A couple of weeks ago, there was a diary discussing potential VP selections, and I initially said McCain would go out on a limb and select Sarah Palin. I'm sure many disagreed, and after taking a bit of reflection, began to believe that John McCain, known as a man who surrounds himself with people he personally likes and trusts, would want to go with a Lieberman or a Pawlenty. I just couldn't see McCain making the smart choice and picking Mitt Romney, since McCain hates fancy underwear.I am SHOCKED that Palin is the pick, and find it to be a very strange choice. Let's look at what her strengths and weaknesses are in bringing to the McCain ticket:

Strengths:

Executive Experience: Almost always, as history shows, it is Governors on the ticket that get the job done, because it shows they're ready to lead, and they don't have a voting record that can be miscontrued. Four of our last five presidents have served as a Governor, and George H.W. Bush had executive experience as CIA Director.

Gender: Probably the most obvious reason for her selection, as a way to attract disaffected Democrats and Independents, as Obama has underperformed as a Democrat with older women.

Solidifying the Base: As a religious and fiscal conservative, she helps shore up the GOP base, which has been a McCain weakness. She's pro-life, an avid sportsman (or sportswoman, I guess), and she's a lifetime member of the NRA.

Alaska: The most recent polling has shown even die-hard Republican Alaska had the potential of being a swing state. The latest polls even show Obama up three points there. In a race where every electoral vote counts, McCain can't afford to lose even Alaska's 3 precious EVs.

Press Coverage: With the run up to the Dem's Convention, McCain needed to take the eyes of the public away from an Obama acceptance speech (which rocked) and onto his choice for VP, so he pwned Romney and Pawlenty, and made us all foam at the mouth in a guessing game, so he could steal the news cycle.

Energy: Hey, it's Alaska. DRILL!!!

Maverick: Palin has shown an independent streak, worked with Alaska Dems in reaching across the aisle, and gone after members of her own party on ethics reform. In fact, her first veto as Governor was an anti-gay rights bill that reached her desk.

Weaknesses:

Experience: Well, it's pretty obvious. While only being Governor of a state for less than two years which boasts the population of Austin,Texas, she's untested on a national stage. Let's not forget that two years ago, she was the mayor of Wasilla, a town of roughly 9,000. John McCain's largest rally before his VP rollout… 3,000.

Gender: Does John McCain really believe women will move to his ticket? I highly doubt it. Hillary Clinton had the experience to be president. But by picking the younger, more attractive Palin, who is woefully inexperienced, it may actually be a turnoff to female voters.

Age & Health: Sarah Palin is 44. John McCain is 72, and has a history of health problems. If elected, he'd be the oldest first-term president ever, and I'm not sure America is ready to bank on Palin to fill his $520 pair of shoes.

The VP Debate: We've yet to see how she'll campaign, or what her debate style is, but Joe Biden is going to tear her to pieces. Can you imagine a VP Palin meeting with the Israeli PM? The biggest laugh of the day came from Fox & Friends' resident boob Steve Doocy, who argued Palin had foreign policy experience because Alaska was near Russia. Biden just needs to avoid making any stupid comments during the debate (my wife is drop dead gorgeous, and so are you…).Let's hope Joe doesn't saying anything that would be construed as sexist or condescending.

Ethics: Palin is currently under investigation by the AK Legislature over that ordeal of trying to get her sister's ex-husband fired as a state trooper. If true, its a stark contrast to her push for ethics reform in Alaska politics.

That's my initial take. And I'll be honest, I really don't know much about Sarah Palin other than what I've read and heard over the last couple of months. But I think I can safely say that this is probably a far more worse pick than Dan Quayle.

In 1988, Mike Dukakis made one of the best VP picks ever in Lloyd Bentsen. And George H.W. Bush made the worst in Quayle.

But as history tells us, it didn't matter at all…

plainsmanpolitico

plainsmanpolitico