McCain Picks Alaska Governor; Palin First Woman on GOP Ticket
Democrats Insist Running Mate Lacks Experience
By Robert Barnes and Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, August 30, 2008
DAYTON, Ohio, Aug. 29 — Sen. John McCain confounded conventional wisdom Friday by announcing first-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, a decision that guarantees that either an African American or a woman will ascend to the White House for the first time in history next year.
The senator from Arizona lived up to his maverick reputation, bypassing former rivals and more experienced governors to choose the little-known Palin, 44, as the person “who can best help me shake up Washington.”
The self-described “hockey mom” brings a blue-collar conservatism and strong antiabortion views to the ticket and appeals to a party base sometimes suspicious of McCain. She made an immediate pitch to female voters, especially those who had supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primaries, saying that her selection “could help shatter the glass ceiling once and for all.”
But she is also less than two years into her term as governor, and her only previous political experience came as mayor of the town of Wasilla, which has a population of about 6,700. Democrats immediately seized on her lack of political experience, noting that McCain, who turned 72 on Friday, will be confirmed next week as the oldest first-time presidential nominee in history.
After a raucous rally here before what the campaign said were 15,000 supporters — the largest gathering of McCain’s campaign — the two spent six hours together. They traveled by bus to Pittsburgh, ingratiating themselves to Ohioans as they bought Ohio State Buckeye paraphernalia and stopped for ice cream at a roadside stand.
The trip provided valuable bonding time for two people who acknowledge they barely know each other.
McCain met Palin at a governor’s conference in February, and did not see her again until she secretly flew to Arizona on Wednesday night. After a phone interview with the senator on Sunday night, she arrived in the state three days later for a session with McCain’s two top lieutenants.
You can read the entire article here.
I was surprised by this selection. I thought for sure he would select someone like former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge or Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. There was even talk of Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, but hardcore social conservatives were furious over that idea.
Folks all over the internet are either laughing at his selection, jumping for joy over his selection, just plain shocked, insulted that he choose a woman by pandering to Hillary voters or shaking their heads in disbelief. The question is will adding Governor Palin to the ticket help bring undecided female voters and angry Hillary voters (PUMA’s) to vote for the McCain/Palin ticket or will Palin’s very conservative views turn those female voters off? When I think of a Republican female candidate to run with McCain I think of someone like Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson or Maine Senator Olympia Snowe.
I found this blog from an Alaskan resident who had some very interesting things to say about his governor. The blog is called Mudflats. He has quite a number of posts about Governor Palin but this one post in particular, What is McCain Thinking, caught my eye and everyone else’s as well.
Anyway this presidential race should be very interesting and to be honest I will be one happy camper when it’s over. I can’t wait for November 4, 2008 to get here 😉