Saturday, August 30, 2008

McCain’s VP Pick

A young reformer picked an experienced foreign policy specialist: (Obama-Biden).

An experienced foreign policy specialist picked a young reformer: (McCain-Palin).

The mirror image of these two picks is striking. There are some advantages that this pick brings to McCain. If you follow my list of reasons for selecting a VP, Palin qualifies for reasons 3, 4, and 7. She reinforces McCain’s “government reformer” message, she unifies the party by solidifying the support of social conservatives, and she helps win the female vote.

There are some clear disadvantages to this pick as well. Obviously, McCain didn’t follow my advice to pick a VP with a presidential-ready resume. I am concerned that she does not have the experience necessary to be president (a concern I share about Obama, by the way). Also, one of McCain’s main criticisms of Obama is that he doesn’t have the experience necessary to lead. His VP pick seems to negate much of the thrust of that attack.

Republicans are countering that at least she has executive branch experience, while Obama has none. But McCain doesn’t have executive branch experience either. So, if executive branch experience is such a valuable asset, is McCain qualified? Republicans will have difficulty making the experience argument now.

Typically, if you are ahead in the polls, as Obama is, you should play it safe. Obama has done that by picking an old, white, male with foreign policy experience. If you are behind in the polls, as McCain is, you should make some risky moves. McCain has certainly done that with his VP pick.


Mrs. N. said...

As a conservative female, I was excited to learn that McCain picked Sarah Palin as his VP candidate and actually watched her speech with my (our) four-yr-old daughter. I do agree that she is not as experienced as Biden, but she does have more years in elected office than Obama. So together, she and McCain have more experience than Obama/Biden.

agwatts said...


They don't have more collective national or state-wide experience. I hardly think that serving as mayor of some 6000-citizen town in Alaska qualifies one to be President. And I speak from a reasonable perspective on this. I'm from a 6000-citizen town in rural Georgia, and I don't consider any of our local politicians qualified to be Governor, much less VPOTUS (or, God forbid, POTUS).

Tracy said...

I'm still taking it all in - but enjoying it all as well.
interesting . . .
hope you don't mind, I linked your blog from mine.

PJ said...

I can get excited about a surprise pick. The problem with Palin hasn't been so much in my mind the question of readiness or right for the ticket. I guess in the short-term she's proving to be right for the ticket if the ticket is about winning elections.

We can't know if she's ready because we don't know her. We see a bit about her resume, but that's doesn't tell us what she's like. I can't believe that people are jumping on the bandwagon of someone we don't know and who the party has guarded so that we can't get to know.

I also have a major problem with this because McCain's message up to the convention was experience matters. I guess again, it only matters if you think that is what will get you elected.

Which brings up the next problem. McCain's been running on the "Straight Talk" I'm the honest guy platform. If he can quickly change his tune because an unknown VP can get him votes, then genuineness is out the window.

Finally, as I've written about in my blog, I struggle with her appeal to Christian voters based on her "bulldog" persona. I really think that Christians should be looking for throwing their votes behind people who show justice, mercy and humility (Micah 6:8). Palin just isn't there as far as I can see.

If you're not a Christian, the last requirement doesn't make sense to you, but it is the Conservative Christians who are pushing Palin to superstar status.