Friday, August 29, 2008

PYY Assessment: The Sarah Palin Pick

Like anyone else, I was shocked that McCain went with a dark horse. Like anyone else, I have been scrambling for information on Gov. Palin and her history on the planet. And like anyone else that tries to objectively analyze the campaign from a strategic/tactical standpoint, I have come up with an initial thought or two. Here is my initial assessment on the pick:

1. In the short term, Obama's speech was erased from the "talking head" shows and from the world of the private conversation. This was the talk of the town and the dominant news story of the day. In a day when there should have been a conversation about the "emperor's" speech (and the lack of a wardrobe thereof), I guarantee you, even Obama's camp did not get to gloat in it very long. You can bet there were more than one verbal exchange among them.

2. This was a risky move to be sure, but it was not without some merit. Gov. Palin is not a monolithic politician. Like McCain, she is a maverick and guides more by her principles, despite the fact that some of us may disagree with him/her on some of them. There's always a risk when picking someone who is relatively unknown, but the challenge for the McCain camp will now be to get her known and liked. To do this, she must be able to stand her ground, when the vicious stuff from the Democratic dirty tactics battalion heads out on bivouac.

3. Obama's camp wanted Romney badly. Their second choice would have been Tom Ridge. They wanted Romney to use his primary soundbites against McCain, in the same manner the GOP has used the Biden ones (to a great level of effectiveness, too, I might add). We can expect to see more of those, now that this angle has been taken away from Camp Obama. They wanted Tome Ridge to tie McCain to Bush. This strips the Democrats of this weapon, much in the way the cavalry commanders stripped Chuck Connors' "Branded" character of his sword and rank, in the opening credits of that old time show.

4. Palin's pick has not only energized the GOP base, but independents will likely come alive as well. There are lot of people sitting on the fence right now, most of them do not feel a connection to Obama or McCain. The most disenfranchised of them are independent soccer moms, who will (in all likelihood) instantly feel a genuine kinship with this lady.

5 .Some of the other demographics she will appeal to?

-Union members, who are usually conservative on most issues, come to mind almost immediately. These are those that are faith-based, gun rights advocates, and have simple down-to-earth lifestyles. They do not worry about the price of arugula.

- Right-to-lifers apparently love her. She does much to re-attract the evangelicals that were skeptical about McCain.

- Fiscal conservatives will love her. She has been a strong advocate against rampant spending and against high taxes that are sorely needed to support this pillar foundation, of the Democratic philosophy. She even returned money back to the taxpayers of Alaska, when it wasn't needed.

6. This shows that despite the criticism hurled at it by many GOP pundits, McCain's camp is not dead and is taking nothing for granted in this election. When some people would roll over and play dead (like Mondale did in 84 and Bob Dole did in 96) just to recover in one piece, they are pressing onward. Not only this, they are thinking some things through and making some bold decisions to better demonstrate a more cogent vision. He was counted out before the primaries began and he came back, then. Looks like he is staying with his opponent.

7. Another balloon deflated on the Obama side is the experience issue. Camp O dares not to make too big of an issue of the experience factor. Palin has more executive experience than Obama, even though it's not much. Having Palin a hearbeat from the Presidency is preferable to having a novice occupy the Presidency. The fact that McCain's mother is sharp as a tack in her 90s, is a factor which fares well for the senator. Genes are many times, a good predictor of health. With Obama, we know a greenhorn will make the decisions, with McCain we can only deal with hypothetical scenarios.

8. She has an opportunity to help turn a lackluster campaign into a winning ticket. But she has to be up to the job. Many indications have been pointed out that she can and will. But only time will tell, if it will work. It's now up to Camp Mac to develop a coherent policy on everything that Obama doesn't have (which is pretty much everything). Then, they must effectively communicate that policy, complete with specific and stated in terms that common people can understand, and reasonably believe. An energetic voice will help this cause, much like a good effective ad campaign does for a new or improved product.


L'Amerloque said...

Hello LAS !

A masterful summary of the tactical situation as it stands today. Bravo !

Three points, if Amerloque may.


Sarah Palin represents one iteration of the American Dream, far more than Bobobama (the nickname hung by Amerloque on Obama, who has rapidly become the darling of the politically correct Parisian “bobos”, i.e; les bourgeois bohemes.

“Small town girl makes good !”

How much more American can that be ?! (grin)

She was born and bred in the USA, and has had the “classical” American experience, including education. She’s a fighter: as a basketball team captain (i.e., leadership), winning the Alaska schools championship in 1982 by hitting a free throw in the final seconds despite a stress fracture in her ankle … how American is that ! The stuff of every American child’s dream. Even Hollywood couldn’t make that up. (grin)

Palin is bringing up / has brought up five children, one a soldier, and one with Down syndrome. She also has a full-time job. She married a fellow who’s apparently 1/8th Native American, who does his own sledding thing. She’s the governor of the “Last Frontier” state.

More than that, she even dirties her hands on her husband’s fishing vessel. That can be a hard, dangerous job, under certain conditions; a real job. She’s not simply a spouter of smarmy logorrhea designed to pull the wool over credulous voters’ and intellectuals’ eyes.

She’s one winning version of the modern American woman, far more than, for example, the Pelosis and the Boxers and the Feinsteins and the Ferraros. She represents one future.

Most importantly, though, at least in Amerloque’s view is the icing on the (apparent) Sarah Palin cake:

When she was unhappy with things around her, she got up off her a$$ and did something about it.

Amerloque likes very, very much. That’s what America, and American politics, is all about.

Palin has clearly demonstrated that she can be an agent of change.

She has not been a Washington insider, feathering her nest over two or three decades. She has not had the carpet rolled out for her by touchy-feely “affirmative action” promoters (horreur !). She brought herself up by her bootstraps.

She has not been shoehorned into some program(s) as a so-called "community organizer", or fasttracked into a professor's job at America's colleges and universities. She is not the “poster girl” for a divisive movement which has pauperized American intellectual, cultural and political life.


Palin a a woman of principle, and has shown that she is willing to live by her principles. No problem there: she is to be commended.

The big question, of course, is will she allow others live by their principles ? In a healthy democracy, a plurality of principles is necessary. She’s against abortion … for hunting … whatever ...

Will she impose her principles on the commonweal ? Or try to ? (smile) Will she be more like a European politician (some of whom are in private against abortion, say) who doesn’t necessarily attempt to impose personal principles on the commonweal ? She might surprise everyone. (grin)


The other day Amerloque stated:

For the moment there are three candidates (two prez, one veep) and all three are senators.

If McCain chooses a governor or a state rep as running mate, he might have a good selling point, since by definition he’ll not be choosing a Washington Insider, as Obama did.

Too, the current USA is assuredly not Ancient Rome (sigh). The Senate is not the government, with Obama and Biden as future consuls.

Are the McCain people reading LAS’ blog ? (wide grin of self-delusion)


Mustang said...

Excellent analysis, LA ...

Suddenly, I'm interested again.

LASunsett said...

//The big question, of course, is will she allow others live by their principles ? In a healthy democracy, a plurality of principles is necessary. She’s against abortion … for hunting … whatever ...//

I have yet to see one pro-life President reverse Roe v. Wade, no matter how much they disagreed with the decision. They campaign to change it. But when the opportunity is there, it gets put on the back burner for more pressing matters. In Bush's case, the War On Terror was his focus.

//Are the McCain people reading LAS’ blog ? (wide grin of self-delusion)//

Not sure, but you'd be surprised where some of the hits on my sitemeter originate. ;)

LASunsett said...

//Suddenly, I'm interested again.//

Yes, sir. It sure has injected some life into what was fast becoming a tired old song.