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