On Palin and Gender

Alaska’s Governor Sarah, Palin has been chosen by Senator John McCain to be his Vice Presidential nominee and running mate in the 2008 US presidential elections. The vast majority of people – certainly almost all of the Left – believe that Gov. Palin was chosen solely because of her gender. The general assumption among the Democrats is that her nomination was nothing beyond a poorly executed pandering to the die-hard Hillary Clinton supporters who feel so abused and maligned by the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign.

I truly wonder if this was the case. This does not mean that I believe the the GOP is beyond such tactics. It merely means that I do not hold them in such contempt that I believe they would execute any campaign strategy that poorly.

It’s absolutely no secret that McCain wanted Sen. Joe Lieberman as his VP. Lieberman was an politically unacceptable choice though. An ex-Democrat now Independent who ran with Al Gore in the 2000 election wasn’t going to be acceptable to the GOP or their conservative base. McCain had to choose another running mate. That’s where it gets interesting.

Palin based on her political views – especially her hatred of government corruption – was always a fine choice for McCain’s VP.  Much of her – albeit limited – political history shows that she was a good match for the “maverick” McCain. Alas, she was a woman and the GOP could not be expected to accept a female VP candidate. Then along came Hillary and the resulting rather bitter schism within the Democrats. Suddenly a female VP candidate was politically viable.

So the question becomes did McCain choose Palin as his running mate because she was a woman or did he choose her for political positions and cultural views despite or irrespective of her being a woman thanks to Clinton making it palatable to the GOP?

The Left will tell you the reason was the former, but I believe it was the latter.  Palin bring far to much to McCain’s campaign from within the Right and so little from the Left that it’s ridiculous to think that the McCain and the GOP would have chosen her in order to pander to Hillary’s supporters.

Related Reading:

Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate
Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years
The Three Languages of Politics: Talking Across the Political Divides
She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World
The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

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10 Responses to “On Palin and Gender”

  1. Ari Collins Says:

    Alright, now I have a new thread in which to argue about Palin!

    The problem with Palin (and McCain for that matter) is that while she might have an IMAGE as an outsider full of mavericky goodness, she’s no different in any meaningful way from the GOP party line. Her supposed hatred of pork barrel spending and earmarks is belied by her unprecedented use of earmarks to obtain federal funds as mayor of Wasilla and governor of Alaska. As to corruption, she wasted no time after coming to power to begin to abuse that power in any number of ways. Once the media stops obsessing over her daughter or how she’s motivated the conservative base, they’ll focus more on her corruption scandals. It’s what the media does – build ’em up so they can take ’em down.

    (As to Lieberman, he’s always been a very conservative Democrat and has shifted to become wholly Republican. He was unacceptable not for being a former Democrat but for his pro-choice stance. If McCain wanted to rally his base, he needed a social conservative to do it. Unfortunately, all the social conservatives in the VP sweepstakes were also unacceptable for one reason or another.)

    Later!
    -Ari
    http://airtheremin.wordpress.com

  2. jonolan Says:

    NO argument here whatsoever; most of what you said was a better worded version of my own post’s premise. 😉

    It’s kind of a shame that the Left – as a whole – seems incapable of understanding as you do. Palin was chosen for internal GOP reasons, not because her gender would bring in the Clinton supporters. I think though that the Clinton-Obama sexism-racism debacle made her nomination possible.

    It’d be nice if the MSM stopped going after her family. Those are the type of things I was referencing in the other Palin post, along with harping on the fact she used to be a beauty queen and modeled.

  3. Christy Says:

    Palin bring far to much to McCain’s campaign from within the Right and so little from the Left that it’s ridiculous to think that the McCain and the GOP would have chosen her in order to pander to Hillary’s supporters.

    Could not agree more.

  4. Christy Says:

    It’d be nice if the MSM stopped going after her family. Those are the type of things I was referencing in the other Palin post, along with harping on the fact she used to be a beauty queen and modeled.

    Also, if the MSM doesn’t stop harping on her family and other issues outside of her experience and credentials for the job at hand, then the Left is going to be up for a bigger fight than they originally might have had, for the conservative Right will come out in droves. The negative press Palin has been receiving this last week is only going to fire up the conservative Right who usually think the MSM provides undue and unbalanced press coverage. The MSM is just playing into their hands.

    Also, I agree that Palin isn’t going to draw in many Clinton supporters but she will shore up the Republican base in a manner that McCain needed. Prior to Palin coming onto the scene as the VP candidate, I had never seen such lackluster support for the Republican party presidential candidate in my albeit limited years of following the elections (since the early 1990s) – Palin makes Obama’s alternative for the ultra conservatives in the party easier to swallow.

  5. jonolan Says:

    Yes, if the MSM and the Obama supporters don’t back off it’s just going to hurt their cause in the long run. Palin can’t bring in the Clintonites but the behavior of the Obama supporters and their perceived media shills or proxies can drive those Clintonites either to McCain-Palin or at least away from the polls completely in November.

  6. Charlotte Cushman Says:

    I completely agree with your take on this. I don’t think that in any way left-leaning people will be attracted to Palin. The people who are attracted the most to her are the conservative base.

  7. splitid Says:

    All true. The only thing Clinton and Palin have in common is gender. (Even MSNBC is coming around to the real reason for her arrival). Among other things, Palin is gonna bring that evangelical group back into the hands of the GOP. While we (Democrats) think conservatives have ruled for the last 8 years, the religious right has been feeling slighted. And did you ever see a pro-life candidate state with whole-hearted fervor that they were pro-life during this time of the political season? No way. Even the most pro-life have waffled for the weeks leading up to 11/4. But Palin is unapologetic in her exceptionally religious and religious-slanted views. I think she is a well executed choice to unify the conservative fold. If I agreed with her, I’d love her. I disagree with everything she says and does, so I’m hoping we are able to keep her so far from the White House, she has to look at it in postcards.

  8. jonolan Says:

    The strange part for me is that I don’t agree with her on a lot of issues, but am still hoping her and McCain win the White House. I guess I agree with enough of what McCain and Palin want that Palin’s overall gutsy integrity tips me over into being staunchly in their camp.

    Of course there’s also the fact that I’m utterly against a lot of what Obama wants to do to fix the problems in the US.

  9. Chamay0 Says:

    You feel what you feel because you are an idiot sitting around hoping against hope that those two pathological liars will mean one word they are uttering.

  10. jonolan Says:

    I expect them to keep exactly the same percentages of their campaign promises that I would expect Obama to keep – i.e. not much above 0%.

    The difference is that McCain has some substance and history, whereas Obama has a smooth voice and very little else that can be measured. The difference is that Palin has proven she has the character to live up to her ideals and follow her convictions, whereas Biden is a Senatorial lifer who will say and do whatever is necessary to continue being an elected official.

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