Lots of commentary out there. Obviously our rightwing friends are very happy as Palin appears to be a certified wingnut: Columbuser, WMD (yikes! another horrid new design), Bizzy, Naugle is silent (but sure to be on board soon), Anonymous Wingnut Blogger Taxman (thinks she’s MORE experienced than either of the Dems – hah!), Thurber seems to like it and uses the “executive” argument, AOL Nixguy Dave Staley thinks it’s “brilliant” (while being underwhelmed by the Obama speech – hehe), and Ben Keeler likes it (thought I think he just lost a bet).
Reaction from the left:
Plunderbund – Joe says this takes experience right off the table
Glass City Jungle – Claims to not even be a “progressive blog” though BNN thinks so. No clue on Lisa Renee’s stance here. She seems to like Palin in a way and is trying to be neutral in another. She will only tell us she “votes her conscience”. Good to know, but far from taking a stance.
Jill at WLST – McCain camp making HUGE miscalculation.
Tim at BloggerInterrupted – thinks it’s insulting to women for McCain to have picked such a polar opposite to Hillary.
Is probably traveling. No comment yet. Yup, traveling. Nick now asks “Sarah who?”
Dave at ProgressOhio – not impressed.
De Magno Opere – Brilliant…for a day or two.
Ohio Daily Blog – Canvasses righty blogs and finds plenty of negative reactions
The Chief Source’s Robert – Calls Palin a “Trophy Candidate”
Here’s what I think and also what I think needs to happen on our side to make this a pretty clear cut election this time around:
First, and most obviously, the experience argument has now effectively been flipped by the McCain camp. By picking a candidate with arguably LESS experience in leadership than Obama (despite the type), the Republicans cannot make this claim about the Democratic Candidate. The Obama campaign, however, CAN make this claim about the VP spot since their man Biden is clearly more experienced and able to step in as Commander in Chief.
Second, I agree with Jill here that this is a pandering decision that will backfire. This is not a governance calculation, it is completely political. 100%. I think the Biden pick is somewhat political, but also has governance angles. McCain and company did look to shake things up and go outside the box. While it will motivate some hard core wingnuts and will get some news initially, the overall affect of weakening the ticket will become glaring in the weeks ahead. My prediction is that once Palin is out of the honeymoon period, she will become a gaffe machine once the pressure cooker heats up. You only need look at Biden’s recent speeches and Obama’s last night to understand that heat is coming.
Third, I think this is a good thing when it comes to Hillary. One of my biggest worries is that she would make an acceptable speech, hop in a private jet to New York and never be heard from again. This pick almost certainly guarantees that won’t happen. For her to sit on her hands in hopes of a 2012 run while she allows a woman as opposed to her core beliefs as Palin is allowed to help McCain capture the White House will be simply too obvious and unpalatable. Hillary’s silence from now until November would be deafening and could cost her future political aspirations and harm the overall Clinton legacy among Democrats.
There are other specific problems with Palin and the entirety of them makes clear how desperate the Republicans are this year to try and do anything to compete. In a way, this pick enhances my argument that modern day conservatism is dead. If this is all the deeper their bench is, they are surely in a steep decline.
So here is what I think needs to happen:
1. Obama needs to follow up one of the best political speeches I’ve seen in my lifetime (wingnuts talking it down are blinded by partisanship) with continued attacks on the Bush/McCain era and follow up on his themes of why the parties are starkly different and make the case for change.
2. Biden needs to hammer McCain with everything he has. Bring full guns a blazin’. He’s good at it and it’s one of the central reasons for picking him. Watching all the other contender’s speeches contrasted with his makes this abundantly clear.
3. Hillary needs to be very visible and hammer away at Palin like there’s no tomorrow.
These three things happen and the 8 point convention bump widens to something insurmountable come election day. The other thing that needs to happen is those of us who are on the side of Obama/Biden need to get to work. Host a house party. Talk to neighbors. Canvas. Phone bank. Donate. Do whatever you can to ensure success on November 4th. Change doesn’t happen through wishful thinking, but through willful action.