August 31, 2008


Biden On Palin: "She's Good Looking" (MIKE MEMOLI, 8/31/08, Hotline)

Joe Biden is already conceding one thing to Sarah Palin.

"Well there's obvious differences," he joked during a roundtable discussion on the economy this afternoon. "She's good looking."

The Fighter Pilot and the Moose Hunter: McCain’s V.P. pick has electrified the base—for good reason. (Lisa Schiffren, 31 August 2008, City Journal)

[P]alin worked her way up the political ladder, rising on talent (she’s likable and a good speaker) and incremental achievement. She didn’t marry into power, and no one handed her anything. This is what conservatives say they want in female and minority candidates for high office. Further, she’s a reformer and a Washington outsider in a year when, as Republicans know, their own party is part of the problem. She represents real “change,” to adopt a word of the moment, and for Reaganites who have been waiting for the first post-Reagan conservative generation to rise to power, Palin represents “hope” as well.

Now about that woman thing: some commentators object that Palin was chosen primarily as a sop to female voters, especially disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters. Well, of course the McCain campaign wants to entice those women to vote for the Republican ticket. Putting together coalitions is how elections are won. Women happen to be 52 percent of the electorate. Ignoring them, let alone insulting them as Barack Obama is perceived to have done, is politically foolish. Some worried that McCain would pick a token woman, such as Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas—she of the long Washington tenure, liberal Republican views, and few accomplishments (though she does look the part). Instead, he surprised many by picking Palin.

Is it irresponsible to put a half-term governor in the vice presidential slot? It depends on her record. But surely for a Washington novice, the vice presidency is more appropriate than the presidency. A half-term governor has more claim to leadership and experience than does a one-third-term U.S. senator who has risen through a big-city political machine. Palin is a woman of action, moreover, who has used her political capital at every stage to fight corruption and bad policy. It’s hard to find anyone in politics who does that; pols “save” their capital instead, as Obama has done by voting “present” on numerous occasions, lest spending it cost them something somewhere down the road. Her personal profile—raising five children, hunting, fishing, and being a real NRA member—make an appealing contrast with the overly cerebral, political calculations of those who merely hold positions and whose lives have been led in the service of their résumés.

Add to all this that Palin was a brilliant choice compared with everyone else McCain was considering.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 31, 2008 6:15 PM
blog comments powered by Disqus