Exhibit 12.2

This Palin pick is a bit of disaster for McCain, right? It really seems like the only logical reason to pick her would be to A) Appease social conservatives and B) Try to attract Hillary voters. Fair enough except:

-Nobody gives a damn about social conservatives this election (or, really, any election when the economy is bad).

-She's adamantly pro-life, pro-guns, and pro-beauty pageants. Which of those things is supposed to appeal to these alleged armies of disaffected Hillary voters? Oh, right, she's a woman. Well, that settles it then. If I know women--and I don't--they love nothing more than being pandered to by old, white grandfather figures.

-It completely undercuts any arguments he wants to make about experience. She was mayor of a town of 8,000 people and has been governor for less than two years. Um, good luck with that. The worst part is, since he's the one who opened this argument in the campaign, the Democrats are going to be able to bring it up without looking sexist.

-She has an ongoing corruption scandal that apparently involves her office going out of their way to fire her sister's ex-husband. This is under investigation by an independent committee...um, like, right now.

-Her resume outside of politics is pretty laughable in the context of Obama, Biden, and even McCain himself. Not to be an elitist about it, but she makes Pawlenty look like a Nobel laureate. Being a journalism major at the University of Idaho is great and all--Go Vandals!--but having a varied career as a fisherwoman and a sportscaster before getting into small town Alaska politics isn't going to play very well to the glass ceiling breaking Hillary supporters or, really, to anyone else.

-Mainland Americans don't like Alaska. Or the film Mystery, Alaska.

-She's going to look John McCain's daughter standing next to him. Or worse. (For what it's worth, McCain has a child five years older than she is).

That said, she does seem like a fun lady in that crazy Alaskan sort of way, and, though I've never heard her speak, one assumes she has some charisma and intelligence. Her debate with Biden is going to be a bloodbath and she has more than a little Dan Quayle potential, but it's easy to see the media loving this pick and treating her with the kid gloves that they never gave, say, Hillary. For all the talk sure to come from the Republican side about how they want to finish the job the Democrats started, it's likely that this pick is going to be more notable for how it subverts the smart, accomplished woman in politics for a non-careerist, outdoorsy version of femininity. Why anyone would think that would appeal to a large percentage of the female electorate is beyond me, but what do I know.

She seems like a character Aaron Sorkin would write only he'd have had her go to Harvard on the beauty pageant scholarship and then to have worked on a fishing boat while doing legal aid for indigenous peoples. Instead, she's just got the beauty pageant and the fishing boat. Doesn't seem like that's enough.

UPDATE: I got a chance to catch some of her appearance and the reaction to her selection at lunch and nothing I saw changed my mind. She comes across as very, very unpresidential and small potatoes on camera and whether it's fair or not that accent is going to get mercilessly mocked on SNL. Also, she's been picked by exactly the wrong candidate to be going around talking about being in the PTA. Her "hockey mom" schtick is getting a lot of love from the talking heads who are bizarrely claiming this to be a history making choice--um, why exactly? We've had female VP candidates before--and Palin herself went directly after Hillary supporters. To me, that spells disaster, but I'm not an expert. The reaction from actual voters seems to be shock/apprehension but the media loves it. No surprises there.

That debate with Biden looms large, and it's hard to imagine her not making a foreign policy mistake between now and the election. Even if she doesn't, it's going to be tough for her. The last time most people heard an accent like hers was in Fargo and nothing about her resume or willfully smalltown demeanor is going to contradict that sentiment.

1 comment:

Mathias Svalina said...

Wasn't she one of the kooky neighbors in Northern Exposure.

Mccain should have gone all the way & picked Ted Stevens.

And now I am officially out of good Alaska references. I think I need to rent that show about the truckers who drive on the ice or something.