The pick of Palin

Since nothing in politics gets done without substantial internal polling, we must assume — especially given his add strategy — that Sen. John McCain is intent on wooing dissatisfied supporters of Hillary Clinton. Was the support for Clinton that soft?

Here are a couple of poll questions. Feel free to discuss the pick in the comments section:

Update 1:05 p.m. This spans two different News Cut threads, so I’ll post it here, but it also relates to the “Jesus Factor” post. I’m sitting at the Denver airport gate area, listening to delegates from who knows where talking about the pick of Palin.

“Oh, like she’s going to get any Democratic women being pro-life,” a woman just said.

So which is it? Is the Democratic Party the big tent for competing views as yesterday’s Faith Caucus meeting tried to suggest? Or do you have to be “pro-choice” to be a woman in the Democratic Party?

  • Stephanie

    Shocking choice. I’d be surprised if she can really mobilize the conservative base, she’s not going to get the Hillary woman’s vote (if fact she probably just slammed the door on any of those swing woman).

  • brian

    I think McCain might have been able to pull more of the dissatisfied Hillary supporters by himself. I doubt many of them supported her JUST because she is a woman. They would have to aggree with her politics as well. I don’t think adding someone perceived as more conservative to the ticket will help him win any more Hillary supporters than he would have gotten anyway.

    I do think Gov. Palin is a much better choice than some of the others that were being tossed around. I think Mit Romney would have been a disaster. Picking him would have severely weakened his “maverick” credibility.

  • MR

    When I told a coworker about that choice, the second thing he said was “Geraldine Ferraro was seen as a desperation pick too.” Obviously McCain isn’t in the same situation as Mondale, but it’s a bad sign when the first reaction to being told is “Who’s that?” and the second is to compare her to the pick of Geraldine Ferraro.

  • bsimon

    Its hard to see the move as anything more than a desperate plea for more female support. Gov Palin will be touted as a good-government reformer, which appears to be a well-deserved reputation. What she does not do is add any economic gravitas to the ticket. That seems like an enormous weakness in the McCain campaign.

  • Joel


    Why do you believe Palin “probably just slammed the door on any of those swing woman”?

    I think it was a deft move by McCain, if indeed the Clinton supporters are as “soft” as Bob asked. But let’s also remember that many reports came out during the primary about how many republicans came out for Clinton in an effort to get her nominated over Obama (on the belief that she would be easier to beat). So maybe these “soft” supporters are really just wolves in sheeps’ clothing.

  • GAHC

    This choice seems like an after thought, and a transparent attempt to attract women voters. Not to disparage from Palin’s record, but the choice of her as a VP smells so much of “Trophy Wife” mentally. How dumb does McCain think we women are?

  • Nicole Masika

    Since there were no truly good choices for McCain, he went with one that would make a news splash. I think she’ll only help him for a day or two,and then when people find out who she is, they’ll really question his judgment

  • JohnnyZoom

    I would have to agree with the idea of pulling off Hillary supporters, although have little feel for how successful or not it may be. My other MacSpeculation is “Here is someone the conservatives won’t rip me for, and the liberals don’t have preorganized dirt to throw at.” Of course, time may change both of those things 🙂

  • bigalmn

    The best news about this is at least we won’t have Molnau for Governor.

  • garf

    Is there some “secret weapon” here or is this one more example of McCain’s faulty judgment? Does this woman have the rhetorical flair of Obama? Will she blow Joe Biden out of the water in a debate? Is McCain thinking the female vote will flock to him now? We will see but it looks like faulty judgment to me.

  • Alison

    Was is really wise for Palin to refer to Ferarro in her speech? Does anyone really need help drawing the comparison to that losing ticket?

    And bigalmn, amen to not having Molnau at the helm!

  • Joel
  • bsimon

    It is good to see Senator McCain concede the point that people with limited years in government are capable of being effective leaders.

    Perhaps with Gov Palin’s addition the campaign will turn to a discussion of policy rather than personal attacks.

  • Kevin in Minneapolis

    McCain’s choice of Palin confirms my suspicion that McCain’s gone ’round the bend. What (if anything) was he thinking?

    What a stupid decision–not because she’s a woman but because she is not qualified to be a “heartbeat away” from a 72 year old potential president.

    I have voted Republican for many years but I’ve had it. In November I will cast my first vote for a Democratic presidential ticket.

  • daveg

    she is not qualified to be a “heartbeat away” from a 72 year old potential president.

    That’s a risky card to play given that the Democrats’ plan is to put similar inexperience zero heartbeats away.

    I prefer bsimon’s suggestion that we put all of that aside and discuss policy.

    Interestingly, though, once you do that you get some startling inconsistencies in the pairing. If you want to talk about drilling in ANWR, McCain is against it but his VP is for it. I wonder how they will reconcile that.

    The strength of the pair is, of course, fiscal conservatism. It’s gratifying to see the Republicans moving back to that; I hope the Democrats follow.

    When either party says that we can’t drill our way out of our energy problem, I respond by saying nor can we tax/spend our way out of economic downturns.

    But we keep trying to.

  • brian

    ‘”Oh, like she’s going to get any Democratic women being pro-life,” a woman just said.’

    She obviously won’t be getting THAT democtatic woman’s vote.

    I think someone that is pro-life, but has progressive views on other issues, could take some democratic women votes. She doesn’t have progressive views on other issues though.

  • Vivian

    I predict that Palin is the first of many desperate tactics the Republicans will use to keep their grip on the White House. Look out for the next one because they will stop at nothing.

  • Alison

    Bob – You missed a opposing question in your poll. “Are you more likely to NOT vote for McCain as a result of the Palin VP pick?”

  • Heather

    Bob, is it really fair to pose an either/or question about an entire party based on what one person said to somebody else (not you) in an airport? That said, I’m happy to play along with my own broad brush.

    I do know pro-life Democrats. However, I think it’s fair to say that the MAJORITY of Democratic women see family planning and the way women handle their own unplanned pregnancies as their own private business, while the Republicans seem to be actively, all the time, trying to control and restrict the available options. Personally, if any pharmacist ever refuses to fill my birth control prescription as a matter of conscience, I’ll be inclined to punch him/her in the face. There’s no WAY I’d ever vote for a pro-life candidate.

  • Bert

    This is so condescending to women: the notion that any woman will do. Those of us who supported Hillary valued her for her ideas and accomplishments. McCain just doesn’t get that either!

  • Vickie

    I think Sarah Palin was picked to get the right-to-life voters energized and into the voting booth, not to as an appeal to Hillary Clinton supporters.

  • Luna

    I’m one of those “raving mad” democratic older women who would have positively voted for Obama had he eaten “humble pie” and thrown out the “extra helping of hubris” and picked Hillary for the dream ticket many of us were hoping for. Instead, he picked a “Washington insider right out of the good old boy network” who along with Hillary voted for the war. He’s so proudly detached he now thinks he’s going to get my “pro-choice progressive vote”? Ha! He’s arrogantly turned his back on a lot of working class women who’ve taken so much abuse we can’t see straight. I was going to sit this one out…but now I going to vote for the Maverick team just because “I’m so damn mad, I’m not going to take it anymore”. Help! I can’t believe I’m going to vote for the Republican scum.

  • southmplslib


    As a passionate Hillary supporter I can empathize with your frustration. However, voting for the republicans is an insult to her and to everything she’s worked hard for.

    Obama and Hillary want the same things for this country. We should try to put aside our frustration and support the DFL ticket. Certainly putting republicans in office will only dash our hopes for this country and for younger generations of women even further.

  • JSmith

    Luna, to me that kind of thinking makes no sense. It would seem that if what you’re saying is true you only cared about Hilary because she was female. Both her and Obama ran similar campaign platforms; the differences lay in the details. A vote for McCain would lend itself to policies opposing those Clinton and Obama have both worked towards in their campaigns.

    It sounds like your frustration at not ending up with a winning woman candidate has somehow made you blind to the reasons you should have been (and probably were) interested in that candidate in the first place.

    An Obama/Clinton ticket wouldn’t have truly been a dream team. It could too easily have been considered a form of pandering, or caused voter resentment due to her being “second fiddle”. It could also call into question Obama’s authority as a president: Would Hilary have been too dominating of a force? In a presidential contest such as this the question of who would be pulling the strings is one you don’t want to be asked.

    Then on top of that you have all of the political baggage of the Clinton era, and Hilary in particular (including her forcefulness and later failure at getting health care reform passed) and a dragging out her legal investigations from the past, thus calling into question her overall character.

    Honestly it is not quite as much of a dream team as people seem to assume.

  • Heather

    Luna, please be careful whose arms you run into. And for heaven’s sake, don’t run until you CAN see straight.

  • bsimon

    “I can’t believe I’m going to vote for the Republican scum.”

    That’s the kind of thinking that gave us 8 years of Bush. I continually overestimate the average American voter.

  • daveg

    the Republican scum.

    That’s also the kind of language that doesn’t win over swing voters. It’s going to be close, and that kind of thing will matter.

  • Danny

    Dream Team?

    I am 44 years old. Mid-life (sorta!). I have voted in every presidential election since I was eligible to vote. EVERY ONE of those presidential elections had a Bush, or a Clinton on the ticket. That is not democracy – that is an alternating political dynasty! Enough, is enough – I wouldn’t have voted for Obama if he had put Hillary on the ticket. Now… I WILL.

  • Bob Collins

    //Bob, is it really fair to pose an either/or question about an entire party based on what one person said to somebody else (not you) in an airport? That said, I’m happy to play along with my own broad brush.

    No, but as I wrote yesterday, quite a few pro-life Democrats do not feel their views are valid in the party. For public consumption, party insiders say they are. In airports when they think nobody is listening, they say something that indicates something quite different.

    I’d love to talk to some pro-life Democrats about their feelings toward the party on the issue. Email me.

  • Bob Collins

    DaveG, what’s the lay of the land in Ohio? Polls? Anything?

  • Loco

    If the Republican party was smart and had any backbone they would tell the ultra conservative Christian Coalition to put together their own party and leave ours alone. The likes of Barry Goldwater would have given them the old cowboy boot if they had messed with him. The GOP was about fiscal conservation and keeping government out of our personal lives.

    The founding fathers and those that wrote our constitution left England to find relief from a government that wanted to control every little part of their existence including freedom of religious choice or the choice not to belong or believe in organized religion. And, here we sit, over 200 years later with religious fanatics trying to control us through the government.

    Here is an excerpt from an article with the granddaughter of Barry Goldwater that is very enlightening to those of you who might like a little history brush-up on Arizona’s true Republican politician.

    Q: Your grandfather, Barry Goldwater, was both adored and vilified during his lifetime as the rightest of the right-wing senators. Yet your new documentary, “Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater,” which will be shown on HBO starting Sept. 18, rehabilitates him as a kind of liberal compared with today’s conservatives.

    C.C. Goldwater: “That was part of the reason I thought a film could be done about him.

    He emerges as a complex figure — a half-Jewish cowboy from Phoenix who believed the government should stay out of our hair. He thought gays should be allowed in the military and was also pro-choice.

    My mom had an abortion in the mid-50’s, before she had me. She was in college, and she wanted to finish and get a degree and not have a child then. Barry felt it was a woman’s right to make that choice.”

    Barry Goldwater is surely rolling over in his grave right now. I wish we had one Republican politician who was half the man with the guts to speak out for the true believers of the “Grand Old Party”.

  • Michelle


    Your frustrations will not be solved by a revenge vote. Look into yourself and make your decision based on your truest values rather than your anger.

  • Loco

    Dear Luna,

    I am finding it a bit difficult to believe that you are what you say you are: “pro-choice and progressive”. I know when you say pro-choice you are speaking to one issue of choice but choice encompasses much more in the broad scope. Choice for only what you want? What about what Obama wants, or the people that don’t want Hillary in the White House? You won’t allow him the choice to pick who he wants as a running mate because he chose a man? And, you would rather vote for Palin because she is woman? Sorry but that is reverse discrimination. Do you know what this woman stands for? Your words and threats are neither pro-choice or progressive.

    You remind me of a spoiled child who didn’t get all the presents they wanted for their birthday so they broke the ones they did get.

    Republican scum? Please see my post regarding Barry Goldwater. He was a die hard Republican that believed in choice, gays in the military and wanted to keep government out of our private lives.

    It doesn’t help the cause to be mean spirited, it just fuels the fire.

    I am voting for Obama and I hope you have a change of heart. McCain and Palin are the answer to the prayer for far right religious extremists and should not have the right to call themselves Republicans.

  • Jenny


    Pro-life/prochoice—so sick of the black and white nature of the issue. What about Obama’s view as he presented last night–we can all agree on the need to find ways to decrease unwanted pregnancies. Finally a big-time politician who said those words out loud! I can’t stand fanatical pro-“life” supporters who do not support what is needed for a successful life AFTER birth.

    I am a significantly left-leaning individual who has a very hard time saying I’m pro-choice, although I would fight hard to never have Roe v. Wade over-turned. I think there are many men and women who are somewhere in between like me (more D than R? but maybe not) I believe in having safe abortions available because people are always going to seek that option, however, we can do our best to educate and support individuals (and families and communities) so that they may not have to be in that position in the first place.

    I guess I’m not the “pro-life” Democrat you’re after–but agree with the other posts–Sarah Palin–unfortunate choice for McCain. I can’t imagine that is going to get him the Democratic/female/Hillary supporter vote. I hope it seals to deal for Obama.

  • Bob Collins

    Jenny: See my post below on The Jesus Factor. I think it explains a lot.

  • Daveg

    DaveG, what’s the lay of the land in Ohio? Polls? Anything?

    Just office buzz. The consensus in the window offices is that Ms. Palin is a better pick than Lieberman, Romney, or Huckabee would have been, but we had one guy that had wanted Pawlenty.

    The Obama gal over in Sales is ok with the Palin pick since she figures Obama’s a sure winner anyway, but she’s not too keen on Biden.

    The female Hillary backer over in customer service is still behind Obama. She’s big into the “change, any change has to be an improvement” thing.

    Of course, I’m waiting to hear what they all think about user fees before I decide. Oddly enough, that topic hasn’t come up. Maybe in the debates… [/sardonic comment]

  • Linda and Larry Reed

    Larry and I think that Sarah sounds like a nice girl and we like her pro life views.

    We have a grandchild with Downs Syndrome. It was very hard on our son and daughter in law and they spent extra time with their dear daughter with DS for bonding and to give her the best chance possible. I worry about that l4 month or babyl, while her Mom is out campaigning for Vice President. Downs babies need their Moms more than most babies. I hope that she will explain this to us and how she will care for her family with everything else she is doing.

    That is our only concerns–that baby. We are also pro-life and love all babies.

  • Joe Mish

    I think it is quite possible that the Republicans are trying to get the white male swing voter (not women) to tilt towards McCain with this pick. Women are too smart to be taken in with this, I am not so sure about the men. Then they can feel good about their decision to not vote for a black man with a funny name, too.

    Personally I think this is all pretty scary. We may be underestimating her, but she would be a real risk for our country should McCain have health issues. I can only hope the the Republicans have thoroughly vetted her, rather than just fawned over her. They say they are against affirmative action, but this action speaks volumes. I don’t like him, but Pawlenty was much more qualified than Palin. I wouldn’t blame him for being upset- actually, I hope he is.

  • Luna

    You’re absolutely right. Women should be smarter than my initial emotional kneejerk response, and figure out that this Palin pick smacks of a cynical move with “Rovian/Cheney overtones”. Whose is really behind the curtain? Has “Maverick McCain” lost his buttons, or is a political “joker” pulling his “strings”? Palin’s values are 100% oposite of mine and I will not be pulling the lever for McCain.

  • Mary Smith


    The Governor of Alaska and Senator McCain’s pick for VP, Sarah Palin, ran a successful campaign in a Beauty Pageant, even though her lone degree in Journalism and looks failed to earn work at a TV station. But being the “quick learner” that she is, realized that first “appearances and impressions” and the use of them, will get you everywhere.

    And she and the Republican Party use that in her bid for a presentable VP. Using Hillary Clinton’s “hard work” minus any of Hillary’s actual beliefs or hard work, displaying for all to see her love of guns for the NRA, promotion of the use of motorized extra large vehicles and gas consumption while selling drilling in Anwar and disdain for science and pursuit of putting Creationism in schools, she wants every single vote possible to come in and vote her “beautiful”. And don’t forget those reoccuring family values arguments and religious geoups that once vowed to look at the whole picture and not the part.The frequent mention of her “part Native” husband hopes to win over the Native American population even though they have often been weary of those who present themselves as much.

    Yes, she leaves no stone unturned to win while she throws members of her own Party under the bus to get ahead because it is all about “appearances”. Never mind the investigation on her supposed abuse of power in office, lying about her position on the Bridge To Nowhere, her family secrets and that her position aids her oil-man husband. What does she owe to the Independance Party that embraces secessioist values that helped her get into power?

    Never mind that Senator McCain’s mental capacity is already in question on the issues of decline, forgetting information and facts, because Palin’s “looks” and lack of experience will carry the day. Just think of how her beauty, dark rimmed glasses “ pseudo-genius costume” and first impression will wow Putin, bring Osama out of his cave or stop the production of bombs or invasion of our Country.

    For those heartless chattering people on the Web that are calling Governor Palin “Cheney in a dress”, to you I say, “no!” She is more than that, she is “Dick Cheney in a dress without a head”, who might soon be exercising those athletic muscles to give the Beauty Pageant waves to the crowd. Palin really knows how to use things to her advantage and boy oh boy, sure do the “evildoers” that plunked her into place for McCain. They are even better than Palin in that they have “used” her to continue to be behind the scenes advising her.