You know you're a huge nerd when:
John McCain announces his VP pick and you get ten people asking you "What's up with this Palin chick?" (By the way, I've been hearing various newspeople stumble over this one for the past 24 hours, so I got it confirmed - it's "PAY-lin," not "PAL-lin.")
I've been reading a lot about this, and well, it's an interesting one. Some people are describing it as crazy, others say it's safe, and I really don't know - I think it's somewhere in the middle.
So, a quick pros and cons rundown (note - if you think you've heard some of these before, you're probably right - this is basically a combination of things I've read and things that are pretty obvious to someone who's following it closely):
Pros (to the McCain side):
- Looks "progressive" in picking a woman...
- ...therefore may pick up some undecided female voters
- and with Joe Biden's penchant for slightly inappropriate comments (for example "You cannot go into a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent,"), the chances for a slip-up on Biden's end are decent, which would make it incredibly easy for McCain to label the Democrats as the "sexist" party.
Cons (to the McCain side):
- is the choice of a woman too obvious of a pander to disappointed Hillary voters? (see the CNN article which mentions that McCain only met Palin once - six months ago - and spoke on the phone with her once).
- the "Obama is too young and inexperienced" argument is basically taken off the table, as Palin is 44 years old to Obama's 47, and has two years of major political experience (as governor of Alaska) to Obama's four years (as United States Senator)
- with that being said, McCain may be healthy (so he says), but voters may be unwilling to take the risk of someone so inexperienced being so close to the presidency
- is young enough to be McCain's daughter, and her youth may very well amplify McCain's age in joint appearances (see also: Nixon/Kennedy debates)
- is younger and more attractive than Hillary Clinton, a fact PUMAs may resent (and, according to fivethirtyeight.com, this could very well be the reason for Obama's brand-new one point lead in Florida).
- slightly breaking news - on July 11, Palin fired Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan - apparently, because Monegan himself said no to firing state trooper Mike Wooten, who just happens to be Palin's sister's ex-husband (who passed out at 31 Flavors last night - thanks Simone). Needless to say, the firings seem to be personally motivated, and the Alaskan Legislature has convened a special commission to investigate the charges - with the findings scheduled to be announced a couple days before Election Day. For those of us looking to escape the shady dealings of George W. Bush, this kind of story doesn't exactly inspire confidence that a McCain/Palin administration would bring the kind of change this country needs.
- And, Governor Palin, you'd better find out in a hurry:
Don't think that one won't be used against her - like they say, saying something on the internet is like peeing in the pool - once it's there, it's really hard to take out.
So, politics is politics, and the game continues. Like I always say, it'd be a great game to watch if the implications weren't so frightening and the need to make an informed choice wasn't so important (note to all of you McCain supporters who may be reading this - notice I said "informed choice" - if you know what you're talking about and have done the research, go ahead and vote McCain - I'm not in the business of implying that every Republican voter is just uninformed.)
But nevertheless, it's an interesting game, and we'll see how these tactics play out against each other in November.
If I can get off of work, I applied to work a shift at my polling station here in Madison. It'll be a nice chance to hang out with some retirees for a while (ha). We're also in the somewhat-planning stages of an election party, with nowhere to have it (all of my friends, myself included, have ridiculously small places). Possible taglines for the flyers include "Celebrate or cry - drinks will be provided, regardless of the outcome" or "Drinks will be provided - unles you're a Republican and don't believe in handouts."
So, I'm going to get ready for work. Taste of Madison is this weekend, and they're expecting a quarter of a million people on Capitol Square - I'm not sure I believe that, but I do know that we're going to rock tonight - plus the Badgers open their season today, so it's going to be a busy night.