I know that it's kind of old news at this point, but I'm just now getting my mind wrapped around John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Talk about a surprise pick. Before Friday morning I don't think I'd even heard her name in any context, let alone as a potential vice president. Talk about a startling and stunning choice.
On the one hand, I can see why McCain picked her. She is unapologetically conservative and has a reformer image that certainly would appeal to McCain. She's young and energetic and apparently is an excellent public speaker. After that, it gets a little hazy.
For a campaign that has largely based itself around the idea of experience and readiness to lead, the Palin pick seems like a hugely counterproductive move. It seems tremendously disingenuous to say that Palin has the foreign policy experience (from her time as Mayor of Wasilla?) that Obama lacks. As we learned on CNN yesterday, attempts to paint that picture end up looking pretty foolish.
Whereas Obama's choice of Biden prompted everyone to say, "Okay, good solid pick," McCain's choice prompted "WHO? No really, who is she?" As usual, Talking Points Memo is doing a great job breaking down the issues and doing the investigating on the new pick and so far the picture isn't exactly rosy. There seems to be plenty of fodder to undermine whatever upside Palin brings to the ticket.
When I first heard who McCain had chosen, I thought it was a transparent attempt to woo former Hillary supporters by putting a woman on the ticket. Now, I'm less convinced. As I hear and read more about this it seems more and more like an ill-thought out gut reaction. It hardly fills me with confidence in a potential President McCain.