I'm writing from a combination cybercafe-coffee shop-antique store in the idyllic little village of Schroon Lake, New York. DH is accusing me of internet-addiction and of course it's true. I have been feeling bereft without being able to read blogs discussing the Democratic Convention and the choice of Governor Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate. I sat and watched Washington Week in Review last night to at least get a feel for the response to both.
We arrived Thursday night just in time to see Barack Obama's speech in full (except for about 5 minutes when I had to go walk Diva who was barking loudly and distractingly).
The speech was rousing, it addressed all the issues he needed to talk about, it was strong, and it was fantastic. All of the pundits agreed he did exactly what he needed to do and the convention was a great success.
So it was with dismay that I got up the next morning and turned on the television to hear that McCain had announced a surprise running mate of Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska. I knew he planned to announce his running mate right after the Democratic convention in order to step on Obama's "bump" in the polls. But I was expecting Mitt Romney or someone equally dull. McCain did pull off a surprise announcement, one cynically calculated to try to make his campaign look like "change" and perhaps steal away some of the disgruntled Hillary supporters.
To me, it was exactly the same thing that the first President Bush pulled by nominating Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court to replace Thurgood Marshall.
Although Ms. Palin is a woman, her resemblance to Hillary Clinton stops there. She can talk all she wants about the 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, but if any woman who supported Hillary truly believed in the stands that Hillary has taken, there is no way she will support Palin. Governor Palin is a conservative right wing idealogue who is on the opposite side of the political spectrum from Hillary on almost every issue.
McCain's choice was hailed as "Maverick Picks a Stunner" on the front page of the local newspaper. But it was not an action of a maverick at all - he chose a conservative who would thrill the religious right, who had not been all that excited about McCain himself. Palin is enthuasiastically in favor of drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. She is also pro-NRA and is not supportive of gay and lesbian rights. Her positions are totally in line with the right wing. But because she's a woman,McCain is hailed as being brave for picking her.
Let's hope no moderate Independent or undecided Democrat will fall for this cynical ploy by the McCain campaign.