Friday, May 23, 2008

VP Choice of the Day: Sarah Palin

My VP week would not be complete without mention of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, another "rising star" in the GOP, who has a unique ability to appeal to several key constituencies.

This election has been about breaking barriers, shattering glass ceilings, and overcoming stereotypes - and that's a good thing. I have discussed before why I don't think merely being a woman or minority candidate is sufficient, in principle or in practice, to earn the votes of Americans and win an election. However, as my friends on McCain Now pointed out, the strategic reality before John McCain is that millions of would-be Hillary voters are about to come "up for grabs", a significant number have shown consistently they are willing to vote McCain. Choosing a female VP would be a strategic move to show disenfranchised Hillary supporters that women have a prominent place in a McCain White House.

That issue aside, Palin would be an outstanding pick even if she were equipped with different body parts. Palin complements McCain's strengths and would, I believe, strengthen the Republican party's national image. With unheard-of approval ratings near 85-90%, former beauty queen Palin was not an obvious choice to lead a state that many of us associate with igloos and parkas. Like Jindal, she ran for office to fight the notorious corruption in her state (remember the "bridge to nowhere"?) and like McCain, fighting for responsible spending and accountable government has been a hallmark of her leadership. Palin walks the walk on conservative values, as a cautious spender, avid sportswoman, 2nd-amendment defender, and true example of pro-life values in action.

Already a mother of four, Palin became pregnant at age 44 and learned early in her pregnancy that her child would, most likely, have Down's syndrome. Palin showed courage and character, leading throughout her pregnancy and even posing for Vogue. She went into labor early (been there, done that!) during a Governors' conference -- at which she had the opportunity to informally 'remove herself' from VP consideration, and didn't take it.

To be clear, I don't think we should hand this woman the vice-presidency because she gave birth a lot and in brave ways (although I have to admit, as a Mom, this appeals to my head and my heart). I also don't think we should take lightly the responsibilities of raising a special-needs child - but other women in Washington have done it, and it would be sexist and presumptuous to make that decision for her. As long as she keeps her hat in the ring, I think McCain should try it on for size.

For LOTS more on Gov. Palin, see


Ted said...

Here's an important piece of advice: If it looks like it's going to be McCain/Palin anyway (and that should be a "no brainer" for Team McCain), McCain should announce NOW or VERY SOON, rather than later towards the convention. There's currently a growing chorus for Obama/Hillary (as VP) ticket (in fact the Dems are likely aware of the Palin phenomenon). If the GOP waits while movement for Hillary as VP grows -- even worse until after it is solidified that Hillary will/could be VP pick -- selecting Palin will be portrayed by Dems/liberal media more as a reaction by GOP selecting its own female (overshawdoing Palin's own remarkable assets), rather than McCain taking the lead on this. Selecting Palin now or early (contrary to the punditocracy) will mean McCain will be seen as driving the course of this campaign overwhelmingly, and the DEMS will be seen as merely reacting. And, there's absoultely no down-side to this because even if Hillary is a no-go as VP for Obama, the GOP gains by acting early. McCain the maverick. Palin the maverick. Do it now!

There's no reason, and actually substantial negative, in McCain waiting to see what the Dems do first insofar as his picking Palin as VP, because, no matter who Obama picks, Palin is by far (and I mean far) the best pick for McCain and the GOP, especially in this time of GOP woes. The GOP can be seen as the party of real 'change' (albeit I hate that mantra, change, change, bla bla), while not really having to change from GOP core conservative values, which Palin more than represents.

In light of the current oil/energy situation, as well as the disaffected female Hillary voters situation, and growing focus on McCain's age and health, Palin is more than perfect -- now.

(Perhaps Team McCain is already on to this.)

Anonymous said...

Mmmmm… let’s see. She was on the city council and mayor of Wasilla (population 5,469 in 2000), an Alaska Oil and Gas Commissioner for 9 months, and now Governor of Alaska for a little over a year.

National experience and expertise? None.

International experience? None.

If the GOP is looking at Sarah as a VP candidate, they are really desperate.

save-repub said...

ALASKA IS THE LARGEST STATE IN THE UNION - DWARFS TEXAS, AND REQUIRES GOVERNOR TO DEAL WITH FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS AND WHAT'S REALLY NICE IS IS THE FARTHEST DISTANCE FROM WASHINGTON DC. Sarah Palin had to negotiate with international conglomerate oil and gas companies along with achieving compromise with the Canadian Government on delicate issues. She has the character, the courage , youth , vigor and ENERGY to re-invogorate a new DAWN IN AMERICA...

Anonymous said...

The GOP will be brilliant, not desperate, if they choose Palin. Aren't Conservatives supposed to
channel reality, not boring cliches?
The reality is Palin had more
executive experience as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, than Obama and Hillary put together in their brief Senate experience in which they did NOTHING except prepare to run for President. Neither has a clue about anything except their egos.
Add Palin's experience as Governor and she has 100 times their experience because she actually performs instead of blowing Marxist smoke. I suppose you think Joe Biden, prominently mentioned for Dem VP, has loads of experience? Yes, 65 years of being a jerk.
Palin is the bold choice for the timid but actually the best choice--energetic, articulate, youthful, attractive, a solid conservative--SHE IS EVERY SINGLE THING THAT McCAIN IS NOT. That's why she's the perfect choice.

Anonymous said...

Choosing a VP from Alaska does not represent the political atmosphere, the social implications, let alone the weather climate of the majority of the rest of the US...she does not "channel" the reality to the "rest" of America.

Heidi said...

I know this was written a while ago, but today it became official.

Honestly, I'm scared. I can't imagine this woman as president. For as much as Obama is criticized for his lack of experience, I think this opens the door very wide for everything McCain has said to be thrown back at him.

Also, how is a one-term governor going to deal with international issues? How is she going to keep our country safe? How is she going to make good decisions as president? It scares me!

I'm happy as a woman that we have a woman in the race. But I also can't help feeling like it was done purely for political purposes, like to take the focus off the Democrats for running two "minorities." That's all well and good, politics is politics, but I hate to think that she's being run just as a political pawn. The first woman in the white house should be more than that.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you don't think this is a desperate move on behalf of McCain, to pick a woman he has not worked with, simply because she's a strong woman. Any other election and he would have picked a male, but because of the way this election has gone, he has to pull out the gimmicky pick. Can't wait to hear the female jokes from the South.

Anonymous said...

Let's talk for a minute about the Down's Syndrome baby. It's certainly admirable that she stuck to her principles and didn't abort, but I have to wonder why she got pregnant in the first place. After all, she was 43 years old and she already had 4 healthy children. The risk at that age of having a Down's Syndrome child is 1 in 53 births. She's an intelligent woman, and the information is readily available. Yet she chose to get pregnant. And if pregnancy was actually an accident, then I have to question her responsible use of birth control. Either way, it shows poor judgement.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she shares the opinion that babies are a gift from God and that it is up to Him when they should or shouldn't be born. I admire her decision to have this baby and not even consider abortion even after learning the baby had Downs. The thing that frightens me a little though is her poor choosing to take an 11 hour plane ride after her water broke. I have also heard reports that she returned to work after only 3 days. It's wonderful that she has respect for life in the womb but come on... what about taking a little time to bond with that precious life after birth. I think both stories were suppose to prove that she is extremely dedicated to her job, however, as a mother, I would hope that she would have at least that much dedication to her children.

I Am Catty, Hear Me Meow said...

It's pretty irresponsible for a woman, 7 months preg. and knowing she's going to give birth to a special needs child, to get on a plane, fly to Texas, then--after her water breaks, give a speech, fly from Dallas to Anchorage, then drive to the regional hospital with no NICU. Then return to work a few days later.
What kind of mother is that???

tigrefan98 said...

Unlike the vast majority of women facing a special-needs pregnancy, Sarah Palin gave her child a chance at life. That proves she is a woman of strong character, and no logistical issues could ever disprove that.

Her selection by McCain has brought the ugly underbelly of liberal misogyny to the forefront, which is the only reason I would allow such hate to be spoken here.

Moms, we now know what we are up against. People who don't want their leaders "punished with a baby", and mock them when they choose to let their own children live. We must work harder than ever to ensure a McCain-Palin victory.

tigrefan98 said...

For those with 'concerns' about Palin's labor and delivery choices, the story of Trig's birth: