Interesting. Palin selected as McCain’s running mate. August 29, 2008Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized, US Politics.
As it happens It’s All Politics on NPR ruminated some time back about whether Sarah Palin might be the Republican pick for VP. They thought her an outside chance but one to watch.
Still, why not? Clever choice, albeit one that smacks of a fairly serious level of calculation (don’t they all? Well, yes, but there’s calculation and calculation). I think this might worry the Democrats more than slightly, because the message it sends is that the Republicans have useful polling data which indicates that they can pull a significant chunk of support away from the Democrats which might otherwise a) have gone Hillary Clintons way – yes, many of those but not all being women and that the selection will b) appeal to independents and ‘moderates’. That said that level of calculation may well be problematic. After all, no-one likes to think of themselves as voting fodder. So perhaps a little less inspired than Slate appear to think.
And wow, she’s straight out and making that pitch:
She was effusive in her praise for Hillary Clinton, claiming for herself the groundbreaking role Clinton played during the Democratic primary race. “It turns out the women of America aren’t finished yet,” Palin said. “We can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all.”
One wonders who would have been the VP candidate had Obama picked Clinton?
That said her strong pro-life stance may well be off-putting for some. So it’s swings and roundabouts. More interesting is the follow through. It is a most interesting choice, as noted again on Slate as regards the idea that someone with relatively little experience is suitable for the Presidency. I was looking at Obama’s CV today and it’s pretty damn impressive for a man in his late 40s. So let it be said is Sarah Palin’s, but the choice of her, particularly by a man in his early 70s as one commentator on Slate noted:
…undercuts the idea that Obama, who is three years older and far more experienced than she, is somehow still too green.
And her CV is… well, a little less exalted:
Palin, 44, is Alaska’s first female governor. She was sworn in December 2006, making her one of the least experienced people to run for vice-president in recent memory. Alaska is one of the smallest states in the US, with only 670,000 residents.
Before becoming governor, Palin served two terms as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a town of 9,800 people, and was on the city’s council before that. In the 2006 Alaska gubernatorial race, Palin bested the incumbent Republican governor during the primary election.
And there’s some stuff that may not work out so well lurking in the details of her bio, not least a tricky little dispute where:
The Alaska legislature is investigating whether Palin sacked a public safety commissioner who declined to fire a state trooper that was engaged in a custody battle with Palin’s sister.
So how then does this play out? We’re about to see if African-American and staidish older white guy trumps staidish older white guy and woman or vice versa. The significations of all this are a sight to see, aren’t they? And here’s the thing, both tickets invert while simultaneously utilising identity politics. It just depends to a degree what flavour of identity politics you hold.
So, Obama’s moment of triumph is eclipsed. Permanently? Who knows, but now we can see just why McCain got out his courteous advert yesterday congratulating his rival. And I’ll bet it gets nasty from here on in. Oddly though I don’t feel this will have quite the traction the Republicans expect. Not sure why, it’s just an instinct. No doubt I’m wrong.
And what is it, eight, ten weeks to go? Great stuff.