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Friday, August 29, 2008

Gov. Sarah Palin: McCain's Best Choice for VP

I've been thinking for a long time about who would be a good VP choice for John McCain. That's a tough one because, since he's not exactly a conservative's dream himself, you have to throw a measure of pragmatism (i.e. how conservative a running mate would McCain actually put up with?) into any estimations.

Some, like columnist Marie Jon', believe Mitt Romney's the one. Others (maybe McCain himself, for all I know) have been pushing for a pro-abortion VP--though it looks like McCain has figured out such a choice would pretty much doom his candidacy.

For some time now, I've been thinking of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. And though I started writing this yesterday, I see my friend Pastor Steve at Voices Carry beat me to actually getting a South Dakota blogosphere endorsement of her published.

Though no one is perfect, Palin has an impressive list of assets to bring to the ticket. We'll find out later today who John McCain actually chooses, but for now I can hope it's Gov. Palin.

While she doesn't seem to be outspokenly pro-life, her pro-life credentials nevertheless seem impeccable. In fact, while I've read that up to 70-80% of Down syndrome babies are being aborted, when Palin and her husband found out pre-birth that their second son Trig had Down syndrome, she refused to end his life.

After he was born, she said

"I'm looking at him right now, and I see perfection," Palin said. "Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?"

She is also very pro-energy. Her state of Alaska is home to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and she is very much in favor of drilling for oil there. Her husband Todd works at the current drilling operation on the North Slope, and is a commercial fisherman during the off-drilling season.

Additionally, Todd's work provides a blue-collar connection that may be important to some, given that this presidential race is headed on both sides by millionaires.

She is also very popular in Alaska, with approval ratings running in the 80s and 90s.

Sarah Palin is very attractive and youthful--attributes which don't really amount to much with regard to qualifications, but for that segment of voters out there who are the kind who voted for Jimmy Carter because of the part in his hair, it could help pick up a few more votes.

Finally, there are a lot of angry and disillusioned female voters who are spitting-mad that Hillary Clinton didn't get the Democrat nomination or the VP nod. Giving them a competent female to vote for could just bring a McCain victory by a landslide.

I don't know how interested she would be, but I think the case for a Palin VP pick is very, very strong. Whether McCain will have enough wisdom to see that...well, that could be a different matter.

Steven D. Laib at the Intellectual Conservative apparently concurs that she would be a great choice. I'd encourage you to go read his piece as well.

In the meantime, we should know in a few hours, as McCain is expected to announce his choice at an Ohio rally today.

UPDATE: In case you haven't heard, it's being widely reported now that McCain has in fact picked Palin as his running mate.

Finally, some excitement about the Republican ticket!!! Odd that it's mostly about the VP, but I'll take it. And though the libs are already trying to minimize and trash her...since McCain is unlikely to run again, she'll make a great president in 2012!


Anonymous said...

She is under investigation by the Alaska Legislature for corruption - why would McCain chose her?

Plus I hear she has no experience.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin is being investigate by the Alaska Legislature for misusing her position as Governor and for corruption. Why would McCain pick someone embroiled in so many scandals?

Anonymous said...

For a "Rino" like McCain, Palin would be an OUTSTANDING choice for VP. I hope it happens.

Braden said...

I'm gonna go with Bob Ellis on this one. I think it's a smart choice. She's a game-changer because she's a woman, and a game-changer is excactly what McCain needs after the absolutely amazing spectacle of last night.

Plus, if there are any PUMAs still out there who refuse to listen to Bill and Hillary's ringing endorsements of Obama they might go McCain. Although I don't understand how PUMAs can suddenly switch ideologies 180 degrees because their primary candidate lost, but whatever.

Let's not pretend, Joe Biden is absolutely gonna rip her apart in the debate. But I think a lot of people will feel some sympathy for her. Here is poor little Sarah Palin, new on the national stage, being tore down by old, mean, Joe Biden. Biden would have destroyed Palenty too, but nobody would have felt sorry for him.

Plus, Democrats can't run ads of McCain and Romney bickering and whining at each other. She's not pro-choice like Lieberman and Ridge, which would have self-destructed the Republican Party. She's young, but not young enough to look McCain look like an old geezer. Personally, I think it was the best choice he could make.

I would also like to say I give McCain props for the ad he ran last night congradulating Obama. Classy move, Senator McCain.

Braden said...

Call me a flip-flopper, but I am retracting my earlier statement.

It turns out Palin is being investigated by the Alaskan legislature on corruption charges. She alledgedly fired a public official because he wouldn't fire a state trooper who had recently divorced her sister. It could be true too, the Alaskan Republican Party is no stranger to corruption. Even if it's not, the talk it generates doesn't help McCaion. (Yay!)

Plus, it completely rules out McCain's experience argument, which was one of his best arguments. Two years ago, Obama was a United States Senator. At that time, Sarah Palin was the mayor of a town of 7,000 people. And she is supposed to debate Biden on a ressurgent Russia? She said in an interview a month ago that she needs someone to explain to her what it is the vice president does.

This was a desperation move. We'll have to see if it pans out. It definately made the race more interesting.

John said...

"Finally, there are a lot of angry and disillusioned female voters who are spitting-mad that Hillary Clinton didn't get the Democrat nomination or the VP nod. Giving them a competent female to vote for could just bring a McCain victory by a landslide."

But don't you think most of those women are pro-choice? I would assume most of the pro-life women already supported McCain. Why would the Hillary supporters choose a women VP over preventing conservatives from getting more power on the Supreme Court?

Dr. Theo said...

The "investigation by the Alaska Legislature for corruption" is a non-issue and, if anything, will show Palin to be anything but corrupt. There is much on the web about this, but Wikipedia has a line or two that put the situation in some perspective:

"[T]he Alaska Legislature hired Steve Branchflower to investigate Palin and her staff for possible abuse of power surrounding the dismissal [of Walter Monegan as Commissioner of Public Safety], though lawmakers acknowledge that 'Monegan and other commissioners serve at will, meaning they can be fired by Palin at any time.'[46] The investigation is being overseen by Democratic State Senator Hollis French, who says that the Palin administration has been cooperating and thus subpoenas are unnecessary.[47]"

Braden's point about lack of experience and foreign affairs may be valid. We'll just have to see. The Dems will have to be extremely careful how they play the inexperience card and, while Biden nominally has a lot of experience in foreign affairs, his voting record seems less informed and more ideological to many of us.

Stephen Wesolick said...

Brilliant move. More qualified than Obama, and she'll drive the Dems crazy. Biden is looking pretty lame a week after the pick.

Bob Ellis said...

Anonymous 8:36, She actually has a very strong reputation for fighting corruption. She took on both the state Republican Party chairman (her own party) and the former Alaska AG for ethics violations.

She's pushed for greater ethics in Alaska government, killed the "Bridge to Nowhere" pork fiasco, and pushed for Senator Ted Stevens to come clean.

The issue you mentioned involves the firing of a former brother-in-law by someone in her administration, and she says to bring on the investigation: "Hold me accountable."

She doesn't have McCain's decades of experience in the legislative branch, but she as at least as much experience as Obama, and perhaps as much or more administrative and executive experience as McCain.

She served two terms as a city councilman, and was appointed by the governor to serve as Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. She became governor two years ago.

She's young, but she's very good, and seems to have both the strength and moral center a good leader needs.

Bob Ellis said...

Too bad Braden. I thought we'd finally found some common ground.

Time will tell about the corruption charges, but she has had a solid reputation for fighting corruption and cronyism, and has even said "Bring it on" to this investigation, so I take it with more than a grain of salt.

Regards the experience issue, she obviously doesn't have decades of experience as McCain or Biden have. However, the leadership positions she has held are I believe more relevant to executive experience even than McCains and Bidens. Lawmaking is an important job, but it takes and cultivates a different set of primary abilities.

Leadership is more relevant to the position of the presidency. And given her experience on the city council, as the Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and her strong, independent leadership as governor, I think she's looking pretty good for leadership.

Besides, as Hillary said, when it comes to experience Obama has...a speech he gave a few years ago.

She'll make a great VP next year, and a great president in 2012.

Bob Ellis said...

That's a very good point, John. I'm sure you're right about many of those Hillary supporters.

But I suspect that at least some of them--maybe a significant number--will do it out of spite, if nothing else. Besides, some of those Hillary supporters may not necessarily have been strong supporters of abortion rights, but supported her more out of interest in seeing the advancement of women. Those are the ones that could very well come over to the McCain/Palin ticket.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if pro-Life women would have been voting for McCain or not. He certainly doesn't have the greatest track record. In 2006, the NRLC only gave him a 75% on life issues, in a rating system that gave even a good number of democrats 100%. Many other pro-Life voters that I've talked to agree that there is a good deal of room for doubt about McCain himself. However, Mrs. Palin's nomination probably seals up those voting purely on Life issues as McCain supporters.

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