Well here we are with a solid 65 days until the United States makes an important choice. In this past week the choice got to be a little bit clearer as both Barrack Obama and John McCain announced their respective running mates. One made a safe bet, and the other took a risky long shot, and surprisingly, the risky one was John McCain.
McCain announced on Friday that Sarah Palin, the first term Alaska Governor as his right-hand woman, in a truly shocking move. This really just further emphasises the fact that John McCain will do anything to be president. This was the man, who only eight years ago was embroiled in a bitter feud with George W. Bush to be the Republican nominee, and only four years ago was dangerously close to being John Kerry's running mate, and now here he is, selling out.
John McCain has long crafted his image as a maverick, willing to cross party lines to do what he felt was right. Yet, in the last few years he has voted for Bush tax cuts, something that he had previously said was against his good consious, and has not done a blatantly political move in chosing Sarah Palin as his running mate.
This is a plea to get the wild card in the presidential election, Clinton supporters. By taking a woman he hopes to lure them over. However, what he has missed, is any other similarities that may come between Clinton and Palin, because there really aren't any aside from gender. Palin has a very evangelical stance on abortion and teaching creation "science" in schools. She also called Hilary Clinton a "whinner" a number of times during the Democratic Primaries, which probably won't help the Republicans win any point with Clintonites.
The other desperate sign here is that John McCain has really just gone against everything he has been saying about Obama for the past six months or so. He was constantly saying that his opponent does not have the experience to lead, but somehow we are expected to believe that Sarah Palin, a governor of a sparsely populated state since 2006 somehow has that experience.
Granted, she is not being voted to the office of Commander and Chief, but just ask Lyndon Johnson, sometimes things happen. With John McCain's age, it is even more of an issue. If elected to two terms, McCain would be 80 years and in charge of the free world, and his health has to be taken into account. So should something tragic but natural occur to him in his old age, we would be left with a very unproven commodity in charge. After spending so long saying that Obama is too unkown (i.e. black) to be President, it is hard not to make the same connections about Palin.
Obama's choice on the other hand was a much, much safer bet. He took a grizzled Washington insider, who will be able to guide him along nicely. One of the main holes in Obama's experience is foreign policy, so he took a running mate who has more foreign policy experience than damn near anybody in the United States.
Most importantly, Obama took an attack dog. Joe Biden is a smooth talking, quick witted, son of a gun. Now Obama can keep taking the high road on John McCain and other Republicans and let Joe Biden loose on everyone. This way Obama can maintain his status as a "nice guy" and keep on taking the high road, something that many voters appreciate.
I for one, am interested in how the Vice Presidential debates go, as I really think that Biden will tear Palin a new one, especially on foeign policy. This really hurts the Republicans, since Obama will no doubt out perform McCain in the Presidential debates.
Even though Obama had a rough summer, he is firmly in the dirvers seat as we speed down this election highway. Gallup polls put him 8% up on John McCain (his second biggest lead ever), and I am sure that will improve even more so as the debates heat up.
I find it fitting that Palin is from Alaska, because I feel that come November she will be once more left out in the cold.
Until next time,