|And McCain Chooses...Palin
||[Aug. 29th, 2008|11:02 am]
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
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.