The Republicans’ Desperate Measures

| 8/29/2008 11:34:04 AM

Sarah PalinHere’s what the Republicans have mustered this week: A DNC counteroffensive that mocked the Democrats' stage and blather about how 80,000-plus people showing up for a political speech is somehow a bad thing. And now there’s this: A seemingly last-minute, hail-mary VP pick driven by the now-stale strategy of luring disgruntled Hillary supporters.

Word broke this morning that Sarah Palin is McCain’s pick. The first-term Alaska governor is so unknown on the national stage that CNN’s breaking coverage of the nod was basically a rewrite of the governor’s web bio.

She’s got ethics reform on her short resume (and an ethics investigation) and some green credentials. But most importantly and most obviously she is a woman. Why else would McCain throw his experience mantra under the bus? To paraphrase Josh Marshall, If you’re a 72-year-old cancer survivor running for president you better pick someone who’s ready to step up, especially if your entire campaign is based on your EXPERIENCE.

Here in Minnesota, we’re all buzzing about what doomed Governor Tim Pawlenty’s chances. (Our office pool was a boring failure, since everyone picked Pawlenty.) He was the frontrunner in chatter yesterday, had canceled his week’s schedule, and then suddenly broke the Republicans’ tightly controlled message management and—not sounding too happy about things—told a local radio station that it was a “fair assumption” that he wasn’t going to be the veep. That leaves the impression of a last-minute decision, one forced by the unexpected strength of Obama’s performance last night.

While Democrats—egged on by Republican teasing—stewed in doubts about Obama not hitting back hard enough, or Obama leaving himself open for sucker punches by going on vacation, or their ranks not being unified, the Obama team clearly had a plan. They let McCain’s people play in the mud for the whole of August. And in one fell swoop of a speech, dispatched with each and every tactic in the Pubs’ playbook. The speech was smart, and, given the Republican response to it last night, it was clearly unexpected.

Now, it’s not even September, and the McCain team has been forced to chisel away at their best card—the experience card. It’s time Democrats—particularly the pundits out chattering to the media—stop letting Republicans get their goat and leave the self-doubt thing behind.

Jessie Fetterling
9/3/2008 1:20:19 PM

I am completely disappointed in McCain's decision for VP. As a woman, it's insulting that McCain thinks that just because Palin is a woman, all of Hillary's supporters will just automatically change their opinions and vote for the Republican Party. Just because he gave up his beliefs by nominating her, doesn't mean the rest of us will.

Gary Ashcraft
9/2/2008 4:24:08 PM

This was not a "Hail Mary" by any measure. I called this shot about six weeks ago. The sad thing is Obama's bankrupt pick of a traditional insider like Biden. John McCain has always had my respect as a Viet Nam Vet like myself, especially for the courage he displayed both then and now. I thought for the longest time McCain was going to be the GOP's throw down gun in a almost certain loosing year, however this plucky old fart's got more game in himself than men half his age. He keeps the faith as a maverick and his chioce of Palin shows that he's not going to have any back office rump legislature trying to manipulate him or his administration into upholding 25 years of old failed policies that will be the Albatross around either winners neck. Obama's selection of Biden is a clear bending down to kiss the ring and genuflection to the Beltway Mob so his administartion won't have to battle the way Jimmy Carters did ( in other words he's sold out ). McCain on the other hand seems to clearly signaling this will not be the case for his administration. Gary Ashcraft

8/30/2008 10:18:14 PM

Are you kidding me? Are republican voters so clueless that they think only in terms of how much they pay in taxes. I bet if their trash wasn't picked up in a month or if they had to drive on unimproved surfaces then they'll stop complaining about paying taxes. Mccain's "gambling" problem would prove dangerous for the American people if this man is elected. Surely, with so much at stake he can't think this woman is the "best" in the repugni-cans have to offer.

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