvious reason. If McCain’s entire argument so far has been that Obama is too untested to be president, then how can he pick a 44-year-old first-term governor of a state with 600,000 people with no foreign policy experience whatsoever?
What this means, it seems to me, is that McCain has decided he cannot win without Clinton Democrats, and this is his attempt to win them over. He has decided that he cannot win on the experience card, so he is trying to pick the change card. Palin’s record on climate change is certainly impressive – and she seems a charming, capable person. She is certainly a different kind of pick for a Southern-based GOP. But McCain will be the oldest first term president in history with a history of health concerns. If America is concerned that Obama isn’t ready, how could anyone say Palin is?
Andrew has this exactly backwards. The McCain campaign is hoping and praying that someone will say that Palin is unready for the job. “Please,” John McCain is praying right now AS I TYPE, “Let a Democrat say that an executive with 2 years of experience and no foreign policy expertise isn’t ready for the presidency. Oh pretty please. Because you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to take that soundbite, put it in an ad, slap Obama’s mug up there, and run it over and over and over again.”
Because Palin has exactly as much experience as Obama–arguably more, since she’s an executive. The only difference is that she isn’t running for president.
This is an interesting pick. It’s a play for white, female Democrats–and you’re always better off aiming at a constituency than “trying to win a state,” something that never happens.