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McCain Picks Palin and Reform for the GOP

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In a miraculous moment in Dayton, Ohio, John McCain announced what may be the most politically significant decision of the new millennium. Faced with many choices and the challenge of a resurgent left, McCain defied all of those who questioned his worthiness as a leader and a candidate and those who worship ‘conventional wisdom,’ by making the boldest and most courageous choice of a Vice Presidential running mate since William McKinley reluctantly accepted the nomination of Theodore Roosevelt. Out of a field which included many safe choices and many establishment figures, McCain vindicated himself and the hopes of those Republicans who had extended him the benefit of the doubt, by picking Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate.

In his announcement, McCain summarized Palin’s career as an innovative governor, an opponent of big business and institutionalized politics, and stressed her background as a mother and a product of a normal middle-class family. Palin is not a child of wealth or a creature of the political establishment. She’s as much a maverick as McCain has claimed to be. She comes from a frontier state with a frontier mentality and a love of freedom and individualism which too many Republicans have drifted away from. By picking her, McCain is making a clear statement that he will be running as the political maverick and innovator and reformer he has tried to be rather than the establishment moderate some have accused him of being.

Palin will bring out the best of John McCain and as running mates they will bring out the best of the Republican party and return it to its root values of small government, fiscal responsibility and individual liberty.

Throughout this campaign McCain has been faced with a choice of constituencies to appeal to. He has had to court independents and moderates, the religious right and Republican reformers, all of whom control substantial numbers of votes and strong activist elements. Although always viewed as a long shot and brilliantly concealed by the McCain campaign, in retrospect the Palin selection seems almost inevitable, because she is the only person whose track record and reputation should satisfy the demands of every constituency McCain wants to appeal to.

Palin will appeal to reformers because she is firmly part of the liberty wing of the party, sharing the goals of traditional Republicans represented by groups like the Republican Liberty Caucus who want to return the party to the traditions of Barry Goldwater and Teddy Roosevelt. She also has a strong pro-family reputation as the mother of five and someone raised in a traditional middle class household. Her pro-life views and support for conventional marriage should stand her in good stead with religious conservatives, yet she also used her first veto as governor to protect the rights of gay Alaskans to partnership benefits, showing a willingness to accept non-traditional families as well.

As governor Palin has been strongly independent of the party leadership, has challenged establishment figures like Senator Ted Stevens and Congressman Don Young over corruption issues, and has been an activist for progressive energy policies, supporting expanded oil drilling and development while limiting the influence of big oil companies in government. Palin is young and personable and articulate and clearly not part of the Washington political establishment. She’s the youngest person ever elected governor of Alaska and the first woman governor in the state’s history. She’s also enormously popular, with approval ratings in the 80s.

McCain’s choice of Palin stands in stark contrast to Barack Obama’s selection of Joe Biden as his running mate. Obama went for the conservative, boring and conventional choice. By picking Palin, McCain has made his declaration for progressive change, reform and new ideas. With Biden, Obama declared for the political establishment and made his claims that he supported change seem hypocritical. With Palin, McCain has shown that he understands real change and is willing to take risks and make the GOP the engine for authentic reform and better government for all the people which it was originally founded to be.

Today McCain is reborn and the voices of doubt have been silenced. The dark days of ambivalence and poor leadership are behind us, and the GOP can move forward in unity to campaign on a foundation of principle, reform and optimism.

About Dave Nalle

  • Arch Conservative

    Am I mistaken or did John McCain just deliver BArry the KO punch?

    Well played John McCain.

    I’m still voting for Baldwin.

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

    It may be too late to make a declaration of victory, but I bet Obama gets a negative ‘bump’ out of the convention as a result of this.

    Things are looking very hopeful for the GOP. How you could vote for Baldwin is beyond me.

    Dave

  • Arch Conservative

    If your next door neighbor who’s been stealing your newspaper and watching your wife get undressed through the window for years suddenly gives you free tickets to a sporting event with your favorite team because he wants you to be his alibi for a homicide taht was committed last Tuesday night that he’s being investigated for do you take those tickets and say “yes officer he was here playing poker with me and the guys last Tuesday night?”

    I don’t.

  • bliffle

    Some would call this a pretty cynical political choice by McCain. Especially since there’s a chance McCain might croak in office and this mystery person might become POTUS.

  • Lumpy

    and what record does baldwin have that would justify any faith in him

  • Arch Conservative

    Baldwin says things that he knows are going to piss off a ton of people. He says these things because he believes these things not because some handler who read a public opinion poll that morning told him to. He is honest. That alone makes him light years more appealing than the Chicago Charlatan and the Angry Arizonan.

    If you’ve ever listened to Baldwin speak you know that he’s actually read and understood the constitution.

    He’s advocated actually doing something about closing the borders.

    He doesn’t believe this nation should be entering into anymore dumbass trade agreements that have proven to do us great harm.

    He’s the best man for the job by a country mile Lumpy.

  • terry b,

    why would john McCain pick a someone that is under a federal investagation for mis-useing her office. dumb dumb and dumber.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Check your facts in their entirety, terryb. Don’t depend on sound bites. In order to make an informed decision before casting our ballots this year, it is incumbent upon every voter to exercise caution and do their homework. Anything less is a wasted vote and a continuation of business as usual. If each of us took our electoral responsibility seriously neither Obama or McCain will be the next President. It would be Bob Barr or Cynthia McKinney.

  • Arch Conservative

    My choice is Chuck Baldwin Silas………….

    THE TIME IS NIGH!

  • Pablo

    Arch,

    I just want to get this straight. Is this the same Chuck Baldwin who is an opponent of what he calls “The New World Order”, wants another investigation into 9/11, and is an opponent of “The North American Union”? Hmmmm, if so I may vote for him, sounds like my kinda guy. Smirk

    Surely this must be another Chuck Baldwin, arch, tell me it aint so.

  • Arch Conservative

    Yes it is.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    VPILF

  • Pablo

    So Archie,

    Does that mean that you support a new investigation of 9/11 (if so why), and believe there is a New World Order, (if so, who is it), and that you believe that there are people in government and other organizations that are pushing a North American Union, (if so who is it, certainly not the CFR, barf)?

    I am all ears Arch, please educate me!

  • Clavos

    I am all ears Arch, please educate me!

    A Sisyphean task, if ever there was one.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    VPILF Matt, dude. I thought the same thing!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    As far as I’m concerned, Palin is *more* experienced than Obama. She’s run a city and run a state. What’s Obama ever run, other than his mouth?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    No, she’s run a village and a gigantic wilderness.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “VPILF”

    I lol’d IRL …

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “No, she’s run a village and a gigantic wilderness.”

    Alright, let’s try to meet in the middle on this one. She’s run a fast-growing small town (no doubt full of simple folks who cling to their guns and their God), and she’s run a sparsely-populated state that happens to be the nation’s largest in area.

    But, again…what’s Obama ever run, other than his mouth?

  • Pablo

    Whats the matter Clavy, no poontang last night bubba?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The Developing Communities Project in Chicago, the Harvard Law Review and Illinois Project Vote.

    What legislative experience does Sarah Palin have?

    All of which is by the by, anyway, since Palin is not running for President.

    How does her experience stack up against Biden’s, if you want to have that discussion?

  • Alec

    RE: McCain has made his declaration for progressive change, reform and new ideas…

    I don’t know. “Progressive” and “GOP” is a contradiction in terms.

    If reports I’ve read that she supports the teaching of creationism in public schools, then she could never be an acceptable candidate to me, especially if, in addition, she approves of the GOP platform position with respect to stem cell research.

    So while I don’t entirely share your wild enthusiasm for Palin, I agree with you that she is an interesting, maybe non-traditional choice. She’s a liftetime member of the NRA and a strongly pro-life Christian, so I find it interesting that McCain is playing to the GOP base, as opposed to a choice who might be more palatable to some moderates and independents. But I think it is a very good sign that Palin has fought against corruption — even in her own party.

    One of the dumbest comments I’ve seen about Palin came from David Weigel at reasononline. He balks at comparisons between Hillary Clinton and Palin: “Clinton was and is a feminist icon. Sarah Palin is Sarah Palin.”

    I agree that Clinton is a feminist icon to many. But while Senator Clinton pretended to be a mountain woman, Palin is the real deal, and has hunted and apparently can tout the excellence of mooseburgers. The story of how she married her high school sweetheart argues for a certain strongheadedness and independence of spirit (courtesy of Wikipedia): “The two eloped shortly after Palin graduated from college; when they learned they needed witnesses for the civil ceremony, they recruited two residents from the old-age home down the street….” In short, I don’t think she has to prove feminist bona fides to anyone or be reduced to something as stupid as “an identity politics” choice.

    She named one of her daughters “Willow,” apparently after the character in the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” TV show, which suggests that she is not one of those insufferable Christian fools who believe that fantasy shows and novels encourage Satan worship. But any fan of Buffy is a friend of mine.

    I haven’t noted much about her relative lack of “experience” because it only proves a point I made earlier that the experience template (executive experience, running a company blah, blah, blah) people like to toss around is largely nonsense. That she doesn’t have foreign policy “experience” also is a non-issue for me. She seems to be able to connect the dots and come up with rational decisions, which is far more important that filling out the “past experience” page on a resume.

    I can easily see her appeal to many in the GOP and also perhaps to others. It will be interesting to see how the rigid family values crowd deals with her (to me, common sense) decisions related to gays.

    Oddly enough, I don’t think that the Wall Street Republicans will be happy with McCain’s choice, nor will the “party loyalty und cronyism uber alles” crowd be particularly happy.

    Interesting that among the presidential and VP contenders, we have candidates from the newest states, Alaska and Hawaii (even though, yes, Palin was born in Idaho). It might be fun to see Obama and Palin play a game of basketball.

    Game on!

  • Dan

    For us conservatives who were less than thrilled with McCain, this is such an exciting developement.

    She seems to be thouroughly conservative.

    Her acceptance speech was a display of authentic sincerity and humbleness that forces people to like her.

    I see no negatives. Vibrant, intelligent, in touch, and executive experience.

    This could be our first woman President eventually.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “The Developing Communities Project in Chicago”

    He was an organizer for them; I don’t know if you can say he “ran” it. Also, they were funded and supported by radical south-side churches like “Father” Pfleger’s.

    “the Harvard Law Review”

    The year Obama was the editor of the Harvard Law Review is the least-cited in the last 20 years.

    “and Illinois Project Vote.”

    A project closely-tied to the corrupt left-wing organization ACORN. His job there, while officially nonpartisan, was to register as many black Democrats to vote as possible. I will cede that he was successful in that endeavor.

    “What legislative experience does Sarah Palin have?”

    I don’t believe she’ll be expected to pass much legislation as Vice President. Perhaps she’ll have to cast a tie-breaking Senate vote. That’s about it. So I don’t see the relevance of the question. (But, to answer it anyway, she was a city councilwoman for four years.)

    “How does her experience stack up against Biden’s, if you want to have that discussion?”

    Sure. Palin has eight more years of executive experience (the relevant kind for the job of Vice President) than Biden. She was Mayor for six years, and has been Governor for almost two.

    She also has better hair, and isn’t the punchline to about twenty different jokes. Biden, on the other hand, has much more experience as a plagiarist and failed Presidential candidate.

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    You cant be serious. Do you really believe the things you post?

    Have you watched her? She’s George Bush in a dress.

  • Zedd

    Alaska has the population of Austin Texas. Executive experience! Good luck with the war on drugs or war on terrorism or inner city issues!

    Way to go GOP you great lovers of our country!!!

    Phone call at 3:00 in the morning…. Joe Biden or Sarah Palin.

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

    “and Illinois Project Vote.”

    A project closely-tied to the corrupt left-wing organization ACORN. His job there, while officially nonpartisan, was to register as many black Democrats to vote as possible. I will cede that he was successful in that endeavor.

    Man, I didn’t realize Obama had connections to ACORN. Maybe we should be considering him for a jail cell rather than the Oval Office.

    Dave

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

    You cant be serious. Do you really believe the things you post?

    Absolutely.

    Have you watched her? She’s George Bush in a dress.

    George Bush never looked that good in a dress. And you need to learn more about her if you can make that completely off base comparison.

    Alaska has the population of Austin Texas.

    Actually, Delaware has the population of Austin. Alaska has the population of Austin in 2000.

    Executive experience!

    Yes, she has more than Obama, Biden and Hillary Clinton added together. She has 4 times as much as McCain for that matter.

    Good luck with the war on drugs or war on terrorism or inner city issues!

    You don’t get Palin at all. She’s most likely to be against the war on drugs. Good luck with it indeed. We can finally work on making that albatross of a policy go away. And despite the small size of Alaska, it does have bad inner city areas and a crime problem and major poverty issues. The city she was mayor of is a suburb of Anchorage. The Anchorage metro area contains more than half of Alaska’s population and it’s a city somewhat larger, but comparable in size to New Orleans.

    Phone call at 3:00 in the morning…. Joe Biden or Sarah Palin.

    Palin, because she’s used to getting up at night to feed and change her 1 year old.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Sure. Palin has eight more years of executive experience (the relevant kind for the job of Vice President) than Biden. She was Mayor for six years, and has been Governor for almost two.

    Oh, come off it, RJ. As Zedd has repeatedly pointed out, executive experience in Alaska is a bit of a stretch. Five thousand people live in the ‘city’ she was mayor of. Where I come from, we call that a village. It’s like claiming that your cousin Willie would run the Washington Post better than Rupert Murdoch because he once edited his high school newspaper.

    You might as well argue that the Prime Minister of Barbados is qualified to run the US based on his executive experience.

    And I asked you to consider Palin’s legislative experience precisely because the VP’s main function, other than stepping in for permanently horizontal chief executives, is as President of the Senate. I don’t regard that as irrelevant.

    I’m not saying that Palin wouldn’t make a good VP just because she’s a relative greenhorn. But trying to inflate what limited experience she does have, in an attempt to compare her favorably to Obama, makes you look rather ridiculous.

  • Baronius

    I think both VP choices balanced the tickets. Now both parties have a stale, unimaginative white guy and a person with virtually no qualifications. Brilliant tactics. Embody every major weakness of the other presidential candidate in your own VP pick.

    McCain’s move will probably pay off, but this is everything I hate about identity politics.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    I gotta say, McCain-Palin is looking to be the tits. In fact, both politicians on the ticket have them!

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    And Matt, my dear boy, never let anyone take away from you the distinction of being a tit man.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The rhetoric flying around from the right-wingers on here is not to be believed. Is it fear that brings the silliness out, or just the bad habit of reflexive, smart-ass insult humor?

    Palin is no worse a pick than…Dan Quayle, maybe. But if the Dems had nominated someone with similar [sparse] experience, and especially someone with ‘bona fide’ liberal credentials [equivalent to Palin's gun love and inflexible abortion stance], the salivating Huns would be denigrating her or him even more vociferously than the relatively mild criticism coming from the left about Palin. Any claim that she is more qualified to be president than Biden or Obama or Clinton is just so much partisan wishful thinking.

    It’s all so hypocritical. Do you really expect us to believe this relative nonentity was a heroine of yours before this morning? The mere possibility of a ‘game changer’ [after 38 million tuned in to Thursday evening's genuinely exciting and inspiring spectacle] has you guys jumping up and down in a most amusing yet ridiculous manner. Good grief.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Dave:

    If you’re interested in Obama’s links to ACORN, and ACORN’s recent history of corruption and vote fraud, I suggest you read this.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Citing loony-tunes loudmouth crackpot Michelle Malkin as an authority on anything is a bit desperate, I’d say. Trying to link Obama to Acorn in a way that is genuinely relevant to this election is even more so. But discussing actual issues is just so…boring, eh? Calling someone an empty suit and pretending he’s corrupt is so much more fun.

  • Clavos

    Do you really expect us to believe this relative nonentity was a heroine of yours before this morning?

    A casual perusal of the threads on this site over the past several weeks would reveal a number of mentions of Governor Palin as an ideal candidate for VP, posted by a number of commenters. An even larger number of comments advocating the nomination of a woman as the Republican VP nominee would also show up.

    But if the Dems had nominated someone with similar [sparse] experience, and especially someone with ‘bona fide’ liberal credentials [equivalent to Palin's gun love and inflexible abortion stance], the salivating Huns would be denigrating her or him even more vociferously than the relatively mild criticism coming from the left about Palin.

    Speculating about what other commenters might have voiced under hypothetical circumstances, as you do here, is just that: pure speculation, with no basis in fact.

    Spare us.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “Oh, come off it, RJ. As Zedd has repeatedly pointed out, executive experience in Alaska is a bit of a stretch.”

    I disagree. Why is it that experience in Alaska supposedly doesn’t count, in your mind? Just because of its relatively small population? (How about being one of two Senators from tiny Delaware, then?)

    Actually, if anything, it should count *extra*, since it’s such a large and diverse state, and so far away from the Beltway Bureaucrats.

    “Five thousand people live in the ‘city’ she was mayor of.”

    Closer to 8,000 … but hey, who’s counting? ;-)

    “Where I come from, we call that a village.”

    Where you come from, you have no say in our elections. ;-)

    “It’s like claiming that your cousin Willie would run the Washington Post better than Rupert Murdoch because he once edited his high school newspaper.”

    It’s actually not like that at all.

    Alaska is certainly larger than The Harvard Law Review, Illinois Project Vote Smart, and The Developing Communities Project in Chicago – COMBINED. ;-)

    “You might as well argue that the Prime Minister of Barbados is qualified to run the US based on his executive experience.”

    Almost certainly more qualified than Obama! ;-)

    “And I asked you to consider Palin’s legislative experience precisely because the VP’s main function, other than stepping in for permanently horizontal chief executives, is as President of the Senate. I don’t regard that as irrelevant.”

    So, like once or twice a year, she might have to cast a deciding, tie-breaking vote in the Senate, whose outcome is already a foregone conclusion based upon the stated position of the administration? Stressful stuff! But I’m pretty sure she can manage. ;-)

    “I’m not saying that Palin wouldn’t make a good VP just because she’s a relative greenhorn. But trying to inflate what limited experience she does have, in an attempt to compare her favorably to Obama, makes you look rather ridiculous.”

    Nope. She *does* compare favorably to Obama, in both experience and accomplishments. And she’s not even at the top of the ticket! ;-)

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “Palin is no worse a pick than…Dan Quayle, maybe.”

    Except Dan Quayle was never a Governor. (And didn’t the GOP win in 1988?) ;-)

    “But if the Dems had nominated someone with similar [sparse] experience”

    ProTip: They did. And at the *top* of their ticket. ;-)

    “and especially someone with ‘bona fide’ liberal credentials [equivalent to Palin's gun love and inflexible abortion stance]”

    Supporting the Second Amendment isn’t viewed as “gun love” to any but the most extreme leftists.

    “the salivating Huns would be denigrating her or him even more vociferously than the relatively mild criticism coming from the left about Palin.”

    The GOP = Huns? We’re a confederation of Central Asian equestrian nomads? HOLY FUCKING SHIT! And I thought I was Irish-German… :-/

    “Any claim that she is more qualified to be president than Biden or Obama or Clinton is just so much partisan wishful thinking.”

    Or, at least as far as Obama goes, objective fact. ;-)

    “It’s all so hypocritical. Do you really expect us to believe this relative nonentity”

    Wait. Are we talking about Obama or Palin now?

    “was a heroine of yours before this morning?”

    I didn’t say she was my hero. But I certainly like her more than a Harvard-educated Marxist who attended a radical Black Nationalist “church” for 20 years.

    “The mere possibility of a ‘game changer’ [after 38 million tuned in to Thursday evening's genuinely exciting and inspiring spectacle]”

    Hey, leave some Kool-Aid for the rest of the kids in Jonestown!

    “has you guys jumping up and down in a most amusing yet ridiculous manner. Good grief.”

    Hey man, she’s kinda pro-gay. And she loves to shop. So she can’t be all bad, amiright?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Why is it that experience in Alaska supposedly doesn’t count, in your mind?

    I never said that. I do call into question how much it counts – especially based on the fact that if Palin does end up fulfilling the office of Vice-President, she’ll be doing so in Washington DC, not Alaska.

    Where you come from, you have no say in our elections.

    That’s what you think… ;-)

    It’s actually not like that at all.

    Alaska is certainly larger than The Harvard Law Review, Illinois Project Vote Smart, and The Developing Communities Project in Chicago – COMBINED. ;-)

    I was actually drawing the analogy with Biden there, but never mind.

    She *does* compare favorably to Obama, in both experience and accomplishments. And she’s not even at the top of the ticket!

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree. Like I said, I don’t have any negative vibe about Palin at this point – I know very little about her and have seen even less. I’m just glad she’s not Romney.

    On the other hand, Obama is at the top of the ticket and looking pretty damn impressive from where I’m sitting. When he first announced his candidacy I did cringe a bit, as I thought he needed a further term or two more in the Senate. But he’s had four years of national experience and exposure – the last year and a half of them intense, as he’s campaigned for the presidency, and I do think that counts for quite a lot.

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

    So the experience of applying for a job now counts as qualification to have that job? By that logic I can be a qualified brain surgeon just because I’m applying to be a brain surgeon. Uh, ok.

    dave

  • Lee Richards

    #40:

    Or by that logic Palin is qualified to be president(if the need arises)just because the Republicans will pick her. Uh, ok.

  • Larsbarbow

    Four words — Harriet Meiers, Clarence Thomas. Please use your bigger heads (VPILF-do you think that shows respect or is any way an appropriate endorsement for a candidate for the second highest office of the country?) This is not a beauty contest. What is McCain thinking? I can’t decide if he wants to lose of if he’s senile. Maybe both. Pathetic.

  • Cannonshop

    No, Lee, the logic of “Experience” comes down to one thing- “What did you do with the time?”

    Put it another way-which machinist do you want working on your car-the guy who’s spent ten years talking about being a machinist, while working the cash-register, or the guy who’s spent two years actually BEING a machinist?

    Palin’s spent her time in the Governorship DOING THINGS. USEFUL things, like getting rid of corrupt bastards, balancing a genuine budget, hell, she’s even been subjected to an investigation (and kicked its ass without having to call a defense lawyer. It’s amazing how much of a non-issue a probe becomes when you cooperate fully and really DON’T have anything to hide.)

    There are a lot of Western conservatives that wanted to draft Palin for the GOP Nominee back in December ’07.