Genius or Fumble? What McCain was thinking choosing Palin as running mate

The McCain campaign either pulled a masterstroke or just lost the 2008 election by choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate. I can see the long nights of work ahead, the war hero and his new beauty queen, his old one in the background with that Dela Bourke in Designing Women look on her face like she better not open her mouth or the canary might fly out.

What else could a 72-year old man be thinking by picking a rookie who cut her teeth in the rough and tumble of Alaskan politics, where bachelors outnumber eligible women 6 to 1 and the annual sausage fest is a log rolling contest? We already know something isn’t right with the politics up there when Ted Stevens, the Alaskan senator who has been around even longer than Joe Biden, is under indictment. The Bush Justice Department doesn’t gun for one of its own unless the target is a sitting duck.

McCain likes a pretty face, but the motive of his campaign is contrast. Every joke about a horny old man will be accompanied by an implicit comparison to Barack Obama’s inexperience. After Bill Clinton emphatically endorsed Obama’s readiness when he damn well knows better, the opening presented itself. Say what you want about the McCain campaign’s other reasons, the strongest card is on the table.

Obama picks Biden to add a wise man to his side, assuring the public like Bush in 2000 with Cheney that the President is backed more experienced statesmen. We see how that turned out. In contrast, the candidate with what could be argued too much experience picks someone who should be giving a speech at the Republican Convention, not fronting it as a running mate.

Palin’s story parallels Obama’s, from community activist to state prominence to high-level office for a brief time before catapulting to the top. Is she ready to run the country? Hell no. Nothing on her resume says presidential material. So then what about Obama’s resume….

When her inexperience is mentioned, so is his. Question her readiness and his is also. Talk about two years as Governor of Alaska being too little to step in if the old man croaks, and what’s Obama’s four years in the Senate, two as a presidential candidate, in comparison? John McCain knows that the only reason why enough Americans will vote for him in November to win the presidency is if Obama doesn’t look ready for the job. What better way to plant that thought in voters minds than put a name on your ticket that sends an implicit message every time it is seen side-by-side with your opponent.

A stroke of genius hatched in Karl Rove’s cauldron, or a disaster waiting to happen.

McCain is also splintering the Hillary faction by waving in front of their faces Obama’s snub of her. About ten million women had their hearts set on voting for Hillary, making her the precedent. Now if McCain wins, a woman will be elected to the second highest office in the land. And when Hill comes charging back in 2012, some of her thunder will be lost.

Her supporters know that Obama won the party nomination because Hill voted for George Bush to use force in Iraq. Otherwise, new kid on the block Obama puts up a spirited fight and recedes before spring. The question behind the election then becomes, four more years of Bush or Clinton? Bill runs around the country reminding everyone how good things were under him, and Hillary wins the political gold in a man’s event by showing what a spirited fighter she is. They had it all planned out.

Most of Hillary’s gals won’t split the ticket and vote for McCain, but their voices and impact are fading into angry echoes down the corridors of the Dems’ convention hall. Hillary deserved the number two spot, if not the top spot, and that won’t soon be forgotten. The early returns are, Palin’s pick as VP looks like a masterstroke. Results come November.

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