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August 29, 2008


Joyless Moralist

I've just been watching YouTube videos of her, trying to figure out if she's smart, and whether she has poise and eloquence. She looked pretty good, but then all the videos I found involved sympathetic interviewers. I don't know how she handles herself "under fire."

I did chuckle a bit when I read the pick, thinking, "Hey, that's just what this campaign needed! A little youth and inexperience!" But actually, I think it's very possible that this will work out well. I did actually know a bit about her already... mostly through stuff I get from pro-life groups, who adore her. This will win McCain a lot of ground back with that (rather large) set of people who would never vote for the Democrats but just might not vote at all. That should be enough to lock up any Southern states that Obama was hoping to turn into a battleground. But it will also play very well in some traditionally battleground states like Ohio. I'm curious to see whether Palin can hold her own against an old campaigner like Joe Biden. If she can, I'm betting she'll accomplish her other primary mission of pulling in female voters. Her persona is much more appealing than Hillary's -- warmer and more feminine.


McCain's VP pick is a home run; I don't think he could have picked a better candidate to help him win votes. Palin looks to be in the same mold as Anne Coulter and Michelle Malkin, but without the vitriol: a naively unreasonable, very attractive caricature of conservatism. The Republican base just loves that shit. Palin, small-town girl, beauty pageant runner-up, mother of five, avid huntsman and outdoor enthusiast, eldest son joined the Army last year on the anniversary of 9/11, innocent and charming without much of a political or personal past to attack, can only win votes for McCain. It doesn't matter that she's inexperienced, because that will inevitably be part of her charm, much as it has been for Obama. Is there a good policy reason to choose Palin over someone more skilled and qualified like Romney? Not really. Choosing Palin is all about selling the Republican brand: it's pure marketing. A similar case can and has been made about Obama being merely a face without substance, a pleasant image of a president. But Obama has a great education in a politically relevant field, and he has very meaningful leadership experience in his community and in his brief political life. Obama is incredibly skilled and has many accolades that aren't related to image. Palin, in that sense, is no Obama. But she doesn't have to be equal to Obama, she merely has to be a counterpoint, and that should be good enough to win McCain the election. It was a brilliant pick.

Joyless Moralist

"Obama is incredibly skilled and has many accolades that aren't related to image."

Sorry... what are those, exactly?


Sorry, I should have defined my terms. The term "accolades" means "any award, honor, or laudatory notice" or "an expression of approval; praise" as opposed to "a light touch on the shoulder with the flat side of the sword or formerly by an embrace, done in the ceremony of conferring knighthood". I can understand your confusion considering your background.

Read the wiki article on him for specific accolades:

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