Some Different Reactions to the Sarah Palin Pick

Posted by Kendall Harmon

First, on the negative side from Josh Marshall:

It's a daring pick but I think a very weak pick. I'm perfectly happy with it. Palin is in the midst of a reasonably serious scandal in her home state. Her brother-in-law is a state trooper who is in the midst of an ugly custody battle with her sister. And she's accused of getting the state police to fire him. Recently she was forced to admit that one of her aides had done this, though she insists she didn't know

Then secondly, a very different view from Noah Millman:

[John] McCain's choice of Sarah Palin (assuming it's confirmed) is a brilliant first counter-stroke. She helps the ticket on so many different fronts: she gives women who are angry about Hillary being passed over another reason to vote McCain; she gives fence-sitting whites who feel they "ought" to vote for Obama because of the historic nature of his candidacy an excuse to find history on the other side; she burnishes McCain's credentials as an independent, reform candidate; she restores McCain's credibility on energy and environmental issues, where Obama personally feels most comfortable going on the attack; she will generate enthusiasm among evangelicals among whom Obama was hoping to make inroads; she absolutely locks down the gun-rights vote (where McCain needed to play a bit of defense against Barr); she helps McCain in the Mountain West (Colorado and Montana) where he cannot afford to lose any states (except New Mexico); she neutralizes Biden in the debates (if he comes out zinging, he'll seem ungentlemanly); and, most important, she makes McCain seem bold, future-oriented, and in control of his Administration, where Obama has seemed timid, defensive and unable to control his own party.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsUS Presidential Election 2008

Posted August 29, 2008 at 5:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. magnolia wrote:

i had never heard of this lady before a recent email from a wildlife organization; they were fighting her about the eradication of wolves, so i don’t know how she helps mccain on the environmental issues, unless they are the ‘drill and kill and all else be damned’ conservative issues.
i always liked mccain when i lived in arizona but have been disappointed in him during this campaign. also if he kicks the bucket we will have this 44 yr old gov of 2 years running the country!!!

August 29, 5:48 pm | [comment link]
2. Hoskyns wrote:

Well, if even half the stuff in the Wikipedia article on her is true we could be in for interesting times.  She sounds quite a zesty piece of work: “She hunts, eats moose hamburger, ice fishes, rides snowmobiles, and owns a float plane. Palin holds a lifetime membership with the National Rifle Association. In December 2007, Palin posed for a photo spread in the fashion magazine Vogue.”  What more could you possibly want in a VP with a pretty good chance to lead the free world during her tenure?

August 29, 6:00 pm | [comment link]
3. David Fischler wrote:

Josh Marshall is peddling unthoughtful fluff. The “scandal” was manufactured starting about two weeks ago when it looked like she was getting serious consideration from McCain. In fact, her brother-in-law was fired for being drunk on duty, and she did nothing to get him fired. He did that quite nicely himself, thank you.

When you consider all the stuff in Obama’s past (Ayers, Wright, Rezko, etc.), for the left to be shouting “scandal!” about something like this is just laughable.

August 29, 6:23 pm | [comment link]
4. Gretta wrote:

As the mom of a one year old, I’m quite curious how the Republicans are going to deal with the fact that she is the mother of a three month old, special needs child. It is certainly great to showcase her pro-life views. Yet, it leaves me wondering how you both adequately mother this special child (who presumably would be more needy than a baby without special needs) and run for the second highest office in the country. Does she bring a three month old on the campaign trail? Does she leave the child at home with her husband while she campaigns for days on end in the lower 48?  Maybe it isn’t exactly politically correct to mention this, but I have to admit that this just doesn’t seem quite right to me. It makes me a bit squidgy - particularly coming from the party that has touted its own family values. Am I the only one that thinks this?

August 29, 6:24 pm | [comment link]
5. the snarkster wrote:

Well, I don’t know how much she helps McCain. We’ll know shortly. Having said that, I don’t think she will hurt him at all. At first glance, I think I like her. As for the bro-in-law thing, I expect the McCain people looked at that pretty closely and I don’t think they would have gone with her if there was anything remotely smelly about the firing. They ain’t stupid.

the snarkster

August 29, 6:39 pm | [comment link]
6. Red Bird wrote:

Both teams have an experienced member and an inexperienced one.  The difference is that the Republicans have their experienced member at the top of the ticket whereas the Democrats have theirs at the bottom.

August 29, 6:45 pm | [comment link]
7. Eastern Anglican wrote:

I suppose you can call a 2 year gov inexperienced, but at least during her tenure she has tried to govern while during BO’s tenure he’s been running for prez.  I’ll take 2 years of inexperienced gov over 2 years of running for prez while preening and saying i"t aint about me.”  (I know BO would use better English, “I have the audacity to hope that this talk about changing change is not about me!”

August 29, 6:56 pm | [comment link]
8. Clueless wrote:

sure, bring the baby along!  There would be some great photo ops for the McCain team.

August 29, 7:18 pm | [comment link]
9. Pam C. wrote:


I had the same thoughts when I heard the news. I am concerned that her choice to advance her political career will hurt her child. Babies need their moms. I can’t see how she can nurture and bond with her baby while running along the campaign trail. I know she must have the worlds most supportive and incredible husband, and a great support system but babies need mom. Just my opinion.

August 29, 7:22 pm | [comment link]
10. drjoan wrote:

I for one am delighted!  Here is a woman who is unashamed about her older son in the Army and her younger son who is an infant.  Oh, yes, and that younger son is a Downs baby.  That’s just how “important” that characteristic is.  Don’t let folks tell you that she has to give up everything to care for a “special needs” child.  She has five kids and she and her husband provide parenting to each according to their needs and to all with love—that’s obvious.
I am pleased that she will talk about her son in the military—and I hope it will prompt both McCain AND Biden to do the same.
This is a woman who has already shown she can be a wife, a mother, a politician, a governor.  And she is gracious: I LOVED what she said about Geraldine Ferraro and Hilary Clinton!
I quite frankly was skeptical at first but after hearing her I am convinced she and McCain—the McCain-Palin Ticket—make for best for America!

August 29, 7:45 pm | [comment link]
11. Pam C. wrote:

from my #9 above I will add that from what I have seen, Sarah Palin appears to be an exciting, very strategic choice. It will be an interesting couple of months

August 29, 7:57 pm | [comment link]
12. Now Orthodox wrote:

She has “little experience” having been a governor for 2 years….?  Please!  If this lady has reared 5 children (19 years to 6 months) she has experience!  Her record in Alaska for cleaning up state government seems to be outstanding (getting rid of the jet the previous governor used and driving herself around sounds more “middle class” than Obama’s 4.7 million dollar income does).  Pro-life, pro-energy (Biden was against the Alaskan pipeline that has supplied 15 billion barrels of oil to our economy), pro-growth,  I think this lady gets it!  I think also a great strategic move by McCain’s camp and a real problem for Barrack (and roll) Obama.  November will tell.  BTW…I can’t wait to see VP debates….I think it will be “poor Joe” time.

August 29, 8:10 pm | [comment link]
13. Jeffersonian wrote:

I expected Palin to be tapped for Veep, and I’m very pleased she was.

Can you say a little about why? -Ed.

August 29, 8:13 pm | [comment link]
14. BabyBlue wrote:

A brilliant choice. 


August 29, 8:25 pm | [comment link]
15. rlw6 wrote:

Keep up the complaints, I would rather have a mother who gives life even if it might be inconvient in the eyes of some than some one who sees babies as punishment.  I would rather have a vice president who has been the commander of a state national guard and an effective govenor than a president that has spent his time in the senate to run for office.  As someone who has been in combat I would follow this women the only thing I would be embaresed about would be that she is a better shot than I am.  I will proudly suppor this ticket something I could not say yesterday.
God Bless this country and it’s leaders


August 29, 8:34 pm | [comment link]
16. Jeffersonian wrote:

Can you say a little about why? -Ed.


She’s a libertarian-minded conservative, she’s pro-life, she’s arrived in high office through a mix of very public anti-corruption measures at several levels and populist initiatives in her state (one that has some incredibly slimy Republican wire-pullers in positions of power), she’s a good public speaker, quick on her feet and has a compelling personal story to tell.

Politically, I think it helps McCain to have all these excellent qualities in a female running mate, particularly after the incredibly shabby treatment Obama and the DNC gave Hillary.

August 29, 8:37 pm | [comment link]
17. St. Cuervo wrote:

I’m optimistic but we’ll know a lot more in two weeks after she has been in the public spotlight for a bit.  She needs our prayers (regardless of whether or not you will vote for her).

August 29, 8:41 pm | [comment link]
18. Passing By wrote:

“I know she must have the worlds most supportive and incredible husband, and a great support system but babies need mom”.

They do, and as a mother of four under the age of 10, I think I know a little about that, too.  My husband loves his career so it is me who has chosen, happily, to be a stay-at-home mother. 

But, don’t assume that just because Governor Palin is busy with many responsibilities that she doesn’t mother her children.  It’s true that both she and my sister-in-law, a nationally-known Hospice physician who runs a large county-wide hospice and gives conferences and talks all over the country, probably have husbands from Heaven, but they both seem to be mothers who find a way to make the time.  Plus, there are many stay-at-home dads out there who do a beautiful job.  My sister-in-law’s kids are 14, 12, and 6 and they are some of the nicest, most well-adjusted kids I know.  They love their mom but are also grateful to have a stay-at-home dad, because they say they get to talk to their dad a lot more than most kids do.  Of course, my sister-in-law is out of the house way more, but she still does a quality job. 

Please give the dads credit when you should—personally I don’t agree with hired help raising one’s kids, but dads and moms can do equally good jobs as primary caregivers. 

You go, Governor Palin!! 


August 29, 11:03 pm | [comment link]
19. Katherine wrote:

Can anyone point me to liberal criticism of the Obamas both campaigning all over the country while their daughters are only ten and six (or thereabouts)?  Mrs. Obama has been heavily involved in the political rallies and speechmaking and travel.

August 29, 11:17 pm | [comment link]
20. sophy0075 wrote:

I am delighted with Senator McCain’s VP selection:
1. She has five years of experience as an elected official.
2. She and her husband come from a working-class background - no one can criticize her for “having seven homes” (not that I think such is a worthwhile criticism! Cindy McCain’s dad earned the basis of the fortune that was able to buy those homes - what’s so wrong about working hard, being successful, and enjoying the fruits of one’s labor? I don’t recall the size of Al Gore’s energy-expending mansion being the topic of campaign rhetoric!) (but I digress..) Anyway, the working class background has clearly enabled Gov Palin to focus on legislation that has reduced wasteful government expenditure and corruption in her state.
3. She has effectively worked against corruption in government. Can anyone honestly object to an elected official who not only speaks out against corruption, but is brave enough to fight against it? And is successful in her fight? (I’m waiting for those who support the fellow who benefited from Tony Rezko’s slick transfer of mortgage money to respond in an honest way…)
4. For the past two years, she has actually served as the governor - the chief executive- of a state. Obama, by contrast, has spent his very brief Senate tenure running for President. Gov Palin has been responsible for the development and passage of key legislation for her state - that pertaining to energy is just some. Obama has not authored any key legislation.
5. As a mom, I can appreciate the comments of those who worry whether Gov Palin will be able to satisfactorily mother her trisomy-21 child while campaigning and serving as the VP. Gov Palin, however, seems to have been very successful at juggling mothering and governing demands in her prior political career - witness her eldest son, who is following his mom’s footsteps of service by volunteering to serve in the US Army! I have also noted that in traditional families where there are multiple children, there is an effective division of labor among the parents and the older children. Finally, say what you will about the federal government, it tends to be a family-friendly workplace. I doubt anyone will object to Vice President Palin having a crib or play area in a corner of her office.
6. How refreshing to find an elected official who lives what she believes! I write, of course, of Gov Palin’s decision not to murder her unborn child.

May God bless Gov Palin and her family - whether or not she and Sen McCain win the White House!

August 30, 12:26 am | [comment link]
21. Belle wrote:

It appears that Palin has accomplished more (particularly in reform) in her two years as governer than Biden has in his entire career… My 20 year old daughter, who is also a member of the NRA and a minority conservative on her California college campus now has an excellent role model.

August 30, 2:39 am | [comment link]
22. Umbridge wrote:

Children need their dads just like they need their moms. What about Joe Biden? He’s been in politics for 35 years. Do you think that maybe he did some campaigning while he had a new child back at home who needed bonding with his dad? When the Dems bring up the same argument about the baby needing his mom, it will backfire…and offend many of the working mothers out there.

August 30, 10:48 am | [comment link]
23. libraryjim wrote:

You forget: there are different standards for Republicans than for Democrats.  Since Democrats have no ethical standards, they say that the Republicans need to be held to a higher standard (since they claim to be the party of ‘family values’), so they are fair game for criticism.

Which is why when a Republican is suspected of sexual misconduct, he is hounded out of office, but a Democrat in a similar situation is immediately put up for re-election!

August 30, 7:39 pm | [comment link]
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