Don’t Dismiss Sarah Palin Out of Hand

Fri, August 29, 2008


Needless to say, there have been a LOT of blog posts and articles flying around the blogosphere since Friday when John McCain announced that his choice for vice-president is Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

While I hadn’t posted about it, I had been saying privately for months that I thought McCain would choose Palin as his running mate. Why?

Why not a candidate all the other pundits were sure would be chosen — Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Joe Lieberman, Tom Ridge, Charlie Crist? Because that’s exactly what people were expecting him to do and you know that old “maverick” John McCain likes to keep us guessing!

Seriously, for the voters McCain decided he had to appeal to — the Christian conservative base — none of those really fit the bill.

Mormon, Democrat-turned-independent, pro-choice, and just another white guy.

But Sarah Palin is an Evangelical’s dream. A working mom of five children, with a new baby she refused to abort after she found out it had Down’s Syndrome, “pro-life,” lifetime NRA member and supporter of teaching creationism in the schools. Does it get any better for the religious right than that?

In 2004, Karl Rove came up with a strategy to get certain issues on ballots around the country that would bring out the Christian conservative base in numbers that had not voted in prior elections — issues about which they felt so strongly, they would need little additional motivation to get to the polls on election day. Some believe that that’s one of the reasons George Bush was able to defeat John Kerry in 2004.

This time around, maybe the attractive, maverick mother of five who is the secret weapon for the GOP. And there’s also this to consider — while she may get a handful of disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters to vote for the newly-minted McCain/Palin ticket, there’s another reason why this isn’t as totally crazy as some think.

I’m already hearing from conservative women. They’re upset that people are dismissing Palin out of hand — if many expected women to defend Hillary’s candidacy, why not expect them to defend Sarah’s, as well? Some are excited at the prospect of being able to point to Palin — for their daughters — as an example of a conservative women who has also succeeded in making a political name for herself.

No matter how much progressives — especially progressive women — believe she is barely minimally qualified to take the reigns from Dick Cheney, we shouldn’t dismiss Palin out of hand.

We did that with Dan Quayle and look what happened. The conservative religious base is a powerful and motivated one. If we could get more Democrats to be as committed to certain ideals as some on the right, we wouldn’t have to worry about whether John McCain will be handed the keys to the Oval Office in January.

Now if we could just get Palin to take that plastic hair-clip out of her up do!

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12 Responses to “Don’t Dismiss Sarah Palin Out of Hand”

  1. lezzymom Says:

    I agree she can’t be dismissed. i keep hearing from many Republicans that they are very happy with this choice and they think it is great for McCain. While I don’t understand this choice I do find it a little frightening.

  2. myrnatheminx Says:

    You win the prediction contest!

  3. WMW Says:

    I think you’re right. They’re smarter than this looks on the surface. (Dammit, Rove!) Just more proof that this was a purely political pick, not about her ability to help govern. She’s here to be used for him to win and then what, be seen and not heard? Sorry, this woman’s not jumping up and down about that.

    Wendy in OR

  4. Liz Says:

    I have also been thinking a lot about Dan Quayle lately – it was obvious at the time that he was chosen to “attract” a certain kind of voter, and surely people would see through that. But they didn’t, or they didn’t care, and Bush-Quayle won. I am really, really nervous about Palin.

  5. Houseonahill Says:

    I was just saying, with that long flight, Cindy (McCain) could have given her a quick sprusing up! Lol, great coverage ALL week PunditMom!!!

  6. Daisy Says:

    I’m very concerned. I can’t imagine having a creationist in the White House, and the VP-ency is just a heartbeat away. I’m hearing from people who didn’t like McCain, but like Palin. Her “image” is good, but her stance on the issues? Scarier than Bush, and that’s saying a lot.

  7. anniegirl1138 Says:

    Palin has scary religious leanings but she is also easy to identify with and given what I have read so far – I wouldn’t make the mistake of underestimating her.

    It was a very smart move. It forces the liberal/feminists to defend her from any of the “former beauty queen or hockey mom” jabs because they would look like hypocrites now if they don’t. She will appeal to the ultra conservatives because of her religion but also because she has put into practice some of the fiscal conservative views that the current admin tossed out the window.

    More important than anything though is that this is a good way to test a possible 2012 candidate. If McCain loses, the Reps might just have a viable newbie to start grooming who might look attractive to voters in Obama can’t pull “change” out of a hat soon enough for the American public.

  8. Jay Andrew Allen Says:

    Given that McCain’s team is only now vetting her, I think you’re giving the dude too much credit.

  9. Ron in Irvine Says:

    I’m a conservative. I’m glad to hear you say Sarah should not be dismissed out of hand. Dismissing Sarah only reinforces the stereotype that liberals don’t have a firm grip on reality.

    Sarah’s meteoric rise politically is not an accident. She has achieved a great deal already. And she has more executive experience that anyone on either ticket. A saw a “Tale of the Tape” on one blog comparing Sarah with Obama. She has more experience than Obama in almost every area. Her experience in confronting the oil companies and winning was pretty significant. She was able to return $1200 to every adult in Alaska after that negotiation.

    I cannot wait for her to debate Joe Biden, but would prefer to see her debate Obama.

  10. KARIN Says:

    I think McCain ran out of time, and since everyone else refused him, was forced to name an unvetted, unknown wild card (with a beehive. WTF??). I can’t wait for the debates (or the SNL Tina Fey skits!).

    Don’t miss this blog: pay note to the comment section. Love it.

    BTW, Love your blog. Can’t believe I just now found it.

  11. Karen Says:

    I agree. As I said in my comment on your previous post, it would be dangerous for the Dems to underestimate her and her appeal. . .complacency will not serve us well.

  12. Kelly Says:

    After the last presidential election and living where I live, I will never underestimate the power of the religious right. Can you say Tom Coburn? Apparently the religious right in Oklahoma can…over, and over, and over again. I’m so proud.

    I’m just hoping that the Democrats will finally figure out what the Republicans have…do whatever the hell it takes to win. After all, you do have church on Sunday. You can be forgiven then. All you have to do is ask.;)

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