Corrupt Hive

In stecore invenitur

Was the Palin pick cynical?

with one comment

According to this group of talking heads featuring Peggy “Noodle Head” Noonan (a nickname I gave her back when she was a speech writer for Ronald Reagen,) John McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin was “cynical” and “gimmiky”. I honestly don’t think so; the pick simply reflects the fundamental weakness of the McCain nomination in a political environment hostile to the Republican party.

I said long before the pick that McCain had a fundamental problem as a moderate-to-liberal Republican. His appeal to political independents was in an inverse relationship to his appeal to conservative Republican’s. The more he took on political positions that appealed to the center, the less the social conservatives of the party would like him. The support for Huckabee during the primary made it quite clear that the social conservatives didn’t trust McCain to represent their interests. This was brought dramatically home when he floated the names of Ridge and Lieberman, two pro-choice Republicans, as his VP pick. The conservatives went crazy and basically said, “you do that, we walk”.

Given this reality, McCain had three options: (1) he could pick someone like Huckabee to shore up the troops but alienate the political moderates and independents, (2) he could pick a moderate and alienate the social conservatives, or (3) he could find a candidate to split the difference. I don’t believe that option number one was ever seriously considered simply because it would go against the grain of McCain’s own instincts and positions. The trial balloon containing option number two was floated and quickly shot down. This left McCain with option number three as his only viable alternative.

The problem with option number three is that there is no unicorn; there is no mythical candidate that both moderates and conservative would go ga ga over. Rather, by definition of the situation, the McCain camp was looking for a candidate that appealed to both groups and offended neither. Given this standard , Sarah Palin is a goods choice. Her story and political background appeals to independents while her policy positions will appeal to conservatives. But appeal is the precise word; neither group has been or will be energized by the pick.

Noonen and the other talking heads are entitled to their opinion, but in fairness to McCain I think they are wrong. I think that Palin is a solid choice in difficult circumstances. Come 11/4/2008 I don’t believe that the choice of Palin will make much difference at the polls and McCain is still going to lose. But that is because he is the candidate of a weakened party, as well as other factors I have noted elsewhere.


Written by Daniel

September 3, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I have watched the Palin version of the Jerry Springer show for 5 days now. I am following it closely. Palin will not appeal to women like me. What republicans and the relgious right forget is that women like me, have husbands who work hard to pay for classical piano lessons, hundreds of books, computers, classic movies, documentary dvds, nice clothing and private school educations for our children.(my daughter included) Why do we do it? We want our daughters to expect and strive for the best in life. We don’t want them to think that having a baby at 17 and marrying a high school drop out is a good idea. We don’t want our daughters on welfare. To be drunks, druggies or unwed teen mothers. This is why Palin will fail. Forget the spin about being “normal” or “real”.


    September 3, 2008 at 9:35 pm

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