02 September 2008

Dare I call it "Palin-gate"?

There are thousands, if not millions, of more informed people discussing McCain's choice for VP. I just want to add one data point. My mom considers herself a staunch conservative (she is on financial matters; she's quite liberal on social matters, though I think she'd be horrified if I pointed that out to her. NO! NOT THE L-WORD!). She doesn't like Obama, apparently because she's bought into the "not experienced enough" rhetoric. Due to McCain's choice of running mate, she has said that she "might as well stay home."

For a broader view, here's a survey of general reactions. Summary: hardcore democrats and republicans mostly unmoved; independents less likely to vote McCain. And here is a plausible extrapolation as to how the decision was made.

From my perspective, it looks like a publicity stunt cum temper tantrum gone bad. Publicity stunt in the timing and the "Who?!??" reaction it generated. Temper tantrum in that McCain was told he couldn't go with his first choices without alienating "the base." Presumably he went with a woman in hopes of getting disappointed Hillary-fans to vote for him...which means he must not think much of Hillary supporters, since Palin stands for nearly the opposite. At this stage, I can't imagine the choice gaining him more votes than it loses, but stranger things have happened in elections.

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