Even in Viet Nam, we’re getting word (via and various folks on g-chat) that it’s Palin for McCain’s VP. Not good. She has a solid resume. She’s not an old white dude, which makes McCain look less stodgy. Biden will have a harder time debating against her without coming across as a bully (especially since he’s something of a loose cannon prone to idiotic slips of the tongue, despite being an excellent debater). She could potentially woo white suburban politically moderate female voters. She’s likeable and has a very all-American story. She has a son in the military. The media are already swooning over her.

All that said: She doesn’t have much foreign policy (or any other governing) experience, which puts a dent in McCain’s argument that experience is everything. But… yeah, this was a smart choice on McCain’s part. Damn.


(Yes, I am still in SE Asia, and no, I am not coming back to blogging regularly quite yet. I happen to have internet in my room tonight, but won’t have it again regularly for another two weeks. I may be popping in and out and I have a few post ideas that I’m working on, but won’t be back to Feministe permanently until mid-September. Continue to enjoy your guest-bloggers!)

74 comments for “Crap.

  1. manda
    August 29, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Well, she is apparently tied to a scandal where a member of her staff allegedly tried to get her former brother-in-law fired while he was involved in a lengthy custody battle with her sister…. so there goes the MRA vote. Plus, a lot of people still feel that a woman is unfit to lead and given McCain’s age, I imagine some some ultra-conservatives will be turned off and vote for a 3rd party conservative or independent.

    It could help as much as it hurts.

    Of course, you know she will be the darling of the IWF circuit (which will declare that any criticism of her is a sign of anti-feminism).

  2. August 29, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Crap crap crap crap FUCK.

  3. Stephanie
    August 29, 2008 at 11:31 am

    I think it’s pretty risky. His base doesn’t strike me as the types who like to see women in high positions of power. But we shall see.

  4. August 29, 2008 at 11:32 am

    “…so there goes the MRA vote”

    As if there was an MRA vote. Any MRAs will come back once they take a look at Joe “VAWA” Biden.

  5. michelle
    August 29, 2008 at 11:33 am

    McCain was shrewd to pick her. My in-laws, whom I think represent middle America quite well, were unenthused about McCain before this; my mother-in-law was even considering voting for Obama, as was my mom. Women in middle America are going to eat this up, and guys like my hunter uncles are going to think she’s hot and love the NRA thing. Also, she has 5 kids, the youngest of which has Down Syndrome. She walks the talk, and pro-lifers are going to love her.

  6. Planet Janet
    August 29, 2008 at 11:39 am

    She describes herself as a “pro-life feminist”. Does that mean if she commented here on abortion, she’d be blocked? :-P

  7. August 29, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Frankly, no solid opinion can be made as of yet. We simply do not know enough about her other than she has served as governor for two years and has zero foreign policy experience.

    This pick tells more about more about the McCain campaign. Apparently, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin hardly know each other, which tells us the campaign looked at this pick on paper and said it fits. Gov. Palin has never faced national politics, but she appears capable in that regard. The McCain campaign has decided it cannot win without siphoning away women or, more particularly, Clinton Democrats from Sen. Obama.

    The sad thing is that Gov. Palin was chosen because she is a woman who fits the conservative pedigrees. She was chosen purely out of politicking, with no concern for ready-to-be-president credentials.

  8. Natmusk
    August 29, 2008 at 11:55 am

    I’ve seen both conservatives complaining that McCain has handed the election to Obama and liberals freaking out that the democrats just lost. I think that in some ways this hurts McCain because he invalidates a lot of the points he used against Obama and hopefully, some women, who felt Obama was pandering to them will see this move as just as repulsive if not more so.

    She is very anti-choice but has the story of the child with down syndrome which could make it harder to attack her on that issue.

  9. Ben
    August 29, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Media is definitely not swooning. Narrative on CNN about all the republican women (well, they named 4: CF, KBH, CTW, CR) who are asking themselves and others if JM picked SP because she’s qualified or because she’s telegenic. Which led to the next question on the networks: how will 72 year old McCain interact with a 44 year old beauty queen. Plus, all the substantive issues about wanting to drill in ANWR, being married to an oil exec (okay, that’s not substantive, but it’s sadly familiar) and generally being to the right of McCain and W.

    Buck up Jill. I think the analogy is Clarence Thomas.

  10. manda
    August 29, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    They are also pointing out that she is not even well-known in Republican circles. When KBH doesn’t even know who basic information about her and the media is scrambling to find anything other than her NRA membership and her child with DS, it becomes more and more likely that she was not chosen for who she is, but what she is.

  11. rhonda c.
    August 29, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Solid resume?


    Mayor of a town with a population of less than 7000 to governor whose currently under investigation for the same kind of corruption to which she can attribute her quick political rise by whistleblowing?

    And I think having a former beauty queen who is almost three decades his junior will only serve to make him look even MORE like the creepy old man his is.

    And to make “experience” a central theme, while putting someone younger and LESS experienced than your opponent a heartbeat away from the presidency?

    I think we’ll have to continue to be smart, but I’m even more confident with the ticket set that we have a clear vision on our side. It’s clear to me that the R’s a scrambling in reaction to the shift Obama’s candidacy (and the historic nature of the D’s primary race)…and you that’s not how you win.

  12. jessabean
    August 29, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    I feel like this is an obvious ploy to try and woo the Hillary supporters who haven’t yet decided on Obama. And a pathetic attempt to amp up excitement for the GOP ticket/steal some of Obama’s thunder after his amazing DNC acceptance speech. I’m with Natmusk: it’s just repulsive. I would hope that most women are smarter than that and won’t fall for a ridiculously obvious and disgusting attempt to manipulate them and their interests in this election.

  13. August 29, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Yeah, we’ll see what happens. I hope I’m wrong. I do think that this is going to be waaaay less important in the long run than how it feels right now. People don’t care all that much about the VP, so I don’t think this is going to matter all that much. But I still think it was a smart pick, because it plugs up most of McCain’s weaknesses.

  14. Desolation Ro
    August 29, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    My initial reaction was “fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck…” but after only a few minutes of looking it over, I feel like she’s not a solid threat. She doesn’t have much experience and any real Clinton supporter won’t be fooled by this last-ditch bait and switch. “Lookie lookie, disaffected Clinton supporters! Here’s a woman! All better!” It just reiterates how out of touch McCain is about what Americans and especially what woman are looking for in a leader.

  15. joojooluv
    August 29, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    anti-choice, anti-science, pro-drilling. what’s not to hate? She is an insulting choice to me, because i am expected to vote for her just because she has a vagina? I am not a genital-match voter. dumb, weak McCain choice. There were a lot more qualified an prominent GOP females. Just thank god he didn’t chose Christy Todd Whitman.

  16. MaryC
    August 29, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I think it’s a brilliant move – as a diehard Obama/Biden supporter, I’m freaked. I think it’s a (cynically) great counterpoint to Biden’s strengths, because if he goes after Palin full throttle, he’ll look like the big mean man picking on a woman. But if he’s too nice, he could get paternalistic. It’s the same issue that came up with Al Gore vs. George Bush, how people ended up feeling sorry for Bush.

    On the other hand, Biden could destroy her on foreign policy with one hand behind his back. And he’s done more, actually done more for women by writing and passing the VAWA. So there’s also great potential for Biden to expose Palin as the featherweight she is, he’s just got to do it very carefully.

  17. oscuro
    August 29, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    When I first read about Palin the tactical thinking that was behind the choice was so clear I could almost hear it. For me the worst part is imagining Teh Campaign drooling over the Down’s Syndrome angle for the soapbox it would give them on abortion. I’m simultaneously hoping the obvious and pandering gamesmanship behind the choice turns people off of McCain AND fearing that people will lap up the soft-focus, tender voice-over qualities of her biography that will be played up to eleven by Teh Campaign.

    BTW: Planet Janet, did you used to hang out in Hillsborough?

  18. JenLovesPonies
    August 29, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    I can’t believe the Repubs picked a woman. I never thought I would see this day.

  19. August 29, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    it plugs up most of McCain’s weaknesses.

    Possibly, or it could just end up magnifying them — one of them, at least: McCain is only going to look even more like Oldfart McGrouchyPants next to a 44-year-old, particularly one who’s as attractive and approachable-looking as she is.

    I think you’re right, this isn’t as big an obstacle to overcome as it seems. Once the news cycle is over and the novelty of this pick wears off a little, some equilibrium will be re-established. And when people start to examine her record and the actual stances she’s taken on issues, she doesn’t stand up particularly strong against either Obama or Biden.

    What pisses me off the most is that we can now expect several days, at least, of the media pushing the “Ooh, disaffected Hillary Democrats flocking to McCain ’cause he picked a woman!” angle — insulting two ways, in that it a) presumes there are way more PUMAs out there than anyone’s been able to prove there are and b) assumes that women will vote for any candidate, no matter their positions, as long as they have two X chromosomes. I’m sure neither prospect went unnoticed by McCain, who can still play the SCLM like a drum.

  20. cy
    August 29, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    More than anything, I think it shows that McCain is a little desperate. He’s obviously giving up on the experience theme as Palin has next to none. And he’s hoping to catch some disaffected HRC supporters

    And now the Dems are really going to clean up in the debates.

    I don’t see this pick as that big of a deal.

  21. August 29, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Palin does NOT have a solid resume. being the mayor of a small town in Alaska and having less than 20 months of experience in public office?

    How does that make a solid resume for the VP of the world’s most powerful country?

    No. She doesn’t have a solid resume.

  22. August 29, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    *and yes, I’m aware she’s the governor of Alaska, too.

    ALASKA, people. ALASKA.

    haha. do I need to go there? LMAO.

    she’s already comparing herself to Hillary, LOL. I can’t wait for Hillary’s comback remarks.

  23. Tony
    August 29, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    corrupt alaska republican oil-guzzler who believes the earth is 5,000 years old. ’nuff said.

  24. dananddanica
    August 29, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    ive already heard a lot about how the debate will go, if there will be shades of clinton/lazio and saying that biden will have to hold back so as to not appear like a bully. How very frustrating for me, two people up on stage and if one is too -mean- he becomes a bully simply because the other person is a woman? How very empowering.

  25. periodic
    August 29, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    well, women are far more intuitive than men, and hopefully will see this for what it is–a stunt. i certainly hope no one will vote for MCCAIN simply because his VP pick happens to be a woman. i think women should ask themselves WHY they want a woman as president. is it just to see her face on TV, or is it because they want someone who understands their concerns as women? i wouldn’t think most women want a man or team of them, telling them what they can and can’t do with their bodies, that they should be subservient to men (a conservative and christian mainstay) and they should be used as pawns so that a man can get elected who calls women c@@nts and left his first wife after she was disabled to be with a richer, younger, shallower mistress. a vote for MCCAIN, and yes, for PALIN, says you think women have been, are, and always will be, the lessor gender.

  26. southpaw
    August 29, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Perhaps it’s just the hangover from last night, but I don’t get the tone of distress in these parts.

    First off, Palin is almost totally unknown (Kay Bailey Hutchison just said on national television that she didn’t know much about her). That leaves Democrats the opportunity to define her for the country. And it provides the McCain campaign with the challenge of introducing and protecting Palin rather than, if they had chose a more established VP, using her reputation to attack Obama and Biden right off the bat.

    Secondly, Sarah Palin is not Hillary Clinton. She is a creationist, pro-life, movement conservative neophyte. She could hardly be further from Hillary Clinton on women’s issues. Though she is, yes, a woman, I don’t think she’ll be an effective stand-in for Hillary Clinton. Plus, Hillary Clinton is still with us, still able to speak to her supporters and to the nation about Sarah Palin and what she thinks of her.

    Finally, I just watched her speech, and I do believe she used the word “nukular.”

    With the Palin choice, the Democrats obviously have some work to do, but I’m honestly not that worried about it.

  27. SandyB
    August 29, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Palin isn’t someone I’d vote for, but I’m also old enough to remember Biden throwing Anita Hill under the bus during the Clarence Thomas hearings. Do I vote for an asshole who set women back 20 years to protect his own power in the senate, or do I vote for a woman I don’t agree with on a bunch of issues but could be the first woman president in 4 years (McCain is 95 years old)? This sucks.

  28. Amanda
    August 29, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I love Hillary and campaigned hard for her, but its time for all intelligent feminists to bury the hatchet and to see what is at stake in this election. I am pleased that McCain has chosen Palin as his running mate as intelligence will bring Hillary supporters to see that McCain/Palin are the wrong choice for America. No one who supported such a strong woman who championed health care, the environment, women’s rights and education could possible vote the McCain/ Palin ticket. Sarah Palin has twisted federal environmental reports on the status of Polar Bears and their threated battle for survival to suit her quest to open the Alaskan oil fields to drilling. She is against a woman’s right to determine her own health care choices, and she thinks its OK to put AK 47’s into the hands of all comers. If anything, this makes the choice crystal clear and I hope all Hillary supporters will join me in electing Obama. We had better get with it or welcome to the Wild Wild West, the further reining of Senator Ted Stevens, an end to Roe Vs. Wade and a total denial of science to favor big business and the super wealthy.

  29. dananddanica
    August 29, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    “women are far more intuitive than men”

    bullshit to that and anything else like it we will certainly here during this election about Palin being more caring, more able to empathize etc simply because she is a woman.

    It’s funny to me, funny in the sad, make me want to cry kind of way that the repubs will co-opt a lot of the progress Clinton made to further their fucked up political ends. What will be fascinating, again in a sick, make me sad kind of way, is that the repubs will learn from how feminists/progressives defended Clinton and use the very same arguments to defend Palin without feeling the least little bit of irony.

    This pick also blunts, at least somewhat, attacks from the left whether they come from Biden during the debate or in the blogosphere. Everything will have to be prefaced with even though, despite, etc. and a lot of people will be torn between what Palin represents and what her policies actually are.

    I’m hoping once more people are aware of her policies this will become less of an issue but the infamous low-info voter will only see the “hockey mom” and the “maverick” and might go with that. fuck.

  30. dananddanica
    August 29, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    sandyb, I simply dont understand and I’m hoping you can help me out. I can understand a little about wanting to see a woman, any woman, as VP and possibly prez but how can that hold up against a woman who is, policy-wise, anti-woman? Anti-choice, anti-equal pay for equal work and a woman who signs on to be the attack dog for john mccain? I weigh those two things out and it just doesnt add up. As a friend of mine has said many times in the last few weeks, just because I’m a black woman, doesnt mean I’d vote for Obama if he put condi or keyes on his ticket.

  31. August 29, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Palin isn’t someone I’d vote for, but I’m also old enough to remember Biden throwing Anita Hill under the bus during the Clarence Thomas hearings.

    Then it also stands to reason you’re old enough to remember Biden drafting the Violence Against Women Act three years later, doesn’t it?

  32. August 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Palin isn’t someone I’d vote for, but I’m also old enough to remember Biden throwing Anita Hill under the bus during the Clarence Thomas hearings. Do I vote for an asshole who set women back 20 years to protect his own power in the senate, or do I vote for a woman I don’t agree with on a bunch of issues but could be the first woman president in 4 years (McCain is 95 years old)? This sucks.

    Um, vote for the guy who is responsible for VAWA, the ticket that is making a real campaign issue out of equal pay for women, and will work to uphold Roe. Don’t vote for the ticket that is ardently anti-choice, the guy who vocally opposed equal pay for women, and the woman who wants to replace teachings on evolution with creationism in the classroom.

    Seems like a no-brainer to me. Biden is far from perfect. So is Obama. But from a feminist standpoint, the choice still seems pretty damn clear. (And I’m guessing you were using hyperbole, but McCain is not 95 years old and I think it’s a mistake to go in assuming that he wouldn’t make it through two terms. Reagan did.)

  33. August 29, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    dude. she’s quoted as saying, during the primary, that she doesn’t like hillary clinton becos she thinks clinton was “whining”

    oh yeah, fersure man. i just kno that all those clinton supporters are going to be w00t w00t palin. right after the sky caves in.

  34. Jo
    August 29, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    I had a similar gut response to Jill when I heard that Palin was the pick. Then I watched her give her speech and the inexperienced, unqualified reality of Palin set in. Frankly, I was livid. Anyone who watched Hillary speak two nights ago and then is faced with the prospect of Palin would be too. There is no comparison. None. If McCain thinks that what made women proud of Hillary was her gender alone, then he truly doesn’t get it. Hillary is an incredibly intelligent, accomplished, strong _person_ who is capable of taking the mantle of commander-in-chief, who also happens to be a woman. And though her gender does help her resonate with many women, without the qualifications to back it up, it doesn’t matter. It is insulting to both Hillary and democratic women voters, honestly, to think that women who backed her would suddenly go for Palin simply because she’s a hockey mom.

    Beyond that, I’m also insulted as a regular, American voter of any gender. Yes, I know the VP position is mostly a symbolic position at this point, but it’s not 100% symbolic. I still want someone that I would feel at least moderately comfortable stepping into the president’s shoes if it came to that. I am not at all comfortable with Palin in that position–that prospect really scares me, as it should scare a lot of people.

  35. JC
    August 29, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Palin is the governor of reindeers… she’s not a good choice at all for VP. Thank you for handing the election to Barack by showing more stupid decisions and more evidence that you are clueless, McBush.
    Barack the vote!

  36. jon hocking
    August 29, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    is this the blogger that put “she has a solid resume ” ? i know of no definition under which that could be remotely true ..from a self described “hockey mom ” to governor of alaska in 3 yrs . yeah thats solid .Like , my success on my high school baseball team 35 yrs ago makes me qualified to run major league baseball . this is nothing but pandering for women’s votes and if successful will only confirm old stereotypes .get a grip.. McCain and the GOP care nothing for families ,women or children unless they have a net worth over $5 mil which he defines as being beyond the middle class .. please take a look at the last 8 yrs for a litany of policies that benefited no one but the super rich much support for families and women do you think there would be id the bush administration had not poured 1.5 trillion dollars down the rat hole of Iraq ? and thats only the tip of the iceberg go on and be proud about a woman being nominated for VP but remember it is nothing but a cynical manipulative GOP move which i hope you are able to easily see through . McCain voted for Bush’s policies 95 % of the time ..this is the “change “you want .. jh

  37. OhellNO
    August 29, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Personally I thought it was a really ballsy move. While I was for Romney, I really like the straight talk of Palin. Hillary does NOT want Obama in the oval office no matter what she says. That puts her 8 years out and she wants in NOW. If Sara Palin is VP we could have 2 women running for President next election. Hillary would love that. She will serve herself first and foremost. The Clinton’s always do.

  38. Bo Pot
    August 29, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    “She has a son in the military.”

    So does Biden, not that that’s a selling point for any sane person (“Hey look, I support immoral, illegal invasions and genocides with my own flesh and blood!”).

    “Do I vote for an asshole who set women back 20 years … or do I vote for a woman I don’t agree with on a bunch of issues…?”

    You don’t vote for chromosomes. Voting for a woman isn’t the wise feminist choice when she’s a deluded right-winger.

  39. miwome
    August 29, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Those moderate women will have to reconcile the fact that she’s anti-abortion, a global warming denier, and she thinks creationism should be taught in school.

    She’s a very hard-right pick, and I have to hope that that information will get out there.

  40. August 29, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    SandyB, people like you are the reason that I can’t stand politics. You don’t vote for someone because she (or he) share the same gender, religion, race, or whatever to you. If you do, then you are not any better than right-wing assholes who refuse to vote for Obama cos he’s black.

    Palin may be a woman but she is everything that goes AGAINST feminism. Wake the fuck up and educate yourself!

  41. Shayne
    August 29, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Uh, I have a son in the military and had no clue I was saying “Hey look, I support immoral, illegal invasions and genocides with my own flesh and blood.”

    Guess you learn something new every day.

  42. August 29, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Wow my reaction was the complete opposite :) But I guess it all depends how optimistic you were about Obama’s chances up until now.. As a pessimistic Obama supporter who never thought he had more than a slim chance, this morning was the first time I thought “wow, we might actually have a shot!”

    I always thought we’d need a lot of turnovers from the other team to stay in this game, and as long as McCain made safe boring choices we’d be doomed. So such an extreme risk, with all the possibility for unforeseen flaws/unflattering revelations from such a new/unknown candidate.. it’s the most hopeful development I could imagine, increases our odds exponentially IMO.

    Plus this choice could negate the biggest reason I (at least the cold-hearted cynic in me) thought McCain was a virtual shoo-in: the fact that his ticket was the “safe” fallback choice for those who succumb to Tolerance Fatigue. From now on America is wrestling with its prejudices on *both* sides of this race, and that makes it so much more unpredictable..

    Still gonna be an uphill battle but IMO this just the sort of surprise we need, to have a shot at the massive upset an Obama win was always gonna be.

  43. B. Dagger Lee
    August 29, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    In the patriarchy, women are interchangeable. Palin was a genius choice for McCain.

  44. n5p7q
    August 29, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    As a conservative/secular Republican, I’d like to point out one possible motive for McCain’s pick for VP that I haven’t yet seen addressed on this thread, and that possible motive is: With Palin on the GOP ticket as an ostensible outsider, reformist, and non-hypocritical social conservative, and also as a younger woman and mother, her VP candidacy could be meant to provide plausible cover for covert white racists of any party to vote Republican even if they feel unsafe with McCain’s age and debility.

    Such covert white racists could publicly claim that, in voting McCain-Palin, they’re not voting for an all-white ticket, but rather they’re voting for a pair of mavericks that include a successful woman who is the only Washington outsider in the campaign, and a successful reformer at that.

    Keep in mind that the older white voters who might be reluctant to vote for a non-Caucasian are often the same voters who harbor a deep resentment of both the GOP and Dems inside the Beltway.

    To my mind, Biden was a very “safe” choice for Dem VP, particularly with a view toward defusing white racial anxiety. But since both Biden and Obama are from inside the Beltway, the GOP can use Palin’s outsider status to portray Obama-Biden as the Establishment ticket (perversely enough), while using Palin’s candidacy as a cover to draw covert white racists away from the Dems and overcome their discomfort with McCain’s age, etc.

    Palin’s weaknesses as a candidate have already been discussed on this thread, and her putative strengths remain to be proven.

    What remains undeniable is that white racial anxiety might very well decide the election, and I strongly suspect that’s exactly why Palin was chosen for VP. That’s depressing, and still more depressing is that it might decide the election.

  45. Peter
    August 29, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    I can’t think of a single presidential election that was decided, or decisively influenced by the VP election.

    The most you can expect out of a VP is that they don’t make a fool of themselves, a la Dan Qayle.

    That said, I don’t know a damn thing about her. Seems like a weird choice. Isn’t she a rightwing nut, with an anti-choice ideology?

  46. Cecca
    August 29, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Eh, sic Hillary on her ass. Biden may not be able to attack her without Republicans crying “Foul! He’s being mean!” but Hillary’s in a good position to attack the ever-living hell out of her.

    Of course, that could be read as a cat fight, but there’s no way in hell gender politics *won’t* come into play here.

  47. August 29, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    @ Peter: you’re wrong.

    People were freaked out when John Kerry picked Lieberman, a Jew, as his VP on the 04 ticket and people didn’t like the idea of a Jewish VP.

    Go figure.

  48. Mary
    August 29, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Palin does not only oppose abortion. She wants to outlaw abortion in all cases, including rape. This woman is scary and no friend of my rights.

  49. August 29, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    OhhellNO – Hillary does NOT want Obama in the oval office no matter what she says.

    Lord love a lemming – Hillary has supported Obama in an absolutely unprecedented way – a way no former runner up in such a tight race ever has. It’s pretty par for the course for the runner up to not endorse until the convention (and sometimes not then) and never campaign at all, let alone hit the trail for them months before then.

    I swear, Hillary could have committed sepuku onstage in expiation for daring to run against Obama, and there would be some people muttering about how she was doing it to make him look bad and “if she really meant it, she’d have gutted herself with more enthusiasm.”

  50. August 29, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Scary in a way, but: I think most voters and commentators will go through a few steps, and this will not turn out well for John McCain.

    1. Ask, and maybe even him directly too: Would John McCain have picked Sarah Palin if, having all the same background, she wasn’t a woman? No, really, of course not – some guy like that just wouldn’t have been the Veep choice “and we all know it.” So,

    2. That shows that John McCain was pandering, trying to pull a “See what a cute smart-ass I am, diddling with Hillary supporters and sticking my tongue out at Barack Obama.” My mother said, he “looked pleased as punch,” with a big smug smart-Alec’s smirk on his face.

    3. Once voters realize that John McCain was pandering like that, taking chances with the well-being of the nation just to play election games, enough of them will be outraged enough to say, no way I will vote for a prick like that.

    It would have been no problem if McCain had picked a clearly talented woman with more experience and some fopo contact, like Olympia Snowe.

  51. exholt
    August 29, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    I am of two minds on this.

    On the one hand McCain is taking a serious risk with her….especially considering the fact she is currently being investigated for unethical corrupt practices along with other possible skeletons in her closet. It could very well blow up in McCain’s face if the investigation goes against her and the democrats exploit it carefully.

    On the other hand, the incident in question is one where it seems no one is really clean and if this incident is exploited too carelessly…may also end up burning Obama/Biden as bullies who are ignoring the fact Palin’s sister is currently in a nasty divorce/custody battle….and that the trooper in question has many allegations of domestic threats and atrociously bad judgment against him….though many Alaskans seem to be dubious as all 36 allegations against the trooper were from the Palin family…and only two of those were found to be warranted upon investigation by the authorities…..even though the penalties were ridiculously light…5 days suspension for tazering his stepson at his request and illegally shooting a moose using his wife’s permit.

    In short, it has seemingly become one messy circus that has polarized many Alaskans….and leaves no one smelling like a rose.

  52. Bo Pot
    August 29, 2008 at 7:05 pm


    I didn’t mean to suggest that all people with family in the military who get sent to Iraq are thinking that way. I meant to suggest that it’s a pretty disgusting political plank, no matter who’s using it.

    And when Democrats use it, it’s especially vile, because they shouldn’t be touting participation in a war they oppose as evidence of their patriotism — they should be doing the opposite. (Never mind that patriotism itself is usually suspect and ill-advised.).

    Sorry, I failed to express myself properly.

  53. Ellid
    August 29, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Actually, Palin’s pretty weak. She belongs to an ultra-conservative church with Dominionist leanings, is violently anti-abortion, and is facing a scandal wherein she evidently tried to pressure the state police into firing her ex-brother-in-law. She also supports the teaching of creationism in the public schools and opposes gay rights. Even worse, she’s leaving a disabled infant to go campaign (and sorry, I *do* find this disturbing, given the possible health complications of Down’s Syndrome – and I would find it equally disturbing in a man). Worst of all, the woman an aging cancer survivor has picked to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency is scarcely two years away from a career as the mayor of a town with less than 10,000 residents.

    She’s a terrible pick, and clearly an attempt to appeal to the Clinton diehards. Absolutely disgusting, and almost enough to make me feel sorry for Romney, Pawlenty, and all the other Republicans with better credentials who were manipulated and used as stalking horses in favor of a woman who simply is not ready. To add to the fun, Romney and Pawlenty are reportedly furious that they were used as stalking horses to conceal the actual pick, and most Republican power brokers have never even heard of Sarah Palin.

    This may give McCain a bounce going into the convention, but in the long run? I very much doubt it.

  54. Rae
    August 29, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    I wonder if ya’ll knew that Palin didn’t support Hillary because she thought that Hill was a “whiner”.…90/output/ print

    Quite frankly, Palin is a token woman added to the ticket to lull pro-Hillary supporters into following as if we are sheep. It is insulting. We are being played as if throwing ANY woman on the ticket would appease us.

    Don’t forget that this man McCain who is so progressive called his wife a c*** in front of a group of people because she dared tease him about his thinning hair. McCain didn’t think equal pay for women was a priority. And McCain said that getting bin Laden was NOT important in an interview during the primaries.

    Palin was a mayor of a 5000+ town prior to being governor. She is pro-drilling (more than McCain), pro-life, pro-gun, wants creationism taught in public schools, does not believe that global warming is man made, and is in the middle of a scandal that reeks of an abuse of power. She is NOT Hillary. The only thing they have in common are mammary glands.

  55. August 29, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    I think this is a great choice for the Democrats and a huge blunder for McSame. He has just completely undercut his whole ‘Obama’s too inexperienced’ attack. In the long run he will not gain any Hillary voters, he will lose more than he would have with even a safe male pick by selecting a rabidly anti-choice, NRA christian, reported by some as creationist. He bypassed a slew of highly qualified older Republican women. Its a condescending slap in the face to anyone who thinks themselves a feminist. He believes women will support her and him just because she’s a female candidate. Its transparent, dumb, and desperate. It is going to backfire in a big way.

  56. Jen
    August 29, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    I just did a really long pedantic post about why McCain did this, what he hoped to accomplish, and how this is going to win him the election.

    Basically, my point is that the liberal media and pundits treated Clinton like shit and Obama said nothing. Now that they have a younger, inexperienced, conventionally attractive, political foe who is a woman, they’re going to go ape-shit with the misogyny. Knowing Obama and Biden, they’ll probably let them, and then “accidentally” slip in a few sexist remarks of their own.

    But this is all McCain’s plan. He wants the liberals to put their foots in their mouths, again, and alienate Democratic women from the party–an easier task now that the hate-machine for Clinton has already got women in the dumps. He doesn’t really much care if they vote for him, although some might, as long as they don’t vote for Obama. Besides, his choice is extremely intelligent: it makes him look like a maverick (after kissing status-quo ass for donations), it distances him from Washington Republicans, it makes him look a bit less like a bigot (although we should know better), it’ll make everyone get stuck in this endless cycle of “attack, defend, sexism” so the issues are ignored, and it’ll make him look like some big fucking hero after he defends her from liberal pundits.

    Because unlike liberal pundits, conservative pundits are notoriously loyal. I say that they probably won’t say anything negatively sexist about her, and they will probably rush to defend her because it aligns with their goal of getting McCain in the White House (or at least keeping Obama out). It will make sexism the buzz-word of the day, but this time, everyone will believe it because Palin is so much more feminine and less controversial than Clinton. Ironically, this concentration on sexism will likely get McCain the presidency. Liberal pundits will waffle on and on and on and on about these “Hilltards” that don’t exist, or don’t have any power, and how that those damn womenz are going to lose them the election because of their thrall for anything with a vagina. And then women voters are going to run into the arms of McCain, a third party, or voter apathy.

    Liberals are going to stick their heads up their asses and lose the election. And then I’ll pack my bags and move to Canada, because I’d rather carve out my eyes with a rusty spork than be here when Roe is overturned and we blow up the Middle East.

  57. Cassandra
    August 29, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    WHAT solid resume? She’s a first term governor of a state that has fewer full time residents than Barack Obama’s neighborhood. She is an intellectual lightweight, as she quickly proved in her dumb speech, under investigation for corruption, and YES, if you have a child going to Iraq and a newborn Downs baby, if you believe in “family values,” your family needs you more than the US does. To believe that she is the most qualified Republican woman is an insult to Kay Bailey Hutchison or Olympia Snow, who actually DO have solide resumes. And if Hillary supporters think that it is better to vote for this pair rather than the two that Hillary actually supports, it is an INSULT to a woman who actually has the most solid resume of all to be in public office. Can you imagine this flake speaking on behalf of the US to people in “EYE-Ran”? OMIGOD we are so screwed if woman are responsible for the election of a female moron. They deserve what they get as all their rights go down the tollet, flushed by a feminine hand toting a gun.

  58. Charity
    August 29, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    I’m still trying to figure this one out. I really don’t see the benefit from any angle. I think disenchanted Hillary supporters will be angry that he thought “any woman” would be a fine pick, as if women are a) idiots or b) interchangeable.

    Jen, I might agree with your theory about liberal pundits vs. conservative if I hadn’t ALREADY heard ultra-disgusting conservative radio show host Jay Severin making all kinds of reprehensible comments about Palin already, within mere hours of the announcement, about what he believes are her fake breasts, about how she’s the first female candidate he wouldn’t mind “knowing” (in the biblical sense, yes he meant fucking) even though she’s by no means *hot* (or something to that effect).

  59. EricP
    August 29, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    As a right-leaning person, I have been unexcited by McCain but I felt genuine excitement when I read about Palin’s selection. While the pundit and professional repubs may not know much about her, I’ve been reading about her on conservative blogs for months. Many held a distant hope for her selection.

    Sure there is some amount of identity politics involved but many also feel that she is a “cool” candidate with a great package of characteristics. Unlike what some here and elsewhere have suggested, I don’t think that any other female conservative would have this level of passion from the base.

    No candidate would have been acceptable to everyone on the right but for the first time in this election cycle I sense real excitement on the right. We’ll see how it goes.

  60. Richard McDonough
    August 29, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    What nonsense. Solid resume as wing nut who would step on wombs, add mor imams to the Supreme Court, feed big oil, for whom her husband works part-time. THINK!

  61. Karen
    August 29, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    I suspect, despite several witless postings among the thoughtful ones on this blog, that most of my peers will feel the same way I do. That is to say that the McCain choice is the height of insult to me. In effect, what he is saying is that since I was a Hillary supporter, and Obama chose otherwise, that McCain can “win me over” by simply trotting out a woman even though her standards and beliefs are diametrically opposed to what I liked about Hillary. Does McCain think that I am totally hormone driven and so pathetically insecure that I can’t see through this. What an insult to Hillary this is! And to me!

  62. Jen
    August 29, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Jen, I might agree with your theory about liberal pundits vs. conservative if I hadn’t ALREADY heard ultra-disgusting conservative radio show host Jay Severin making all kinds of reprehensible comments about Palin already, within mere hours of the announcement, about what he believes are her fake breasts, about how she’s the first female candidate he wouldn’t mind “knowing” (in the biblical sense, yes he meant fucking) even though she’s by no means *hot* (or something to that effect).

    Oh thank God. Seriously. If conservatives had fallen into lock-step and shut up about sexism for the next couple of months, we’d be looking at President McCain next year.

    You have made my day.

  63. August 29, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    People seem to be harping on the “solid resume” thing, so to clarify: I meant that she has a solid resume as an ideal wingnut. She’s super conservative, which endears McCain to the base. She’s anti-choice, anti-gay, pro-gun, bad on the environment, and on and on, and she’s made the decisions in office to back up those positions. That’s what I meant by “solid resume;” not that she’s some brilliant politician with years of experience. Sorry that wasn’t clear.

  64. August 29, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    I can’t think of a single presidential election that was decided, or decisively influenced by the VP election.

    This is hardly anything approaching a “typical” election, though.

    I don’t think her selection will be much of an issue. No one knows her outside of Alaska, and as others have pointed out, McCain just completely undercut one of his biggest bullet points against Obama – his lack of experience, especially in the foreign affairs arena.

    With McCain as old as he is, one has to be worried about who would replace him if he off’ed himself during his term. Palin fails by any reasonable stretch of the imagination. And since she’s a diametric contrast to every position Hillary stood for, anyone who’s paying attention (and would therefore be likely to be swayed by her being picked if they weren’t already in the GOP camp anyway) is not going to be convinced to vote for the ticket because of her. If they have a shred of intelligence, that is.

  65. Jen
    August 30, 2008 at 12:24 am

    …anyone who’s paying attention (and would therefore be likely to be swayed by her being picked if they weren’t already in the GOP camp anyway) is not going to be convinced to vote for the ticket because of her. If they have a shred of intelligence, that is.

    Unfortunately, that’s not how it goes. If liberal pundits start up the hate machine again and Obama stands to benefit, again, from sexism, people are going to lose their shit. Seriously. I’m not going to put aside my feminism for Obama. Liberals need to stop asking me to “look at the bigger picture” whilst they snicker about how they’d like to fuck Palin. That’s not how feminism works.

  66. shethinks
    August 30, 2008 at 12:40 am

    “How will 72 year old McCain interact with a 44 year old beauty queen?” She was chosen for a reason : she’ll do as she’s told. The only aspect that is historical about this choice is that it is history repeating itself. Perceive beyond gender, perceive beyond ethnicity, perceive beyond “American”.

  67. Cecca
    August 30, 2008 at 3:59 am

    @ Jen:

    But that’s how politics work, and that’s how the Republicans have won so many elections. Once you have someone sympathetic in office, you can do whatever the hell you want. But if it’s a choice against someone who pisses you off occasionally, and someone who treats you like less than a human being? You keep your head down until the person who pisses you off occasionally is in a position to do something about your complaints.

  68. jmy9595
    August 30, 2008 at 11:39 am

    > Palin “has a solid resume. She’s not an old white dude, which makes McCain look less stodgy

    1) She does???

    2) Not being an old white dude makes McCain look EVEN MORE stodgy by comparison.

  69. August 30, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I have been a city council member in a small town. Yeah, maybe not a mayor; but as impressive as it might appear on a resume, it’s not much to brag about. She, Palin, might have done a good job, but it is a known truth that small town governments are dysfunctional to the core.
    As to the hope that she will draw votes from disgruntled Hillary supporters, I sincerely doubt it. The vast majority of HRC supporters have always thought (and continue to think) that Hillary is destine to be the first female President of the United States: that this is her exclusive territory. Now that this upstart, Palin, has appeared on the scene, they realize that if McCain is elected, this new Vice-presidential candidate would be in a much better position to become the first woman President than Hillary. They will not let this happen. They will work like hell to keep the path open for Hillary to realize her ambition in some possible future election.
    If Obama does pull it off and is elected to the Presidency, a possible consolation prize for Ms. Clinton would be to give her one of those coveted seats on the Supreme Court…that might be enough to assuage the faithful.

  70. Sugie
    August 30, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Well, McCain is a sneaky old man, but lives in a generation long gone. His pick will mean that the R base will vote for him, but just because someone has boobs doesn’t mean that Hillary supporters will flock that way. Palin is against everything from abortion – even in cases of incest and rape – to gay rights, to wildlife rights (wants to pull the tag on Polar Bears, eager to drill in the pristine areas of her state) and on and on and on.

    If you’ve listened to her respond to unexpected questions, then you know how little she knows and how over confident she is. Sure she’s eager for gun rights and some of us would be too if we lived next door to a bear! She claims 14 years of experience – did she mention that when elected to her town, it was smaller than our CC? DUH!!!! Ignorance is not bliss.

    Good for her for having five kids and for her husband to be connected to the oil industry, but that doesn’t mean she’s qualified to be VP or Pres.

    McCain really shocked me with this decision – although VP’s usually don’t matter re elections, if the R’s get in, then THE IMPORTANCE of her role jumps way up (ie Cheney). She’s very arrogant about her knowledge, but is truly ignorant along with questionable illegal tactics (the reason she’s being investigated currently).

    Can anyone imagine her being President of the United States? McCain was interviewed several weeks ago and said that the ‘heart beat away from the presidency’ was his number one consideration. What happened to that?

    McCain got too caught up in winning and has really embraced Rove’s tactics.


  71. Shayne
    August 31, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Bo Pot, is okay. Obviously, I didn’t get your original intention, and I’m written not so clearly myself.

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