THOUGHTS ON GOV. PALIN
A friend just asked for my thoughts on the pick and I share them here with you.
My initial thoughts:
- It undermines the "lack of experience" message that he has been pushing.
- He just blew his momentum. I thought he would go for the safer pick in Romney, and thought he should.
My thoughts a couple hours later:
- She brings new attention to the "drill here, drill now" message. That is a winning message for McCain I think, and a point of disagreement between the two parties. He needs a few clear points of disagreement after the Reaganesque speech we heard from Obama last night that tried to co-opt a lot of the traditional conservative message. Alaska is home to oil reserves, and Alaskans favor drilling. She can give cover to McCain to change his mind about ANWR.
- She is clearly pro-life, in a dramatic way. GOP can assail Obama on his radical pro-death positions.
- She's a mom. She is married and presumably in a good faithful marriage. She has 5 kids AND a demanding high profile job. She has something for everybody.
- She is a fine looking woman. She is going to generate interest just because men like to look at attractive women. (And so do women.)
- She supports and emphasizes McCain's no-pork message which has been getting lost so far. That message appeals to libertarian types. Esp. after Obama's "policy speech" last night where he promised a chicken in every pot and subsidized fuel to cook it.
- It draws attention to the fact the Dems are all talk and no action. Actually nominating a woman within an inch of the presidency is historic and bold. Although it is somewhat maddening as an American citizen, I do sort of like about Bush that he is all action, no talk. There is something macho and cowboy and quintessentially American about that. Don't know if I'd call it representative government in action but it has shades of nobility and of American individualism. Anyway, my point was that the GOP just did what the Dems did not do. (We assume for this point that Hillary is a woman.)
- He needs headlines because he himself is so dang boring. This definitely helps him in that area, that of making news and staying relevant and getting the attention off of O. Esp. after the wild Obamarama last night in Denver, he needed to do something splashy to mitigate O's bump.
- We elect based in large part on resonance and likeability. Our choices as consumers (of candidates and otherwise) are largely emotional. I don't know Gov. Palin at all but her bio suggests that she brings likeability which is important.
- It builds on McCain's major brand (maverickness) and shores up his major weakness (moderateness).
- Also I note that his team demonstrated a very impressive ability to keep a secret, which I like in a president. (And it makes me uneasy, but for our purposes here, let's leave it at I like it.)
Rethinking my initial thoughts:
- She does lack experience. But she has experiences that real Americans can relate to, which is worth something. And you can still credibly say that Obama lacks experience at the top of the ticket which is much more significant than lacking experience at the bottom of the ticket. And you can say that the voters of Alaska are satisfied with her executive performance, to the tune of an 80+ percent approval rating.
- McCain didn't really have positive momentum as much as Obama had negative momentum. The gap was closing not because of McCain's strength but Obama's many and real weaknesses. This creates an opportunity for McCain to actually create some positive momentum heading into the convention. It will also get some people to watch the convention who otherwise wouldn't, esp. after the snoozer convention we just sat through this week. She's an unknown, so people will be curious to gawk at her and meet her. Romney not so much.
So overall I started cold and am warming to the pick.