Friday, August 29, 2008
HEY! LOOK OVER THERE!
Just when you thought that the Republicans had nothing in their quiver except character assassination and fear, they pop out with this one.
On the day when everyone was supposed to be talking about Obama's strong speech and what it means for future polling (always more important than what was actually in the speech), the McCain camp drops the bombshell that it's adding Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to the ticket.
I have to hand it to them on both the timing and the content. They really stole the Dems', and Obama's, thunder. I mean, here I am writing about this instead of BO's speech. And everyone on the radio has cut their discussion of Obama in half, at least. Go to any newspaper or news website. You won't see Obama's picture. You'll see the one you see here. Nice work, GOP. Now no one will be talking about all of the horrible things Obama said about you yesterday. LOOK OVER THERE!
Palin, no relation to this man, is an unknown to the vast majority of the American public. (Come on, did you know who she was before, say, this morning?) But there are two words that sum up everything she has going for her that McCain wasn't going to get anywhere else. Say them with me. Young. Woman.
It's an obvious ploy. But it will work. How many female Obama supporters are now stopping and thinking "Hmm, now I'm not so sure"? Especially the older ones who thought that Hillary was ther last chance to see a woman in the White House. It doesn't matter that they don't know anything about this woman other than that she shares their plumbing any more than it matters to many Obama supporters that he shares their skin color (sort of).
If McCain is expecting to peel off some PUMAs with this one, I don't think he's going to get them. Although their stated credo was that Obama was somehow a terrible candidate, his only real problem was that he wasn't Hillary. So, rather than vote for that terrible, inexperienced disaster-in-waiting, they would vote for McCain. Because McCain's policies would be so much closer to Hillary's than Obama's, apparently. When Obama was considering Kathleen Sebelius for his VP slot, this was considered an unwise move. After all, if you're going to pick a woman, why not Hillary? The people who deep-sixed that idea are not going to jump in and support this newbie, who may be a woman, but is most definitely not Hillary.
But he will get more women of the slightly (slightly) saner variety. Although anyone who supports abortion rights (an issue that I think dominates political debate far more than its significance merits) will not want to get on this bandwagon. On this and pretty much every other issue, she's a straight-up conservative. And she wants to drill an ANWR.
She may or may not be a solid candidate for the office. Probably not. But this was a great move from an electoral and media perspective.