Saturday, August 30, 2008

Initial Reaction

Like many people over the past few weeks, I have been keenly interested in who each of the candidates would choose to be their backup. I think sometimes the role of the VP in an election can get overblown, but this year both candidates chose to shore up weaknesses in their argument. In Biden, Obama looks for legitimate experience and advice, long time Washington connections, and foreign policy advice. In Palin (pronounced Pay Lynn I do believe), McCain looks for a younger face, a female face, the opposite of a Washington bureaucrat, and a person that the average family can identify with. Since I think it is obvious who I support in this election, I am going to throw out my initial uninformed reactions to the Palin nomination. And these are in chronological order and show my evolving thought pattern.
  • Apprehension since she was unknown to me before a few days ago. Maybe I have been hiding under a rock, maybe I have not.
  • Oh my, its a woman. Is she the 'token' female in the race? Is she just here to appease disgruntled Hillary fans?
  • I just checked out her Wikipedia page. She seems solid on the issues. She seems like an 'average Joe' meaning that she isn't some inside-the-beltway Yes man.
  • After hearing her during the big introduction, I would have to say that she seems anything but a 'token' face in the race. She seems legit as far as her public speaking goes, as far as her positions go, and as far as her family stands. I like this.
  • The are really touting that union connection in their family. This makes me a little nervous as my position on 90% of unions is that they are outdated and abusive.
  • On second thought, she can really work the upper Midwest states of Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. According to the RCP election map right now, 2 of those 3 states would get the election. While I am nervous about the union angle, it can be used.
  • She is weak on the experience side of things. However, as a governor (although limited in time), she has viable leadership experience. This is no doubt what the Obama campaign will hammer on, but this really brings his lack of experience to the forefront too.
  • It appears that the campaign is also highlighting that she is from a small out in the middle of nowhere podunk place. I am not sure how this angle will play out. Ridiculing small town America is not something that I would overplay.
  • From the political coverage that I have seen, I hear a lot of talk of this being a desperate move to try and leach Hillary supporters from Obama. The more I think about it, the less I think that is true. From what I can tell initially, this will do that very little. She holds little in common with them on their key feminist issues. What she does bring to the table is the soccer mom of America. This is a move to galvanize the Republican party. And from what I can tell it is working. The average mom in America can relate to a lot of her story. Do not underestimate the voting block of moms out there. I still think that this and most elections are won not by enticing defectors from the other party, but they are won by convincing your people to show up to the polls and be excited about it.
  • I am also hearing some apprehension from women out there. They wonder if McCain is just trying to dangle a carrot out there and sucker them in. This is a legitimate concern. The answer to that for me is her showing her competence throughout the race. But if he does burn women somehow by 'using' this pick, they will not easily forgive. If any females read this, I would love your take on this. Do you feel like you are being 'played' here?
  • This lady has reformer credibility. She has fought corruption in her own state. And most embarrassing to me is that it was corruption inside her own party. She fits the bill as someone not putting up with junk just for the party's sake.
  • I think that I have identified my favorite quality about her so far. She looks, acts, sounds, and thinks what I would call normal. She is just your average American. Too often we have some elitely educated politically entrenched person running for either party. She has a life outside of politics. This is going to be her best strength and should be played as much as possible. Obama has presented himself as a man for the common person. She is a common person.
  • Palin - Jindal 2012 really excites me now.

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