Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sarah Palin

McCain's choice of running mate is perplexing.

The first big problem I see is that the big McCain message of experience appears to be completely blown. Apparently the cable talking heads are hitting McCain surrogates very hard on this issue. Ezra Klein:

Watching the McCain flacks in a continual state of meltdown on CNN, it's striking how swiftly their central defense of Palin is backfiring. When the anchors question her experience -- 19 months in the Alaska statehouse, and before that the mayoralty of an 8,000 person town -- they question Obama's experience. Game, set, match? Not really.The problem for the McCain campaign, as Campbell Brown pointed out, is that Barack Obama doesn't think four years in the US Senate and eight in the Chicago statehouse are insufficient. It's the McCain campaign that believes Obama is inexperienced.

The second big problem seems to be that it's simply too much to ask someone, no matter how talented, to go straight from the Alaska governor's mansion into the heat of a presidential campaign, there will be a lot of public misteps. James Fallows at the Atlantic:

Let's assume that Sarah Palin is exactly as smart and disciplined as Barack Obama. But instead of the year and a half of nonstop campaigning he has behind him, and Joe Biden's even longer toughening-up process, she comes into the most intense period of the highest stakes campaign with absolutely zero warmup or preparation. If she has ever addressed an international issue, there's no evidence of it in internet-land.

The smartest person in the world could not prepare quickly enough to know the pitfalls, and to sound confident while doing so, on all the issues she will be forced to address. This is long before she gets to a debate with Biden; it's what the press is going to start out looking for.

Thirdly, I wouldn't be picking someone who was currently undergoing this kind of inquiry.

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