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Knee-Jerk Reactions to Palin as GOP VP Candidate

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So the political circus — it is ON, mother…

"SHUT YO MOUTH!"

But I'm talking about McCain!

"Then we can't dig it."

I'm a Democrat through and through; I bleed liberalism. However, as a (very) amateur armchair political analyst, I think John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate has many advantages — at least, based on what I can determine from approximately ten minutes of Internet research as I wait to leave the office for lunch.

1. She has no penis. At least, none that I personally know of. Selecting a woman to join the ticket is an obvious play for disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters, and if McCain can move his language and positioning toward the center for the run-up to the general election, it may trick the die-hard Clintonites into believing that the McCain/Palin vote is a vote for the same values Hillary holds dear.

It's not, but whatever. As long as there's no penis!

2. She's a kid. Not literally, like a seven-year-old, although I would ABSOLUTELY vote for McCain if he appointed a seven-year-old as his running mate, despite my Democratic allegiance. But she's young, compared to McCain, who is an old fart, let's all be honest here. No matter how brilliant a politician and leader he may be to the GOP faithful, we've all gotta admit he probably smells a little like Ben-Gay and root beer candies up close.

Obama's young; Palin's young. Now McCain has a built-in response to anyone who suggests that his Presidency would lack youthful energy. He's also got a response for anyone thinking his presidency would become insider politics as usual, because…

3. She's a "political outsider." At least, that's how CNN defines her. Then again, CNN sometimes puts videos of dogs on skateboards on their main page as "news," so what do they know?

Obama's camp went the exact opposite road; with a candidate who has tried to define himself as a Washington "outsider" with new ideas and a fire for change; they selected a running mate who's the definition of Washington "insider" and can nip the whole "waah, waah, Obama doesn't have experience" issue in the bud. He may not have experience, but he sure as damn tootin' hell has Senator Joe Biden.

So now McCain, an insider if there ever was one, has an outsider for a running mate. The suggestion they'd like you to believe is that every time President McCain wants to make some standard move that plays into classic Washington politics, Vice President Palin will be there to slap his wrist and suggest some bold outsider strategy, like having the yearly White House Easter Egg Hunt in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue.

In reality, Vice President Palin will probably be attending state dinners in Upper Mongolia most of the time.

(Is Upper Mongolia really a place? Do they have state dinners? What do they serve? Would I like it?)

4. She's hardcore on energy policy. McCain can stay on the high road with his "don't drill" philosophy while Palin stumps for sticking big steel needles in any ground that may bubble up black gold and/or Texas tea. Yet she also supports environmental development and stewardship of the earth in some ways, too. It's fascinating to watch the Republicans make a move on the middle by coming out as big environmentalists; it's a pretty smart tactic since it claims territory that Obama hasn't been campaigning hard to claim himself, and it distances the McCain ticket from the current president and his policies. Palin can only help in this ongoing effort.

5. Her personal details read like the bio on the back of a centerfold in Hawt Conservative Babes magazine. She hunts and then SHE EATS WHAT SHE KILLS. She's a card-carrying member of the freakin' NRA. According to Wikipedia, she has used marijuana, BUT DID NOT LIKE IT. Man, if she's a devout Christian, she's like the dream running mate for McCain. Stir in some folksy charm, and the FOX News pundits will be drooling all over their Brooks Brothers ties with chaste desire.

You couldn't make me vote for any McCain ticket if you stuck sparklers under my toenails and made me dance the macarena. Strategically, though, it's a savvy move, and should make for an interesting campaign… I hope. For me, the only thing worse than Republican politics are boring politics. 

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About Matt Springer

  • Zedd

    Having a vagina is not enough. That notion is insulting to women. Smart feminists will be offended by the notion that we are so dumb that we will vote for anyone because they are female.

    She’s got two months to tell us who she is. It matters that she is a heart beat away from the Presidency. It matters that she loves guns. It matters that she has NO experience in Washington and she’s from ALASKA.

    Compare Obama and Biden w/McCain and Palin. It’s like there is a role reversal. Democrats have been known for making disastrous choices lately but it looks like the tables have turned.

    What do we need as a country? What do we need to regain our posture internationally?

  • http://www.alertnerd.com Matt

    for the record, portions of this article were of course tongue-in-cheek.

    however, I do think that depending on what kind of an impression of centrist policies they can give, there WILL be hillary clinton supporters who are lured by her appearance on the ticket–these may be the more casual supporters, to be sure, but I think you overestimate the savvy of feminists as a group. I would like to believe they’ll all see the distinction between Palin and Clinton, but then again, I’d also like to believe they’re all liberal in the first place, and I bet there are plenty of conservative feminists as well thrilled to see her up there…

    It will be very interesting to see how Palin emerges in the next week or two–I haven’t seen her speech from today yet but I’ll be checking out her speech at the convention next week for sure. How she emerges as a political figure and “character” in the campaign story will reveal a lot about what kind of impact she could have on the race.

  • Jordan Richardson

    What do we need as a country? What do we need to regain our posture internationally?

    Try a recliner.

  • http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/39420/joanne_huspek.html Joanne Huspek

    I can’t believe how people are (over)reacting to this choice, especially those in the media. The media should not be going off the deep end, especially. Most men I spoke with yesterday are in ga-ga land over Palin. Could we find out a little more about her before jumping to conclusions? Ya think? All I know about her is about all I know about Alaska. (It’s big, the capital is Juneau and there’s lots of oil there.)

  • Zedd

    Hey all,

    The most difficult post to fill will be the Secretary of Agriculture. All of those lawn guys are so good. Decisions decisions!! Perhaps if you can cut trip and hedge then and only then should you be given the job! Whew solved that one!

  • Cannonshop

    Good article, and your tongue-in-cheek is very good, it shows the presence of a sense of humour and proportion that most Libs don’t seem to have anymore, as well as a touch of class. Don’t suppose you’ve considered getting a job writing for the DNC, a lot of those guys could use a sense of humour.

  • Zedd

    Not hard to be a maverick in an EMPTY state.

  • american female

    I agree that McCain’s choice is insulting to women. I am shocked that he would take advantage of a politically naive individual for his own gains of trying to gain more votes because he fears he can’t win based on his own platform alone.

  • Dan

    In other news, longtime Obama confidant, Father Michael Pfleger, when reached for comment on how Obama is receiving the news of Presidential candidate McCains choice for VP running mate, had this to say:

    “I always thought he felt ‘This is mine. I sent Bill’s wife packing. I’m black. And this is mine. I just got to get up and step into the plate,'” he said. “And then out of nowhere came, ‘Hey, I’m Sarah Palin.’ And he said, ‘Oh damn, where did you come from? I’m black. I’m entitled. There’s a white woman stealing my show.'”

    Pfleger then proceeded to pretend to cry in a dramatization that included a handkerchief.

    “He wasn’t the only one crying. There was a whole lot of black people crying,” he said.

  • Cannonshop

    Not hard to be a maverick in an EMPTY state.

    An Empty State that can and does kill people who drift through life head-up-ass. NOWHERE in the continental U.S. are there so many ways for the environment to kill you if you’re stupid about it and live in a contented haze. It might be said that places like that are great for thinning the human herd, since anti-survival thinking gets you killed up there, and if you’re really bad about that, then it might cost you your family too-such a place is good for creating practical people whose skills reach well beyond knowing what pignon-noire to serve with the dinner, or how to hold a canape’ at the country club (Skillz that Obama and Biden are rich in), substituting such effete things for things like knowing that disaster preparedness can’t be put off in favour of a new football stadium. A little bit of Alaskan thinking might have saved a LOT of lives in New Orleans when Katrina hit.

    In places like Alaska, screwing up costs LIVES. Screwing up in Arkansas, or New York, just costs money.

  • Dan

    “In places like Alaska, screwing up costs LIVES. Screwing up in Arkansas, or New York, just costs money.”

    Well said.

    My “knee jerk” reaction, from what I’ve learned so far, is that this woman breaks the mold in almost every conceivable way. I like women the way they are, and think they should continue to be the way they are, but if you want an example of the feminist model of a woman not being restricted by pre-conceived notions of what a woman should be, She’s it. She shows that woman can not only be all they can be, but also anything they want to be. On their own.

    She compares favorably to Hillary in that she’s totally self made. Her husband, a real man to be sure, had nothing to do with her rising to governership. There may be some minor experience issues. She’s never had to dodge sniper fire for instance. Although, she likely would return fire. While simultaneously breast feeding.

    She’s recently admitted that she’s not sure what the Vice Presidents job entails. But that doesn’t matter for people like her. It’s her confidence in taking life head on that enables her to make a candid confession like that.

    Perhaps she’s the reincarnation of Teddy Roosevelt.

    Obama’s spent his political career trying to appropriate larger shares of tax dollars for his community to little effect. She’s spent hers returning them to the people who earned them.

    A true political outsider, and a confident Renaissance woman. What more could you want from a leader.

  • Dan

    Another thing, any hope that Obama is a different style of politician vanished when he selected Joe Biden for VP. Other than Hog head Kennedy, I can’t think of a more partisan hack in the entire senate.

    What happened to bi-partisanship?

    Us Conservatives got stuck with a moderate “maverick”. Where’s yours?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Dan,

    Although you and I disagree about some points on abortion rights, and probably on a number of other other issues as well, I agree with you one hundred percent that Governor Palin is the best possible choice, and very much hope that she will help restore a modicum of badly needed sanity to Washington. Her selection as Senator McCain’s running mate made up my mind. I shall vote Republican.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Zedd

    Dan(Miller)

    Does it matter to you whether she is a good Mom or not?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    It does bother me that some people like to redefine what is a ‘good mom’ to fit their political objectives.

    There are many kinds of good moms, and a working VP can probably be one. Do I need to point out that John F. Kennedy was in the White House with small children. Was he a bad father? Was Jackie – who worked as hard as first lady as he did as president – a bad mother?

    Dave

  • Dan

    Dan,

    I’m not so sure we disagree on many points in the abortion rights issue. I’m not a hard liner on very many issues.

    Once, when my young daughter was being influenced by a passionate pro-life aunt, I introduced her to the rape victim hypothetical, arguing that a rape victims unborn was just as innocent as any other unborn, thus, superceding rights of mothers and unborns cannot be done in a non-hypocritical way.

    An overused example of course, but a good zealotry stopper. I’m not sure where she stands today. Probably in the middle with everyone else.

    Your superior communication skills allow you to cultivate a temperate, reasonable persona. I’ve read your stuff, and your a valuable addition to sanity here.

    Admittedly, I’m less concerned, (and less talented) with cultivating the perception of being reasonably persuasive, and tend more toward blunt logic to break up what I perceive as lopsided agreement fests. Probably a social defect.

    Although this leads to some unfair hostile conclusions about my perceived motivations, that I don’t always worry about correcting, I see it as balance.

    At any rate McCains choice is sure to make this election interesting. I can’t wait to see what effect, if any, Palin has on women, (and men) crossing over, to either side.

    not Dan Miller

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Zed,

    Yes, it matters and so do her views on abortion rights and her apparently evangelical Christian views.

    I disagree with her on abortion rights and am an Agnostic/Atheist. Fortunately, I see neither changes in abortion laws nor an inquisition coming. These are things over which, thank Zeus and Athena, the President and the Vice President have precious little if any control. Were I mesmerized by a single issue, I might not have decided as I have. I am not, and I have.

    As to whether Governor Palin is a “good mother,” I guess it all depends on her personal situation and how one defines the term. I have seen nothing (and I have looked) other than some pretty rabid, partisan and speculative suggestions that if elected Vice President she might not be. As best I have been able to assess the situation, she has done a pretty good job thus far, much better than have many holding and doing well at stressful jobs. Ditto her husband. Various Presidents, and Vice Presidents as well, highly regarded by some, have managed to hold office while their children were young. Did President Kennedy neglect his children while in office? I rather doubt it.

    I hope you are not suggesting that a small child (or, indeed, even a teenage child) needs a mother more than a father, or that in order to hold and succeed in a stressful job a mother (as distinguished from a father) is incapable of doing what a mother (or father) should properly do. That would be a terribly sexist position, and one which I consider beneath you.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    That last graf is straight out of a law course. :)

    Props, Dan(Miller)

    Clav(os)

  • http://www.popgeek.org Matt

    This has gotten a little Conservative-y for my tastes, so I don’t have much to add, but I did want to say this:

    I don’t for a second think Palin’s selection is an “insult to women.” I think believing she’s some kind of acquiescing, fawning flower who was somehow coerced into running by a big bad bully GOP is an insult.

    There may be something insulting about the idea that the GOP could be seen to be choosing gender as a playing card in the race–but you better believe Hillary would be doing the same thing were she still in the game.

    Overall, what I’ve read indicates that my observations above were sorta on the mark, sorta way off the mark–from a strategy perspective. In reality, I think the vetting process has failed the McCain campaign and that’s getting tangled up in things just as the convention is supposed to act as a clean “coming out” party for the new ticket and the party.