August 29th, 2008


And McCain Chooses...Palin

CNN is reporting, a little earlier than expected, that John McCain has chosen Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. While she is not the first woman to receive the vice presidential nomination of a major party -- that would be Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 -- she is the first female VP nominee with a serious chance of winning (Mondale-Ferraro didn't stand a chance against Reagan-Bush in '84).

I tend to view everything the Republican Party does through a lens of mistrust, so I'm tempted to call this selection a transparent attempt to lure disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters into the fold, as if to say, "You see, it's not too late to have a woman in the next administration." But that's unfair to Governor Palin. Such a statement treats her as a token figure, rather than a human being with actual political accomplishments from her tenure in Alaska. According to CNN's article, she's big on the environment, oil and gas conservation, and pretty tough ethics reform, which is good. She's also big into the idea of drilling in ANWR, though, which is probably another reason McCain chose her. With energy being a major issue this election cycle, and McCain believing we can drill our way out of it, he no doubt wants someone with energy credentials on his ticket to back up the agenda.

What else does she bring to the ticket? Well, Alaska probably would have voted Republican anyway -- they often do -- so she's not delivering a battleground state. She is delivering youth, though. At 44, she's the youngest governor Alaska has ever had, and the 72-year-old McCain desperately needs some youth on the ticket.

Once again, we live in fascinating times. Now, no matter which party wins the White House in November, history will be made. The first African-American president? The first female vice president? Time will tell -- and the face of American politics may never be the same again.

Oh, I Forgot

After John McCain named Sarah Palin his VP choice, I forgot to check it against my ticket predictions from back in January. For the Republicans, I predicted:

John McCain (p)
Mike Huckabee (vp)

Hmmm. I was right about the top slot, but totally off about the number two. Which makes sense, I guess. There was no way I could have predicted Sarah Palin as the VP considering the fact that I'd never heard of her before today!

My instincts were on, though. I knew McCain would want someone who appeared unapologetically conservative to join his ticket, since so many conservatives don't actually like him (can anyone remember why?), and Palin is that. At the time, I figured Huckabee was the obvious choice because he was so popular in so many primaries. Plus, he has the ability to sell a joke much, much better than McCain does, and humor always wins people over. Also, he plays the bass, and I mean, come on. It's the bass.

So it looks like I didn't call the Democratic or Republican tickets exactly right, but amazingly I did include Barack Obama and John McCain in my predictions, so that counts. Now send me money and I'll pick the lottery numbers for you!