My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


On The Palin Pick 

First of all, hats off to the McCain team for the professionalism and secrecy with which they pulled this off. It' s not easy flying someone from Alaska to Ohio without anybody noticing, and I think the McCain team pulled it off very well. Also a very nice job "looking off the safety"--I went to bed last night feeling pretty certain that the pick would actually be Tim Pawlenty.

Secondly, McCain again shows how astute his political campaign instincts have become. I watched about a half hour of news this afternoon, and I didn't see even one second of Barack Obama's speech. Within 12 hours, John McCain made Obama's delivery of his speech, and all the stagecraft, completely irrelevant! Now they have almost a full week to start picking apart the specifics and making soundbites over all the promises Obama's made.

Third, this does send a signal to me that McCain is not overconfident of his chances in November. A safer pick, as I speculated last night, would have told me they liked their chances; this pick tells me they think they're in a knife fight.

So they bring in a person who looks comfortable with a gun. THAT'S the Chicago way.

I shared with my brother my first impression this morning: this is either an act of desparation, or this is a clear signal that the narrative John McCain wants to run is "Clean up Washington." At first, it might seem that this moon shot of a selection was just swinging for the fences on the first pitch. But Sarah Palin's reputation for reform and for fighting corruption and ending corrupt systems of government makes me think that he brought her in--as presumptive President of the Senate--to force some legislative reforms that have stalled out in the "good ol' boys club."

It also steals the narrative from Obama: how do plan to change Washington when the first major decision you make is to bring in somebody who's been in Washington longer than McCain? The only way to do that is bring in somebody from outside the beltway. In this case, one-third of the world away outside the beltway.

And the political Jiu-Jitsu was brilliant!! You had to know the first attack would be on her experience. But I'll take two years' experience as a Governor over your 143 days as a Senator, Mr. Obama. For that matter, I'll take her one trade agreement with Canada over your one Congressional Delegation on foreign policy experience, Senator. For that matter, I'll take her actual record of acheivements in regard to cleaning up government over your rhetoric with no legislation to show for it, Senator.

C'mon, even distracted today I knew that there was a pretty nice piece of Jiu-Jitsu going on here. And yet, THE OBAMA CAMP FELL FOR THE BAIT ALMOST IMMEDIATELY!! They were up a little too late last night picking their West Wing offices, I guess.

She is young, as is Obama; she is articulate, as is Obama; we don't know how she delivers a speech--today's seemed a little flat, while Obama is briliant; we don't know how she debates, but I like that her nickname is "Sarah Barracuda;" she has all the same attractive qualities of Obama, plus a little bit of experience. AND she has the Hillary-like advantage in a debate over Joe Biden--he just can't fall back on "attack dog" mode.

I think the pick is BRILLIANT--it's exciting, it's unexpected, and it's WAY out of the box. If Team McCain was swinging for the fences, this one left the bat with a crisp <crack> and a lot of speed.

Let's see how it survives the gale of the "professional journalists'" scrutiny.

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