I'm the type that likes to think through the options in order to find the winning strategy. I wouldn't be so bold as to say McCain's campaign didn't field test and focus group all their potential picks, but I have to wonder: what does Palin gain McCain?
She's a very socially conservative governor from Alaska. Ok. So perhaps it solidifies social conservatives and Alaskans. Great but McCain already has those people, right? Social conservatives aren't going to vote for Obama. Is Palin there to simply make sure social conservatives vote instead of stay home?
The most obvious observation is... she's a woman. Perhaps she can pick up some votes but don't the majority of women tend toward the left? And surely they don't think they're going to steal away female Hillary Clinton supporters.
Palin also affects no direct electoral advantage. Alaska is already red and she's unknown everywhere else. So nothing gained there.
I suppose she could solidify the base but, to be honest, McCain needs to be beyond the need for solidarity by the end of this next week anyway.
All-in-all I have to admit I don't see the play. Is it simply to throw Democrats a curve ball and not offer up the expected candidates they were probably already waiting to tear apart with sound bytes, quotes, and voting records?
You (McCain) perpetuate the "not qualified" attacks, but then select Palin. Not to mention she will have to stand on a stage and stare down a cannon named Joe Biden.
Granted, McCain has been steadily improving and perhaps his campaign feels he can continue to with the same tactics they've been using--no need to risk sinking the ship or diverting attention from those tactics to details about a hot-button vice president. Perhaps she is the safe selection, not the aggressive selection. Maybe the goal is precisely the part I don't get: she doesn't gain anything. Because she doesn't risk much either.
I've decided to go ahead and take this blog completely toward politics/economy. It's all I talk about anyway. Remember, you can email me at randy [at] circularlife [dot] com or use the chat box in the lower right.