August 31, 2008


Why John McCain's beauty queen running mate has a grizzly bear on her office wall (Caroline Graham, 31st August 2008, Daily Mail)

They are not the accoutrements normally associated with an American vice-presidential candidate. First, there is the snarling grizzly bear skin draped over the sofa in her Anchorage office.

Then there is the large stuffed Alaskan king crab on the coffee table, a bizarre trophy that is one of her proudest possessions.

But former beauty queen Sarah Palin, who will become America’s first female vice-president if the Republicans win November’s election, is hardly your typical politician.[...]

Last December, Sarah posed for Vogue magazine but Sally said: ‘I didn’t really like the pictures. They had her in fur. She looked too glamorous. The Sarah I know is the girl in sweatpants, her baby in her arms.

‘Sarah doesn’t really wear make-up. She’s much more at home with a gun than a mascara wand.’

...than former Vice President Teddy Roosevelt:

Palin electrifies conservative base (JONATHAN MARTIN | 8/31/08, Politico)

The selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate has electrified conservative activists, providing a boost of energy to the GOP nominee-in-waiting from a key constituency that had been previously had been lukewarm – at best – about him.

By tapping the anti-abortion and pro-gun Alaska governor just ahead of his convention, which is set to start here Monday, McCain hasn’t just won approval from a skeptical Republican base – he’s ignited a wave of elation and emotion that has led some grassroots activists to weep with joy.

Serious questions remain about McCain’s pick – exactly how much he knows about her and her positions, past and present, on key issues. But for the worker bee core of the party that is essential to any Republican victory there are no doubts.

In fairness to Senators Obama and Biden, we wept at that vp selection too.

Palin Made an Impression From the Start: Fellow Maverick Survived McCain's Thorough Vetting Process, Aides Say (Dan Balz and Robert Barnes, 8/31/08, Washington Post)

Their first encounter was last February at the National Governors Association meeting in Washington. Sarah Palin was one of several governors who met privately with Sen. John McCain, by then well on his way to capturing the Republican presidential nomination, and her directness and knowledge were impressive.

Later that day, at a largely social gathering organized by his campaign, McCain spent 15 minutes in private conversation with the first-term Alaska governor. "I remember him talking about her when he came back," a McCain adviser said. "He said she was an impressive woman. He liked her."

But few people outside McCain's inner circle were privy to just how much of an impression Palin had made that day.

In the months of speculation over whom McCain would pick as his vice presidential running mate, Palin's name occasionally surfaced but rarely as a serious choice. But by the time she arrived in Arizona last Wednesday to meet first with two top McCain advisers and then the next day with the candidate and his wife, Cindy, the job was hers to lose.

McCain's VP pick stirs excitement, bafflement among women (Lisa Wangsness, August 31, 2008, Boston Globe)
At the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, which will host the Republican National Convention this week, women in this critical swing state expressed a range of first impressions. There was genuine excitement that a woman could become vice president. There was bafflement that McCain picked someone with so little experience to join his ticket, even anger from those who viewed the choice as clumsy tokenism.

But two things were clear: The 44-year-old Palin intrigued them as much as any vice presidential pick could have, and few know enough about Palin to have a real opinion.

-Palin Pick Makes Everyone Happy (Reid Wilson, 8/31/08, Real Clear Politics)
[B]y picking Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, a little-known fiscal and social conservative just two years into her first term, John McCain executed that rare political feat: He made everybody happy.

Reactions from Republicans across the spectrum were not just positive, they were downright ecstatic. Movement conservatives and professional strategists frequently find themselves disagreeing on what is best politically, but Palin is one of the rare points of agreement.

-Sarah Palin -- Dream Girl (Debra Saunders, 8/31/08, Real Clear Politics)

For weeks, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been the Republican whom conservatives barely dared to hope could become John McCain's pick as his running mate. [...]

Is she short on experience? Yes. Voters will have to watch her performance on the campaign trail to judge how she responds to high-stakes politics and the international arena.

That said, as a governor, Palin she has more experience running a government than Obama, who began serving his first term in the U.S. Senate in 2005. And unlike Obama, Palin has shown herself willing to challenge her jaded ethical policies within her party. That's change.

As McCain said Friday, Palin is "exactly who this country needs" to help him confront "the same old Washington politics of me first and country second."

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 31, 2008 7:23 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus