Friday, August 29, 2008

Beehive Bombshell is McCain's Secret Weapon!

I awoke close to 8:00am this morning and the news of John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as running mate was already being announced on the cable networks.

I have to admit complete surprise at the news. While I've been thinking over the full implications of the pick all day, the initial totality of my cluelessness - and my sense of McCain's brilliance in making Palin his veep selection - left me marveling at the tight spit-and-polish organization that went into the announcement. I've been consumed, of course, with news of the party conventions and partisan politics all year, and I can't recall a single recent suggestion in the maintream press that Palin was being considered for the post. This is a phenomenally well-choreographed rollout.

The beautiful, beehived Sarah Palin is John McCain's secret weapon!

there's lots of analysis of Palin's assets and liabilities for McCain's election prospects, but upon listening to the cable talking-heads this morning, and especially after hearing Palin's speech accepting her spot on the ticket, tapping the Alaska Governor looks to be a near-perfect vice-presidential selection.

Palin's pick, first of all, wipes out Obama's monopoly on the "change" issue. The Alaska Governor will be only the second woman in American history to run on a major-party ticket for the presidency. In a year when enthusiasm runs high on the Democratic side, Palin's pick will dramatically siphon attention away from left of the spectrum. Indeed, with Obama's selection of 35-year congressional veteran Joe Biden, it's the McCain camp that's better positioned to bring "change to" Washington.

A good reason for this is Palin's record as a small-g conservative and a fighter against government waste, corruption, and high taxes. She's achieved
individual tax relief in the state, sued the Bush administration to block the federal listing of polar bears as a threatened species, and she's taken a populist line on big oil companies operating in Alaska, while leading the movement for domestic drilling and the construction of a natural gas pipeline in her state.

Palin's also an extraordinary asset on social conservatism and small-town family values. She's a mother of five from a frontier state, a lifetime member of the NRA who enjoys hunting and fishing, and her outdoorsman husband's a champion snow-machine racer. Most powerfully, Governor Palin is pro-life, both ideologicaly and practically. The Palins' baby boy, Trig, just four-months old, was diagnosed with Downs syndrome during pregancy. Unlike the 80 percent of families that terminate such pregnancies, the Palins said they've been blessed with the opportunity to raise an "absolutely perfect son."

In the Alaska statehouse, Governor Palin signed into law the "Haven for Infants Act," which allows the safe surrender of an unwanted baby to caring hands. Barack Obama, by contrast,
helped kill Illinois' "Born Alive Infant Protection Act," which sought to prevent babies delivered after failed abortions from being left to die in soiled-linen closets.

Palin is already
being criticized as inexperienced, and she'll be attacked as a lightweight on national security. This is fair game, but it appears that McCain's gone with change over experience, and Palin's critics will not be able to use the GOP chicken hawk slur against her: Track Palin, Governor Palin's 18-year-old son, enlisted in the Army on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and is now being deployed to Iraq. And as her state's chief executive, Governor Palin has taken great care to be involved with the decisionmaking and maintainence of Alaska's National Guard units.

Not only that, the experience question can quickly be turned into the asset of outsider status, and given Obama's shallow resume, by hammering Palin on inexperience, he'll only end up highlighting his own.

In other words, John McCain made an inspired choice in selecting Sarah Palin as running mate: She's the beehived bombshell who's completely neutralized Barack Obama's theme of change in Washington.