Friday, August 29, 2008

An excellent choice.

McCain has just reinforced his persona as a maverick, as someone who isn’t afraid to buck the trend, to take on his own party. He picked someone who mirrored his political philosophy in so many ways and even though I would have rather seen Hutchison or Ridge on the ticket I still think Palin is a great pick. Republican political leaders may not like her, but that’s fine with me. Those people should be unemployed anyway come November.

Setting her personal story aside – and she really does have an amazing personal story, as does Obama, Biden and McCain – Palin has established herself as a maverick. Yes, she is relatively unknown nationwide, but I think that plays to her advantage. Being unknown means people will start researching her record and conservatives, independents and Reagan democrats will like what they see…I certainly do. Her record may be short in duration, but she has done some extraordinary things in the way of reform. She has lived the talk of fiscal responsibility and ethics reform. She has great work in energy and taxes. And she has broken with her party (and McCain) on more than a few occasions, sometimes drawing harsh criticism. These are the things that are missing in Obama’s and Biden’s records.

I took issue with Obama for talking the talk and not walking the walk, and then McCain steps up with this pick, who personifies what was lacking in Obama. It was an absolute stroke of genius for McCain. What has happened is a change in campaign strategy, and a huge gamble for McCain.

Gone are the days of the “experience” issue. McCain can’t use that anymore and, frankly, neither can the Dems. In the same fashion, the Dems can’t use the “Washington insider” tagline anymore. Instead, we will hear about the “reform” issue. Government reform will become the talk of both campaigns, and McCain and Palin are the only two who have the record to back it up, while Obama has the rhetoric and Biden has a long legislative record of partisanship. Government reform is something that gets voters charged up and energized, just ask Ross Perot. This campaign is shaping up as something that’s good for all Americans. When both campaigns make reform the top issue, we all benefit. My vote-them-all-out wish gets a bit closer to becoming reality.

The stories say that McCain decided on Palin before Obama’s speech last night, which tells me that he took a risk. Either that, or he has some amazing foresight. Last night, Obama made the case that experience doesn’t matter. Indeed, that was a message we heard repeatedly from the convention. They were going at one of McCain’s biggest charges and making some headway. Instead, Obama focused on the importance of reform, of changing Washington…bringing change “to” Washington. And part of that argument was that it takes an outsider to do these things. Yes, McCain could have gone with Romney and kept banging away at the “no experience” thing, but it wasn’t likely going to stick. America seemed poise for something new.

So McCain gives them Sarah Palin, someone new from way outside the beltway with a proven record of reform. McCain has effectively yanked the Oval Office blue rug right out from under Obama. Because Obama’s problem now is the fact that he speaks of reform yet carries a partisan record with him, along with Biden. Reform will be a tough issue for him now that he has to tackle both McCain’s and Palin’s records, which demonstrate just that.

And even though the Dems will likely press the experience issue, they will have to tread very lightly. Palin’s sweet, attractive demeanor will make it difficult for them to attack too hard without looking like brutes. And they can’t talk about lack of experience when Palin has about as much as their Presidential nominee, and has more executive experience than Obama, Biden and McCain combined.

Yes, McCain will have to abandon the “he isn’t ready” talk, but he no longer needs it. He made his point and has driven this message home. It’s time for something new. Reform is now the top issue, Obama ensured that last night with his speech. And, in truth, it was a key issue for me as well. A person doesn’t need experience to be a good President…this is the case Obama made last night and McCain took it from him. Changing Washington will be the topic of discussion. And when the records of the two tickets are compared, there simply won’t be any comparison.

And to quote Obama: “When you don’t have a record to run on, you paint your opponent as someone to run from.” This will come back to bite him many times.

On a personal note, experience hasn’t really been a major issue for me. Yes, I am a bit uncomfortable with Obama’s lack thereof, and feel the same level of discomfort with Palin’s. But it’s more important to me to have someone who won’t continue with business as usual, and I mean that in the general sense, not in the Bush-bashing sense. Washington has been rendered incompetent from blind partisanship, and BOTH democrats and republicans are responsible. I say vote them all out! Give me someone who’s non-partisan, yet shares my traditional, conservative values and they’ll get my vote every time, even if they’re an aging Senator from Arizona or an unknown 2-year Governor from Alaska. And in a country that tends to hover in the middle-right area of politics I am not alone.

Palin will certainly have to prove herself but I think she can do it. She’s surprisingly tough and has proven that. I don’t think Joe Biden or Vlad Putin scare her.
This is a phenomenal pick. Well done, John McCain


Dan Trabue said...

What about the criminal investigation? That's one of the dark clouds hanging over the GOP these days and that their Veep is undergoing an investigation doesn't seem like it bodes well.

At least that's how it seems to me.

Dan Trabue said...

Sorry. The ETHICS investigation, I don't believe it's a criminal investigation. Sorry.

Dan Trabue said...

In looking around some, I'm seeing a trend: It seems Left and Right are united behind rejoicing with this veep choice.

The Left is rejoicing because she seems such a bad choice and the Right is rejoicing for the opposite reason.


Allison said...

I think it is blatantly obvious that this choice was made because Palin is a women. If that weren't the case I highly, highly doubt she wouldn't ave made any reference at all to Hilary's campaign in her speech earlier today. She is going to suffer horribly in the VP debates, and she's pro-death penalty and pro-life (such a contradiction), supports drilling in ANWAR), is an advocate of homeschooling, a supporter of the war, and the list goes on. She is exactly what undecided, moderate voters need to help them decide on Barack/Biden on November 4th.

John Washburn said...

Allison, pretty disappointed here. Unless you can back up what you said, I'll have to consider it blatantly sexist. Claiming this was a token pick discredits all of the great things this woman has done. It stinks of bitterness, and it's simply unAmerican. Palin acknowledged Hillary and Ferraro as people she respects, as trailblazers for women.

I wasn't convinced the Left was going to attack Palin harshly, but I've quickly been proven wrong. The attacks have been horrendous. It's shameful. "Trophy VP", "Wonder woman", even "moron who doesn't know anything about America". This is bad. And worse, they come without anyone taking time to listen to hear.

In case you haven't noticed, McCain has overnight energized his conservative base who were otherwise a bit vanilla on him. Even James Dobson is now endorsing him. This pick has electrified the conservatives.

But it's honestly no surprise to me that the party who chased Hillary away from their nomination have now resorted to hypocrisy and brutality in their bitter attacks.

This just proves that you people don't want change.

What would you think if I said Barack Obama was nominated only because he was black?

Shame on you.

John Washburn said...


I've looked into the ethics charges and I'll post on it later. Basically the AG is doing the investigation at Palin's request, hasn't found anything on Palin and said the Governor has been fully cooperative. There was some inappropriate behavior from a staff member, but the Governor denies any wrongdoing.

My early impression, and the Governor's claim, is that this is a witch hunt manufactured by political adversaries (many of whome, interestingly, are Republicans) and there is no evidence beyond anecdotes and hearsay that she did anything wrong.

She fired her director of DPS for requesting unauthorized funds from the legislature in violation of her budget. She had the authority to fire him, and his actions are documented.

Doesn't look like much

Allison said...

I stand my opinion about it, and I really don't think that would make me the sexist one in the situation. This woman may have accomplished a few things on a very small level, but nothing whatsoever that would qualify her to even understand the enormity of being president if something were to happen to John McCain. She was a PTA President, a city council member, a mayor of an extremely small town, and then a governor for less than 2 years. Obama hasn't made it ok to have no experience at all, he has challenged those who say that what experience he does have (which is way more than Palin) should not be underestimated.

Also, just today I heard Rush Limbaugh say that the republicans are now the ones with the "babe on the ticket." I'm not sure the liberals are the ones who are being shameful here.

John Washburn said...

Allison, sorry but you're distorting both Obama's and Palin's records.

She is the ONLY person on either ticket with executive experience. She has 13 years in elected office and had been in elected office for 5 years when Obama entered the state legislature.

I have no problem admitting that her experience is thin. But I do have a problem when someone says that a MALE with 4 years of senate service and zero executive experience is qualified to be President, but a FEMALE with more executive experience is not qualified to be Vice President. She ran the largest state in the union and arguably the most important when it comes to energy. Obama has run squat.

We can quibble about whose little bit of experience matters most but I don't think that's a conversation Obama wants to have. He spent 2 of his 4 years of senate service campaigning for president and his record is riddled with "present" votes. While he was doing this, Palin was balancing the budget, toppling top members of her own party for corruption, taking on big oil and giving her citizens tax breaks.

Name another person in this country with executive experience, her solid conservative background AND her history of reform. If you can do this you MAY have an argument on tokenism.

The experience issue is a losing discussion for the Dems. I'd suggest sticking to the issues.

Anonymous said...


Very, very thoughtful spin, but that's OK.

But now I need to call you out on something. You "deeply despise politicians." First, and I am channeling my mother here who proof read the papers of my father's students, you misplaced the modifier. It should be, "I despise politicians deeply."

You despise politicians b/c you are by conviction an absolutist and b/c either you also despise the political process or you do not understand it.

I suspect that you feel the same way about lawyers as you do about politicians. You see things in moral terms: "This is right and that is wrong." There is no room for compromise in moral decisions. Ethics are not situational.

The political process is one of compromise, not absolutism. One of my HS classmates served in the Massachusetts legislature for more than a decade. At one reunion, when I was much younger, ill-informed, and assertive, I asked him how he could stand it.

Paul, whose mien was dour most of the time, lit up with enthusiasm when he described the workings of making a law; how it was necessary to try and represent your constituants, but at the same time, be willing to work w/ those on the other side of the aisle, or even your side of the aisle.

Paul was neither popular nor a leader at school, but that was HS and people grow, mature, and flourish after leaving its contraints. Paul was always a very smart guy: Harvard and Harvard Law and that one conversation changed my viewpoint about politicians and the political process.

You have to be willing to compromise to get things done. You have to be willing to trade "favors."
You support me on this bill and I will support you on that bill.

The fact that, to quote a McCain ad, "Washington is broken," is not an indictment of the process, only, perhaps, of the people, and of the leadership in the White House.

Unfortunately, probably b/c of his temperment, inexperience, willingness to be swayed by advisers, and a host of other personal failings, George W. Bush proved to be a bad, untrustworthy, and devisive leader. He invited the Democrats to support him on No Child Left Behind, then actively campaigned against some who supported him, like Tom Daschle.

You cannot do business and be successful that way in Washington, particularly in the situation that then prevailed in Washington-- a Congress that although controlled by the GOP, was controlled by the GOP just barely.

Remember Jim Jeffords? That was a prime example of George W. Bush's failure of leadership and proved that he was not a uniter but a divider.

I broach these facts only to make the point that whoever occupies the WH next January will need to chart a different course and whether its Obama or McCain, I think they will.

Please do not despise the people in the process, although some to be sure are despicable. That we often do not get the best to represent us is attributable to the high cost of running for office. As father says, "Just because you are rich enough to run for office does not make you a statesman." (See Ned Lamont.)

I guess politicians are like game and certain cheeses. The need to be ripe but very quickly they can cross over a line a become spoiled and rotten.



John Washburn said...


Since we are apparently still checking each other's homework, it's spelled "constituent". Thought we had moved past all of this.

And, no, there is no room for compromise on morals. That's why they're called morals.

What you said about politics is true and that is why politics works better at the local level. The further our reps get from us, then the more people they represent and thus a wider diversity of priorities. Our state reps are more likely to do what's right for us than our national reps. Interestingly enough, this is why the Constitution was set up to grant the states more power in governing their people than the feds.

A senator from Iowa must act on behalf of ALL Americans, not just the people of Iowa. Obviously, this means a lot of compromise in Washington and could ultimately mean bad things for Iowans. Whereas, the state reps in Iowa can look out for the people of that state, etc. This is why I advocate for more power at the local level, less in Washington. It works. How can we possibly structure a health care plan that works equally well for both the citizens of Florida and the citizens of Montana? The end result would hardly be ideal.

And I'm not sure what you mean by spin. I represented Palin's record accurately, as well as Obama's. I don't think it's fair to Palin to call this tokenism without providing a sound argument to back it up. America IS better than that. Feel free to correct me if you disagree. Specifically, make a case as to why Obama is qualified to be President and Palin is not qualified to be Vice President. This is my challenge to any Obama supporters who have suddenly become advocates for experience.

Dan Trabue said...

How you feel about "speaking in tongues" and being "slain in the Spirit"? She apparently attends a Pentecostal church and these are some interesting practices in which they tend to take part.

I'm wondering if she does?

I'm fine with Pentecostalists practicing their religion as they see fit but I'll have to say that, based on the Pentecostalists I have known (a good many, coming from my particular background), I'd have reservations if she were of that camp having her as Veep. And, I would expect that charismatic type behavior may be sufficiently removed from the mainstream that I would not be the only one.

I'm just saying...

Auntyem said...

John, You said, "politics works better at the local level. The further our reps get from us, then the more people they represent and thus a wider diversity of priorities. Our state reps are more likely to do what's right for us than our national reps".

Local and state politics didn't work so well in New Orleans and Louisiana during Katrina. And how about the old time politics when some states had slavery then segregation? How about those old time ward captains in Chicago and New York? People risked their lives if they didn't toe the party line, and now people are ridiculed and harrassed if they are blue in a red state and red in a blue state.

I also don't understand what you mean when you say, "How can we possibly structure a health care plan that works equally well for both the citizens of Florida and the citizens of Montana? The end result would hardly be ideal". Why? I think Montana has fewer services available than Florida, but how would that preclude an equitable system?

As for Ms. Palin: I am no feminist. I am against abortion and women being policemen, firemen, and soldiers. This Palin lady just had a baby with special needs. She should be home supervising his care, and not away from her family. I am old fashioned. I believe women with small children belong at home.

This nomination of Ms. Palin is scary. If that ticket wins, that would put her only a heartbeat away from the Oval Office because of McCain's age and pre-existing condition. If the other ticket had won with Hillary as the VP, Hillary would be better prepared to be the Leader of the Free World. She is not her husband, but she has moved in those circles. And even better prepared to suddenly become the Leader of the Free World would be Biden should something happen to Obama such as getting assassinated.

You know, Hillary couldn't break that glass ceiling because most people would rather have a man, even if he is black, and not a woman, even if she is white.

These developments are scary. I just can't see Ms. Palin as Leader of the Free World, and the world wouldn't respect her in that role.

You said she is the governor of the largest state---but there aren't the people there per square mile as in even the smallest of states. There's big brown bears and moose and impenetrable snows for most of the year. I know, my husband's sister and mother lived there (my mother-in-law is buried there), and they would get snow-bound all the time.

I also noticed the good ole boy politics there; my sister-in-law's husband was part of it. But they were big fish in a little pond, no matter how many square miles they governed. It is still an outpost. I think Ms. Palin would be out of her league. Besides, she challenged the good ole boy system in her state, but she ended up playing the same games. Scary, I say.

Port Orchard, WA

John Washburn said...

Dan, I had to double check and make sure that last comment was indeed posted under your name. You're not one to resort to such cheap antics. Really? Using someone's religious beliefs against them? Speculating that speaking in tongues suggests some character flaw? Wow. Please tell me how that is different from those who speculated that Obama was a Muslim, and suggested that to be a negative? Just wondering.

I thought this race would climb a notch on the ladder of respectful behavior. I guess that assumption was wrong.

Emilie, you're right that mistakes are made on the local level as they are on the federal level. I wasn't arguing otherwise. I was saying that the people of a given state should be allowed to determine what's best for them in most issues. Maybe Florida doesn't want gov't-run health care, while Michigan does. Maybe New York wants to pay for it with higher sales tax, while Texas chooses property tax. Maybe Iowa only wants to cover children and elderly, while Oregon wants to cover everyone. I ask: What's wrong with that and why not?

The same could be said for corporate taxes, individual income tax, education, and any given entitlement program. The plus-side is that keeping this within a state generally means the oversight will be a little better. The money involved isn't nearly the scale that we see on the national level, so maybe there's less chance for corruption and waste.

And we simply have better access to our local leaders. Who's more likely to listen to you and take your concerns to heart? Your state rep, who represents a few thousand voters, or your US rep, who represents millions? We have a louder voice with our state reps, the only problem is that the states just don't have the power they used to.

Perhaps that's what is broken in Washington...the simple fact that we've given them too much power.

John Washburn said...

"Besides, she challenged the good ole boy system in her state, but she ended up playing the same games."

Can you elaborate on this? Are you accusing Palin of inappropriate behavior?

Dan Trabue said...

Speculating that speaking in tongues suggests some character flaw? Wow. Please tell me how that is different from those who speculated that Obama was a Muslim, and suggested that to be a negative? Just wondering.

Ummm, because she actually attends a charismatic church and Obama is not actually a Muslim. Plus, not all Muslims have especially strange beliefs (ie, out of the mainstream of faith traditions) but all charismatics I have met have had some odd beliefs.

Have you seen someone engaged in speaking in tongues? Being slain in the Spirit?

I have and personally know folk like this and while I love them, I would not want them to be Mayor of a small town in Alaska, much less leader of the free world.

Dan Trabue said...

...And NOW, a grandchild on the way?? And McCain knew about this?

I'm beginning to think that he's TRYING to lose this election.

John Washburn said...

"I have and personally know folk like this and while I love them, I would not want them to be Mayor of a small town in Alaska, much less leader of the free world."

This mindset flirts with bigotry

As far as the grandchild, I'm not sure what that has to do with Palin's ability to be Vice President, but I'm sure the Left will find a way.

I'm starting to see that McCain is basically letting the Left hang themselves. The venom directed towards Palin (and now her 17 year old daughter) is astounding. I say keep it up and the Dems will see a HUGE backlash. Today, I saw that concern when Obama basically said "hands off". There may be tolerance for negativity between candidates, but there is little tolerance for attacks on family.

It didn't work when the Left went after Laura Bush. It didn't work when the Right went after Michelle Obama. This is a bad strategy.

If there's a surefire way to rally women around Palin it's by attacking her family.

Keep it up


IF the Smear-merchants of Move-On, DailyKos and Code Pink are successful in slamming the Lady From Alaska, can Register enough new young voters, and old "grass-roots" hard-liners can continue the tiresome chant about the "Bush failed policy in Iraq" through October, and use the sure-fire scare-tactic on the elderly (every four years) that are worried about "Losing their Social Security"...well, McCain/Palin will lose by a hair in November.

Watch The Polls! See if our Broad Middle America and 'Independents' buy into this Thick Hot-Air Blast.

Say, Where's Sen John Edwards hiding? OoPs...sorry about that; (That was Loop Garoo's favorite candidate).


Dan Trabue said...

The venom directed towards Palin (and now her 17 year old daughter) is astounding.

For my part, this particular issue is just a concern for the family angle. I have two normal children with relatively few problems and we are doing all we can to stay on top of things. This family is swimming in much deeper water than we are and it sounds like me they'd be in over their heads.

No venom on my part.

I suggested Bill Clinton should have stepped down back when he was caught in his indiscretion and that was for many reasons, including that he needed to spend time healing with his family.

I agree that any venom directed towards the children of candidates is inappropriate.