When I first heard that John McCain had picked Sarah Palin for the VP spot, I, like many, thought, “Who??”
When the initial shock wore off, I figure it’s probably the smartest thing politically that he could have done. I think it’s wily and down-right ruthless, but smart nonetheless. For all McCain’s talk about Obama’s lack of experience, and for him to up and pick a veep that is , not only decades his junior, but three year’s Obama’s junior and with less experience than Obama … well that’s plain hypocritical.
But it’s blatantly clear why McCain made the choice. A) Palin has a stronger conservative track record on the social issues that the evangelical base can rally around, while McCain slides more toward the center on certain issues and has, to some extent, made evangelicals a bit wary of throwing their vote into his hat. B) Palin is a woman and an attractive one at that (I didn’t know McCain was looking to one-up Cindy.) Regardless, Palin, for sure, will sway some women toward a McCain vote simply because of her gender. Since many were hanging their hopes on Hillary Clinton, McCain, at the least, gives woman who may not be too keep on Obama, an alternative.
Now, a word about Joe Biden. In many ways, Obama’s pick was for much the same reasons. Obama needed an experienced, white guy for counterbalance.
To say the McCain’s own VP pick was “brilliant,” however, as some have posited might be taking it too far. It was a smart move, no doubt, but not brilliant. I’m sure it has some staunch Republicans wondering about McCain’s decision-making and pure desire to do what is best for the party and the country. In my mind, the choice has nothing to do with who might be best suited for the job — even though that’s obviously the message McCain will tout. It has everything to do with simply trying to sway enough people his way. This decision was about votes, and if that’s not painfully clear to everyone keeping track of this election, including Palin herself, pull your head out of the sand.