McCain picks Palin for VP – will this spike the Dems’ Denver guns?

An official announcement is due soon, but the febrile media speculation is that Senator John McCain is about to make history by nominating the Republicans’ first female vice-presidential candidate, Alaskan governor Sarah Palin:

At 44, she is younger than Barack Obama and is credited with reforms during her first term, but she is relatively unknown in US politics. Mr McCain is due to present her on stage at a rally in Dayton, Ohio, to celebrate his 72nd birthday. Analysts say the Republican is keen to wrest back headlines from Mr Obama. Ms Palin is perhaps the most daring vice-presidential choice for Mr McCain.

On the face of it, this looks a smart pick – a young female candidate will dent Senator Obama’s historical USP as the first black presidential candidate, and potentially appeal to those female voters upset at Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

She is, though, far less tested than her rival for the post, Senator Joe Biden – which may be more of a consideration for voters given she is just a heart-beat away from being the Commander-in-Chief. It’s almost certain this news will give the McCain camp a welcome poll boost, following Senator Obama’s widely acclaimed Denver speech.

The real test, though, is how smart this pick will look a couple of months’ time.

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12 Comments

  • James Shaddock 29th Aug '08 - 4:27pm

    While I admire the risk McCain is taking (there’s just as many sexists as there are racists in the Republican support), and she clearly is a good politician, you just know Joe Biden will wipe the floor with her in the Vice Presidential debate.

  • Hywel Morgan 29th Aug '08 - 5:17pm

    “you just know Joe Biden will wipe the floor with her in the Vice Presidential debate.”

    Though that will be completely expected and therefore discounted as long as she is credible and doesn’t flameout.

  • John Abrams 29th Aug '08 - 6:04pm

    Was she properly vetted? Seems she’s being investigated about stopping her ex brother-in-law keeping his job.

    Just been listening to St Louis radio on itunes – she was on getting the nomination – it was Republican politicing by numbers – mention HRC to peel off a few of her voters, mention Alaskan oil and how she fought corruption (good move) of course don’t mention abortion or the Gays!

  • On the face of it this is great news – naff female candiates can now get selected just like naff male candidates.
    Equality moves a step closer.

  • Bidey Biden 29th Aug '08 - 8:49pm

    Can’t see her appealing to Clinton fans just because she’s a woman.

    Clinton fans are feminists. Palin is anti-abortion.

  • Walter Mondale chose Geraldine Ferraro, because she was (1) a woman, (2) a Roman Catholic and (3) from New York. Little good it did him.

    McCain is about everything the elite could hope for. His father was a general, he has ancestors who were on the Mayflower, he is a warmonger and a jingoist, and will fight with all his might to further elite interests.

    One would have expected his running mate to be a blander, safer version of himself. Mitt Romney, perhaps. Or maybe even someone who would shore up Evangelical support. Why has he plumped for a relatively young woman from a tiny, largely secular state that always votes Republican anyway?

    Republican Presidential hopefuls have made some duff choices to be sure. Eisenhower choosing Nixon, Nixon picking Spiro T Agnew, and Bush Snr going for the intellectually lightweight Dan Quayle.

  • I still don’t understand why McCain didn’t pick Condoleezza Rice. She would probably have wooed much more disillusioned supporters of Hillary Clinton than Palin. Oh well, it’s his loss.

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