Wow! That’s what all the politcal pundits were saying as Republican presidential candidate John McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate.
The choice certainly comes with a lot of risk. While Palin gives him a running mate who helps his maverick image and may appeal to “hockey moms” and other women, her selection also counters Barack Obama’s aura of new-generation change.
But McCain may have undercut his best attack on the Democrat. If Obama lack the experience to be President of the United States, what does that say about Palin. She is younger and less experienced than the first-term Illinois senator. A governor for just 20 months, she was two-term mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a town of 6,500 where the biggest issue is controlling growth and the biggest civic worry is whether there will be enough snow for the Iditarod dog-mushing race.
“On his 72nd birthday, is this really the one-heartbeat-away he wants to put in the White House?” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the No. 3 Democrat in the House. “What does this say about his judgment?”
It’s apparent that McCain felt he needed to draw more women voters. Palin’s pick has also drawn praise from evangelicals and social conservatives as she’s a staunch opponent of abortion.
Palin has a record of bipartisan reform and has often bucked the Republican Party leadership in Alaska. But she’s also been accused of abusing her power in firing a public safety commissioner. Some claim Palin was mad at the commissioner for not firing an Alaska state trooper who went through a messy divorce with her sister.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Interestingly enough, McCain and Palin will be appearing together in Washington, Pa., Saturday. We’ll have full coverage of the event in Sunday’s Herald-Standard and heraldstandard.com.
It should be quite a week coming up with the Republican convention. I think McCain may have overeached in trying to shake things up, but more importantly what do you think of McCain’s selection.