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About That Palin Pick

Updated: Apr 15

Sarah, storms are brewin in your eyes...

Sarah, storms are brewin' in your eyes...

Here’s a few stray things:

Analysis: Ron Fournier from the AP has a reasonably balanced and level-headed assessment of the pitfalls and promises of McCain’s highly unconventional play.

The Experience Question: The Arkansas Times blog notes sniffily that McCain “picked as the person who would succeed him someone whose bona fides are two years in the governor’s office in Alaska, period. Can he argue she’d be an able president if he were to croak?”

So, to sum up: The liberals at the Arkansas Times, who are steadfast behind Barack Obama’s absurdly thin resumé, now are troubled by a perceived lack of experience? And Republicans, who have been beating up on Obama (rightfully!) for his lack of experience, are now fine with it in their VP candidate?

On the other hand, Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds notes that Palin has more executive experience than John McCain, Barack Obama and Joe Biden—none of whom has ever commanded an operation bigger than his Senate office—combined. I may need to think this one through some more.

The Debates Debate: Some say they can’t believe McCain would pick Palin, because she’ll get demolished by Joe Biden in debates. Well, yeah, OK, you’re probably right. But who the hell cares about vice presidential debates? Name one time when the VP debates had a dispositive effect on the outcome of a race. Or for that matter, name one thing you remember from any VP debate, ever. I can think of one:

Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle, 1988: “You’re no Jack Kennedy.”

What a memorable VP debate moment! One for the ages! Man, Bentsen really mopped up the floor with Quayle on that one! Until you remember, oh, yeah, Dukakis and Bentsen lost that race. Badly.

VP debates don’t matter. But, hey, headline writers, here’s a freebie for when Biden does “win” the VP debate, for whatever that’s worth: “Palin’ By Comparison.

You’re welcome.

Update: A couple more useful resources on thinking through the Palin pick:

Noemie Emery at the conservative Weekly Standard blog lays out some interesting short-term political impacts and potential impacts on the race as a whole.

Franklin Foer at the New Republic blog, writing from a more liberal position, lays out the pros and cons of Palin.

One urgent theme among Democrats in 2008, from the netroots to the top of the ticket, is that the party needs to come out swinging. Learn from the pugilism of the Gingrich Revolution. Forcefully rebut any attempts at swift-boating. Run toward, not away from, national security. Go on offense.
But it was McCain, not Obama, who used his veepstakes to take the fight directly to the enemy. A risky and potentially disastrous move, given that Palin has zero record on national security during a time of war and would be serving a president who could keel over at any moment…but it’s a bold one.
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