McCain’s VP Pick

Sen. John McCain really needs to step up and announce his choice for Vice President and running mate. Politically speaking this is the absolutely best time to make the announcement, directly in the middle of the Democratic national Convention.

At least as important as when McCain should announce his running mate is who he should announce as being that person. The odds on bet seems to be Sen. Joe Lieberman (CN), but he seems a poor choice.

Personally I think McCain should choose Gov. Sarah Palin (AK) as is Vice President. From a purely political standpoint she could draw off more of the Clinton supporters and other women than any male candidate could.

That’s far from the whole of her appeal though. Gov. Palin would bring a lot to the campaign and to McCain’s Presidency:

  • She must know how to fight a campaign. She’s Alaska’s first female Governor and its youngest Governor.  She was elected by first defeating the incumbent Republican governor in the Republican primary, then a former Democratic Alaskan Governor in the general election.
  • Palin would reinforce McCain’s stance against earmarks and pork-barrel spending. During her tenure as Governor she managed a successful push for an ethics bill, crippling pork-barrel projects supported by fellow Republicans.
  • She is strongly pro-life and belongs to Feminists for Life of America, the largest and most visible pro-life feminist organization in America. Palin and Feminists for Life of America believe in “systematically eliminating the root causes that drive women to abortion — primarily lack of practical resources and support — through holistic, woman-centered solutions.” Gov. Palin recently gave birth to her fifth child — who she knew would have Down syndrome.
  • Palin opposes same-sex marriage but used her very first veto as Governor of Alaska on legislation that would have barred the state from granting benefits to gay state employees and their partners. In effect, her veto granted State of Alaska benefits to same-sex couples.
  • She is a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment and a life time member of the National Rifle Association.
  • Palin seems to have a balanced approached to US energy policy. She believes in increasing domestic oil and natural gas drilling, but in April 2007, she announced plans to create a new sub-cabinet, to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions within Alaska. In 2003, as Ethics Commissioner on the state’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, she risked her political career by resigning her position in protest of ethical misconduct within the state’s Republican leadership as well as then-Gov. Frank Murkowski’s acceptance of that corruption.
  • She has gone into the war zone! In July, Palin went to Kuwait where she visited the Alaska Army National Guard’s 3rd Battalion, 297th Infantry, a unit that is made up of about 575 Alaska men and women.  Her eldest child and only son, Track Palin recently enlisted in the US Army and is expecting to be deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan.

Let’s face the truth. Sen. McCain is a crochety old man. Sarah Palin is young, beautiful, and reported to be both sharp and charming – a wonderfully dangerous combination. She holds similar views to McCain on a variety of issues, but approaches them in a more holistic manner except when swift authoritarian action is absolutely required. Can anyone think of a better choice for VP?

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19 Responses to “McCain’s VP Pick”

  1. jonolan Says:


    Both CNN and FOXNews claim that senior members of McCain’s campaign staff have confirmed that McCain has chosen Gov. Sarah Palin (AK) as his Vice Presidential candidate and running mate.

    Let the games begins!

  2. They Say « Prudence Ponder Says:

    […] and she has the highest approval rating of all the US governors. Nice. [Jonolan also has an informative post about Palin that makes me feel much better about her as […]

  3. Prudie Says:

    Good post. It makes me feel so much better about voting for McCain this November.

    Good timing, too!

  4. DMD Says:

    Good call on Palin. I’m liking this pick.

  5. in2thefray Says:

    Some of the requirements for being VP are…Balance the ticket (she doesn’t in fact she takes away from McCain the experience argument so useful against BO) Deliver Electoral Points (Alaska ???) Deliver votes ( she isn’t going to attract votes that weren’t there already.Soccer moms on security will hate her for NRA and the abortion angle will get clubbed like a baby seal to the point that she will be seen as out of step with women not pro active like the org you link) Policy/issue figurehead (she could be one on oil…is that really a policy we want to debate ?) Be an up and comer (She would clearly and rightly be called a rising star in the GOP but she was not the logical progression for the parties #1 spot and standing behind a 72 yo cancer “survivor” is not the right place for her)

  6. jonolan Says:

    Balance the ticket: Palin adds a socially conservative position that balances McCain’s less than purely conservative stance. She also provides a less bellicose methodology for dealing with the issues.

    Deliver Electoral Points: I think she’ll bring in – or at least help with – the western states like Wyoming, the Dakotas, Montana and such, so it’ll be – IMHO – more than just Alaska.

    Deliver Votes: She’s already delivering support. By choosing Palin McCain has already revitalized the Republican base. That’s important because in a straight base vs. base contest the Republicans win more often than not.

    Her effect on soccer moms will be mixed for the reasons you stated though and the feminists are still not going to vote for McCain.

  7. Aafke Says:

    You are so clever!
    This is really scary, this will make a difference for mcCains support.
    He’s clever too…
    I hope it’s not enough.

  8. jonolan Says:

    I don’t know how clever I am, Aafke. Palin seemed the obvious choice as VP given the political theater currently dominant in America and her political and societal outlook perfectly meshes with- and bolsters McCain’s previous maverick image.

  9. Dr. Ethiopia Says:

    It is hard to believe that people would elect their running mates based on anything but their principles. And these are the epeople we eventually choose to run the free world. Fascinating. Almost a cisrcus-like.

    Shaping one’s belief, principle and having it shpherded by opinion polls is just brilliant. Brilliantly stupid, that is.

  10. jonolan Says:

    Welcome to democracy, Doc. That’s the way it works. It’s a lousy political system that allows the unwashed and unread masses to decide the fate of nations, but it seems better in the long run than any of the systems of government mankind has tried.

  11. Ari Collins Says:

    Hey Jon, saw your post on The Pirate Librarian’s site. Interesting blog you’ve got here.

    Gotta say that so far, Palin is not working out that well for McCain from a campaign perspective. Her unprecedented lack of major political experience has come under constant attack. And I remain unconvinced she’ll bring any extra voters in – women, for example, overall do not like her, no doubt in part due to her pro-life standpoint, opposing abortion even in cases of rape and incest.

    As a side note, her anti-earmark stance is a complete myth. She was well-known (and popular) for bringing in tons of federal dollars to Alaska (and particularly ger small town of Wasilla) specifically through earmarks.


  12. jonolan Says:

    Actually McCain’s campaign got a sudden and huge ($10 million) influx of donation in just the few days since Palin’s nomination. She has also revitalized and galvanized the Republican base which will increase voter turnout.

    Will she bring in any of the independents or the Hillary supporters? That’s still an unknown and I think it will depend a lot on how the Dems attack her. If they keep up with family slurs and the perceived-to-be sexist attacks, then expect Palin to draw in extra votes.

  13. Ari Collins Says:

    Hey Jon,

    I don’t want to get into a political argument with a random person on the internet (wait, what else is the internet for again?)… but I will a little anyway. I disclaim first that I’m as clearly partisan here as you are.

    For the record, the Obama campaign has also received $10 million in donations… just in the 24 hours since she gave her speech. She’s rallied BOTH bases. The issues McCain has are that A) Obama has a larger base than him, as there are just plain more Democrats than Republicans right now, and B) independents (so far) prefer Obama.

    And it’s not sexist to find fault with someone’s credentials or positions. That’s the same fallacy that Clinton fell victim to, and it’s why Obama has NEVER talked about race. Once you say, “Hey, you’re only attacking me because I’m ____!”, you’re making yourself look a lot worse than any attack could. If an attack is truly bigoted, it doesn’t need to be pointed out as such.

    Also, what family slurs are those?


  14. jonolan Says:


    Don’t worry about it. I hardly consider discussing the political merits of a candidate, campaign strategy, or political advertisement to be arguing politics. After all it’s really comparable to any other technical discussion.

    While it’s true that Obama has also received an increased influx of donations since the Palin nomination, it’s not comparable to the increase in McCain’s funding. For McCain this is big jump in funding, whereas for Obama it’s just a slight bump. This essentially puts McCain back in the race financially. Considering that he’s been doing quite well without funding comparable to Obama’s this is significant.

    Actually, Obama has “talked” about race using coded language (I’m borrowing the phrase from the opposition) and not-so-subtle allusions throughout his campaign. A lot of his followers have jumped on those statements and tried their best (worst?) to make this election about race. It was to be expected though; I don’t know how we could have avoided it in this election and I believe it’s a painful but necessary process for the nation.

    As for family slurs, most of the MSM coverage of Palin and most of the rhetoric coming out of the Obama camp – though NOT out of either Obama – has been little more than attacks of Palin’s family or prurient commentary on her former beauty queen and model roles.

    That’s the type of behavior that stands a decent chance of swinging some of the Clinton supporters either into McCain’s camp or into sitting this election out. It’s not Obama doing it, but it’s happening and he’s the ne who’s going to pay the price for it.

    Later – and thanks for stopping by!

  15. Ari Collins Says:

    Hey again,

    Maybe I’m too partisan to notice the other side (and maybe you are too), but all of the coded language I’ve seen has been on the Republican side. Obama is “elitist”. He uses a terrorist fist bump. He’s “uppity”. He’s dangerous, foreign. A muslim (an attack which is not only not true but shouldn’t be the basis for an attack even if it was). He’s even been called the Antichrist.

    I’d also like to see a quote from the Obama camp that is a family slur. I’ve mostly seen Republicans use this tactic (again, I might not notice it going the other way – enlighten me). Limbaugh once called Chelsea Clinton the family dog, and McCain famously jokes that Chelsea was so ugly because her parents were Hillary Clinton and Janet Reno.

    And the Obama campaign’s answer to the beloved Sarah Palin’s speech two nights ago, which mostly consisted of bashing Obama, was simply along the lines of, “I heard a lot about me, but not a lot about you, the middle class, or the things you care about on an everyday basis.”

    One side is taking the high road here, the other is USING gender, while pretending the other side is. Maybe we just have a different idea of which party is which…

  16. jonolan Says:

    What’s coded about ‘elitist?” and “uppity” has only been used very lately and only by one GOP politician, U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland. The normal term has been “arrogant” but Obama’s supporters decided that “arrogant” meant “uppity” in order to play on the race issue. I’ll give you – sadly – the fist bump bullshit.

  17. Shirley Buxton Says:

    Enjoy your blog!

    Perhaps the prime criteria for any presidential candidate’s choice for running mate is: this person is most likely to help me be elected.

    If the presidential candidate is convinced of the integrity of his own views, a selection in this manner perhaps should not be faulted. For if that person helps him be elected, he can most ably be true to his own philosophy.

  18. jonolan Says:

    Welcome to the pond, Shirley.

    You’re take on the criteria for a VP is different from the normal political logic. Normally the prime criteria is considered to be “Do No Harm” and the secondary criteria is “Bring Electoral Votes.”

    I like your view better 😉

  19. Blues' House Divided? | Reflections From a Murky Pond Says:

    […] it for what it’s worth and no more, but also no less. I did break / predict Sen. McCain’s “choosing” Governor Sara Palin as his VP candidate and running mate a full week before the official announcement after […]

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