Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Palin Disaster

My friends, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska has turned out to be quite the disaster.

There are so many reasons why after a couple month acting as the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin has failed. First off let me say that she did a great job energizing the Republican base. I'm talking about those die-hard Republican voters who were a little apprehensive of Senator McCain's maverick attitude and record. She brought those Republicans into the fold and gave them a person to cheer on as well as well as acting as a symbol of John McCain's efforts to reach out to evangelical and far-right Republicans. She was needed to rally the (relatively new) base of the Republican Party and liven up the Convention. Then...

What happened after that?

Negativity - Sarah Palin came out swinging at the Convention... although I didn't appreciate some of her more unfair attacks, I understand that is a part of her job as a Vice-Presidential candidate. Remember, I just said "part" of her job, not ALL of it. Since the RNC she has not stopped and the attacks are getting a wider scope. Wat started with attacking Obama has widened to include Biden, the Democrats, people who vote Democratic, and finally all people who live in states that vote Democratic. I can understand the first two but attacking voters who don't live in "Real America" (the part of America that votes "R") is just plain ridiculous. McCain ought to smack her upside the head and remind her that he needs Democrats and Independents to vote for him if he wants to beat Obama. Remember, in most large campaigns the key is Independents.

Lack of Experience - Gov. Palin's lack of experience and knowledge robbed the McCain camp from their most honest and sincere attack of Barack Obama, his lack of experience. Obama has had a few years in the Illinois State Senate and four more in the US Senate, not a whole lot when lined up side by side to the Senior Senator of Arizona. Obama has never been a Committee chairman or had a leadership role within the Senate unlike Sen. McCain. I know, I know.. some say this argument is weak because of other factors that can make up for experience.. but the attack is a honest and clean one. When Gov. Palin arrived at the scene this argument disappeared. I know one of the talking points often used by Palin fanatics is that she has more "executive experience" but let's face it small town mayor, PTA member, an undergrad degree (barely) from 5 different colleges/universities/community colleges, and then two years as Governor do not stack up nicely against Law School, State Legislature and US Senate experience. Remember folks, quality not quantity. Her lack of experience and knowledge of federal government and its inner workings in certainly something that could be remedied with a few months on the job but the same could be said of Sen. Obama and that takes away all the experience attacks that we heard between the end of the Democratic nomination and the pick of Palin.

Scandal/Ethics - Adding someone as your running mate whose name is already embroiled in a scandal involving family and government firing in her home state by well-respected members of the state is risky. Same goes for someone is known for clearly rewarding friends with government positions is also risky. Doing both is well... plain stupid. The Palin disaster really begins with her actions in Alaska, which although seems far away, from the "lower 48" as they call us, is still going to get into the news. Sen. McCain's image is that of a reformer who wants to change Washington and sweep out dirty deals and dirtier politicians not pick one who has used millions in earmarks, fires state troopers at will, and hires cronies. He bruised his own image and once again opened up an attack route that the Obama campaign could use on him without fear of much of a counter-attack.

Not Press Friendly - When a candidate is ahead in the polls they suddenly make like a clam and shut up when it comes to the press - no need to give the press material to snipe you with. When you are behind you talk, talk, talk until the press give you free coverage and buddy up to you.

Celebrity - Sarah Palin came up too quick. Usually the position of Vice President means that after the President serves his/her four or eight years, the Vice President can run with all of their new found experience and support. That's why an experienced Presidential nominee would pick a less known person to be their running mate, to bolster their own weaknesses and sort of give future direction to their own party. By the selection of John McCain of Palin he has for all intents and purposes rocketed Sarah Palin to rock star status amongst Republicans and that's not good. Sarah Palin is a rural white who governs a rural mostly white state in its own region, that doesn't play well with the majority of the electorate. Come 2012 if McCain doesn't win or 2016 if he does, the Republican nomination is almost certainly going to include Sarah Palin's name and with her popularity already she may just win... which means that unless a miracle occurs or the demographics of the US suddenly and rapidly go to the rural areas (and non-whites disappear), Republicans will lose again. She is now a political celebrity, and why? What has she done to deserve Republican recognition? When did she do something impressive or gutsy that earned her major political cred? Why should I listen to her? She is a Governor. I would even venture to say a pretty good one for Alaska (outside of the ethics scandal). That shouldn't make her a star in a political party, that makes her semi-important but not a star

Conclusion - In conclusion, I wasn't a big fan of Palin, then I got to know her and I have decided that I both like her a lot less and that she is losing this election for John McCain, a man I respect very much.


Chandira said...

Great post. Yes.

I'm a definite Democrat, and we didn't like the Palin diss. We're people too, patriotic people, Real Americans also.

Palin also hasn't done a good job at all with all the potential Democratic Hillary swing voters. Most of the women I know are terrified of what it would mean to have Palin as vp. She has undermined women's rights, and set things back about 40 years! That has done Republicans no favours at all. She lost a lot of Hillary voters.

I think we're all sick of the negativity, no matter who we're voting for.

Jenn of the Jungle said...

Negativity? It's bad to point out the flaws of one's opponent? I mean if the MSMS wouldn't do it someone had to.

Celebrity? Come on Obama has people fainting when he farts. He's got 98% of Hollyweird on his payroll.

Scandal? Ethics? The report in fact DID clear her of any wrong doing or ethical failure.

Lack of experience? She has business experience, campaign experience, Mayoral experience. And she's been governor of the 5th largest economy in the US for 2+ years.

Media Accessibility? Other than the firast two weeks whe nthey kept her caged like a tiger, she has been fully accessible.

Now ask Biden and Obama why they haven't spoken to the press since late September.

Could it be they know they'll jam their feet in their mouth like they always do when no teleprompter is around?

David Wornica said...

This was a great post.

I feel that in an attempt to secure the base, McCain lost the Independents he should have been able to court. It is a shame that Palin has been allowed to go "off the reservation". When I say that I mean the things you have mentioned regarding her attacks on everything left of the extreme right.

It is too bad, I would like to have cast a vote for McCain as I did in 2000 in NH and again in 08', but this time I just can't.

Unfortunately at this point, all the right can do is hope they have enough to get across the finish line without ruining their party going forward.

Great post and great comments.

L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

As someone watching the election from far far away (from India) I am amused by the amount of interest Palin has generated. In our country the president is no where as powerful as the American president (we have a prime minister lead system), but recently got our first woman president - Pratibha Patil.

Our politicians chose her for the wrong reasons, because she was a woman. Again I think McCain picked Palin just because she was a woman, and not such a smart one.

Given McCain's ulterior motive in picking her, it serves him right that Palin has a mind of her own and has enough influence to turn voters away! But that said I am also amazed that she came from nowhere and managed to steal the spotlight. Even though I do not give her too much credit for innovative thought, I believe she will be around for a while in American politics. said...

That's not the way I see Governor Palin, but to each his own, I suppose.

Ageless said...

Sen. Mc Cain has my utmost respect. He should've picked Lieberman as his running mate, then maybe he would've fared better. Palin is the wrong choice. He blew it. Sad.