Tuesday, September 2, 2008


This is hardly going to be the well-considered, carefully researched, humorous post that you've come to expect from me (what?). But I just cannot keep up. Open Bar and I have been chatting on and off today about the Sarah Palin fiasco, and we are both equal parts stunned and giddy, simply unable to stop and catch our collective breath to process the overload of information that has surfaced about John McCain's VP nominee in the last 36 hours.

As Notorious LJT put it, the media seems to smell blood in the water. They have uncovered the following in the past two days:
  • Palin's 17 year-old daughter Bristol is pregnant, and will marry the baby's 18 year-old father.
  • Palin may have been a member or supporter of the Alaska Independence Party (though that allegation is challenged by the McCain campaign). Her husband was twice an AIP member, in 1995 and 2000.
  • Palin had this to say about Iraq in 2007: "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."
  • She does not believe global warming is man made.
Read more at Huffington Post (I stole some of this from them anyway). And even they don't have them all.

So what does McCain do with this pick? Clearly she is more extreme than he realized (the New York Times had a great cover story this morning, exposing the shoddy vetting job that was hastily thrown together last week). But can he take her off of the ticket? It's a lose-lose proposition for McCain, as a reporter at US News explains quite well:

My guess is McCain stands the chance of completely alienating his evangelical base if he dumps Governor Palin. The evangelicals seem to love her even more following the announcement that her minor daughter will marry the boy who got her pregnant and the fact she has offered unconditional love and support to the child. Then again, he's alienated moderate Republicans and independents, polls show, by placing Palin on the ticket. It's a lose-lose situation for him to consider dropping Palin, if indeed the campaign is considering it at all. He loses his now energized right-wing base if he drops her. He loses mainstream Republicans and moderate independents (the so-called Hillary voters) if he keeps her. In any event, Palin is far from the smart choice she appeared to be last Friday when McCain announced his selection of a running mate.
This was a classic McCain move - a shoot-from-the-hip, take-no-prisoners, look-into-Putin's-eyes kind of move. And now that it is proving costly (it divides, rather than unites, the extreme and moderate wings of the party despite his need to draw votes from both), he will dig in his heels a la Bush, and swear it isn't raining while huddling under an umbrella. Is this the style of macho decision-making we can expect for the next 8 years? Lord help us.

1 comment:

Open Bar said...

This is great. I absolutely love Sarah Palin. I haven't had as much fun reading about politics as I did today in a long time. Every time I thought up something new to write about, another "WOW" moment dropped.

Seriously, do the McCain people have any idea what they're doing?