Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sarah Palin

Having spent too much time on vacation last week watching the Democrats and then blogging about their convention, I stayed away for several days before deciding to add my long-awaited two cents on Sarah Palin.

Good thing. My first reaction would have been the expected: Sarah who? Governor of what state? Mayor of a community about the size of a couple of towns in Ulster County? Only a heartbeat away? Why would John McCain pick her?

But with the benefit of some reflection, I've come around to this: Selecting Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, was a masterstroke for McCain.

From talking to my conservative friends -- yes, I have some -- it's easy to see how wildly excited they are with McCain's choice. Put in political terms, Sarah Palin has energized the base of the Republican Party, some of whom had threatened to sit out this election, rather than vote for McCain. Now they're on board.

And, yes, Sarah Palin, first female GOP candidate for vice president, may sway some women voters McCain's way - not the hard-core Hillary Clinton crowd, which can't be supportive of Palin's social stances - but those who liked McCain enough to consider him instead of Barack Obama. For them, this could be a deal-maker.

Now, understand, I don't happen to agree with Sarah Palin on social issues, either. And I'm certainly not comfortable with the prospect of her becoming president if something happens to an aging John McCain.

But, unlike my initial reaction when the news broke, I can see the method to McCain's madness.

That counts for something, yes?

By the way, critics of Palin's media coverage ought to take a take breath.

If it seems like press, broadcaster and blog snoopsters are all over Palin, it's because they are. And rightly so. But if it strikes you as overkill, it's because they're doing their snooping within a tight window. Obama already has been - to use the operative word - vetted by the media for several years. With the unknown Palin, it's been an overnight onslaught to catch up.
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