Whether John McCain is aware of it or not, he has painted himself and the RNC into a corner with his choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
On the face of it, the choice in and of itself makes no political sense beyond “get the women voters.” But Hillary Clinton supporters who may have swung McCain (other than those who were Republican to begin with) will likely find little in common between Clinton and Palin other than their gender. Obama will not be afraid to use Hillary to point that out. Nor will they take much convincing, if this morning’s USA Today poll is anything to go by.
John McCain is 72 years old. This is a concern, and one that the RNC has worked hard to keep voters from focusing on too hard. Do Republicans really want the “one heart beat away” person to be a 44 year old beauty queen whose experience consists of two years of governing a low population state with next to no foreign policy experience? After making such a case about Obama’s lack of the same?
It smacks of pandering and gimmicky politics. The Republicans are trying to win this race on substance, saying that Obama is nothing more than flash. How can they possibly spin the Sarah Palin choice as anything but all style no substance?
It was a rush choice to counteract Biden. Sen. McCain’s “vetting process” consisted of a phone call last Sunday afternoon and a two hour interview with Palin in person on Thursday, then announcing on Friday morning. He knows little more about her than we do. He obviously wasn’t aware of “Troopergate”, as it’s now being called (and for the love of all that’s holy….can we PLEASE drop the “gate” off every scandal that comes along? It originated because it was the second half of a hotel name, not a ‘gate’ to a scandal!), because if he did, I’m not sure he would’ve made the choice he did make. It seems as though it was a rush to get SOMEONE on the ticket before the RNC and to counteract the big noise made by Joe Biden.
If all of these points lead the RNC to reject Sarah Palin as a viable candidate for VP…McCain will be forced to recant his nom and choose someone more appropriate. This will hurt both the party and his electability. John McCain has taken a huge gamble on his VP pick.