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-- what they're saying on Republican blogs

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Republican's Bottom-Heavy Ticket


What with all the hoopla around the roll-out of Sara Palin for VP, it's hard to imagine that this could be bad news for John McCain.

Yet, as luck would have it, it is.

The pick of Palin not only showed those of us watching that John McCain is a bad decision maker on several fronts, but brings things into focus about John McCain and the Republican party that are unintended consequences of such a risky pick:

Sarah Palin Enthusiasm
It's clear that the right-wing Republican movement is ecstatic over Palin as VP. They are throwing money at the campaign hand-over-fist to show their pleasure in seeing "one of them" on the national ticket. Unfortunately, all this recent enthusiasm begs the question: why wasn't John McCain worthy of this money and adulation beforehand? It's clear that something is wrong with McCain as their candidate, because only the addition of Sarah Palin has "excited" the base and has Republicans "emptying their pockets" to support the ticket. If the base is only excited by the VP side of the ticket, what does that say for the P side of the ticket?

Sarah Palin Galvanization
There's no doubt that Sarah Palin has galvanized the Republican base. This creates two specific problems for John McCain: What is it about the top of the ticket that was not galvanizing his base, and, more importantly, Palin has galvanized the Democratic base. Sarah Palin is doing to Democrats what Hillary Clinton promised to do to the Republican Base if she would have won the nomination. The $10 million dollars Obama raised the day after Palin's speech speaks volumes to this unintended blow back.

Sarah Palin Experience
The Republicans have been trumpeting how Sarah Palin's executive experience in governing the "largest state in the union" (yes, they actually say that) eclipses that of Obama's and Biden's. Republicans are even saying that Palin fills in gaps in John McCain's resume. So, if we are to follow the Republicans' own logic, Sarah Palin has more relevant experience to the presidency than John McCain.

Sarah Palin is the Fresh Future of the Republican Party
Conservative insiders such as Rick Davis have already dubbed Sarah Palin "the future of the party." If Sarah Palin is the future, then, unfortunately, John McCain is the past. And I mean that in the most gracious way. John McCain has the heart and soul of a politician that precedes today's political atmosphere, today's challenges, and today's complexities. It's not his fault -- he's 72. I don't begrudge the guy for his age, but the point here is that Sarah Palin's youthful, spunky essence and energy quite unfortunately makes John McCain seem even older than he did before picking Palin.

In only 48 hours, the media frenzy spurred by John McCain's surprising pick of Sarah Palin has quickly transformed from "how exciting and energizing" to "Palin's bright light shows us how dim their chances really are."

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