McCain picks Palin for VP – will this spike the Dems' Denver guns?

by Stephen Tall on August 29, 2008

An official announcement is due soon, but the febrile media speculation is that Senator John McCain is about to make history by nominating the Republicans’ first female vice-presidential candidate, Alaskan governor Sarah Palin:

At 44, she is younger than Barack Obama and is credited with reforms during her first term, but she is relatively unknown in US politics. Mr McCain is due to present her on stage at a rally in Dayton, Ohio, to celebrate his 72nd birthday. Analysts say the Republican is keen to wrest back headlines from Mr Obama. Ms Palin is perhaps the most daring vice-presidential choice for Mr McCain.

On the face of it, this looks a smart pick – a young female candidate will dent Senator Obama’s historical USP as the first black presidential candidate, and potentially appeal to those female voters upset at Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

She is, though, far less tested than her rival for the post, Senator Joe Biden – which may be more of a consideration for voters given she is just a heart-beat away from being the Commander-in-Chief. It’s almost certain this news will give the McCain camp a welcome poll boost, following Senator Obama’s widely acclaimed Denver speech.

The real test, though, is how smart this pick will look a couple of months’ time.

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keep up at the back Stephen 🙂

Clicking on my name will show I beat you to this by an hour!

by Duncan Borrowman on August 29, 2008 at 4:19 pm. Reply #

While I admire the risk McCain is taking (there’s just as many sexists as there are racists in the Republican support), and she clearly is a good politician, you just know Joe Biden will wipe the floor with her in the Vice Presidential debate.

by James Shaddock on August 29, 2008 at 4:27 pm. Reply #

“you just know Joe Biden will wipe the floor with her in the Vice Presidential debate.”

Though that will be completely expected and therefore discounted as long as she is credible and doesn’t flameout.

by Hywel Morgan on August 29, 2008 at 5:17 pm. Reply #

Will this spike the Dems’ Denver guns? Well there is always a DNC then a RNC bounce. This choice is, in many ways, obvious, in terms of it being a young, fresh, “change” Veep candidate. The two tickets are now perfectly symmetrical. Age and experience in one slot, and relative youth and “change” in the other.

I was becoming increasingly convinced McCain would choose a woman – but I thought it would be Carly Fiorina and then Kay Bailey Hutchinson. After the event, with the benefit of hindsight, the Veep choices look a quite predictable. But of course, they were, infuriatingly and emphatically, not before they were announced!

However, James Shaddock makes a good point. The debates:

McCain versus Obama

I’ll eat my hat if Obama doesn’t wipe the floor with McCain is all the debates.

Biden versus Palin

Well, I think Michael Palin would do better than Sarah Palin.

by Paul Walter on August 29, 2008 at 5:26 pm. Reply #

It’ll be a popular choice, and therefore, I’m nervous to say, it’s a good choice.


by BenSix on August 29, 2008 at 5:27 pm. Reply #

Was she properly vetted? Seems she’s being investigated about stopping her ex brother-in-law keeping his job.

Just been listening to St Louis radio on itunes – she was on getting the nomination – it was Republican politicing by numbers – mention HRC to peel off a few of her voters, mention Alaskan oil and how she fought corruption (good move) of course don’t mention abortion or the Gays!

by John Abrams on August 29, 2008 at 6:04 pm. Reply #

On the face of it this is great news – naff female candiates can now get selected just like naff male candidates.
Equality moves a step closer.

by Mouse on August 29, 2008 at 6:10 pm. Reply #

Can’t see her appealing to Clinton fans just because she’s a woman.

Clinton fans are feminists. Palin is anti-abortion.

by Bidey Biden on August 29, 2008 at 8:49 pm. Reply #

Walter Mondale chose Geraldine Ferraro, because she was (1) a woman, (2) a Roman Catholic and (3) from New York. Little good it did him.

McCain is about everything the elite could hope for. His father was a general, he has ancestors who were on the Mayflower, he is a warmonger and a jingoist, and will fight with all his might to further elite interests.

One would have expected his running mate to be a blander, safer version of himself. Mitt Romney, perhaps. Or maybe even someone who would shore up Evangelical support. Why has he plumped for a relatively young woman from a tiny, largely secular state that always votes Republican anyway?

Republican Presidential hopefuls have made some duff choices to be sure. Eisenhower choosing Nixon, Nixon picking Spiro T Agnew, and Bush Snr going for the intellectually lightweight Dan Quayle.

by Sesenco on August 29, 2008 at 9:46 pm. Reply #

According to The Nation, Palin is a a former Buchananite.

by BenSix on August 30, 2008 at 12:01 am. Reply #

Although, on further scouting, everyone else is only quoting the Nation, so that looks a little tenuous.

by BenSix on August 30, 2008 at 1:26 am. Reply #

I still don’t understand why McCain didn’t pick Condoleezza Rice. She would probably have wooed much more disillusioned supporters of Hillary Clinton than Palin. Oh well, it’s his loss.

by Anonymous on August 31, 2008 at 10:49 pm. Reply #

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