Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Governor Palin: An Analysis

When John McCain announced Governor Palin as his running mate, a few questions ran through my head, in a very specific order: “Who?”, followed shortly by “John McCain chose… a woman? That nobody knows?”.  If that last bit comes across sexist, I assure you it was not intended. Allow me to emphasize that I was surprised that McCain of all people would choose a woman, not upset by it. Just a little confused. I mean, seriously? The governor… of Alaska? That has no political experience to speak of? I understand why he chose a woman – it should go a long way toward retaining any female voters he gained after Hillary Clinton left the race. In the long run, it might also prove to be an intelligent decision to pick somebody unknown, as almost everyone that has in any way been associated with campaigning has come away with a tarnished name and a laundry list of reasons the American public will not support them (Romney, Huckabee, etc etc etc). In an attempt to organize the mess of thoughts running through my head right now, I’m just going to throw down lists of positives and negatives regarding the choice of Governor Palin.

On the up side:

  • Young: Governor Palin is even younger than Barack Obama, giving some necessary vitality to McCain’s ticket. Anybody that was worried that McCain might kick the bucket while in office can relax a bit – his VP choice has no such issue.
  • Female: McCain has been working, and with a degree of success, to sway female voters. It doesn’t help that he has a track record of making sexist remarks, uncouth jokes, blowing up at his wife, opposes abortion, and does not see a problem with wage discrepancies between men and women. Adding a woman to his ticket will, at the very least, convince a few naive soccer moms that he is okay. In addition, as previously mentioned, it will aid him in his efforts to gain and/or keep female Democrats who are still bitter about Hillary Clinton losing the Democratic nomination.
  • (Mostly) Clean Record: Honestly, Palin hasn’t been in the political arena long enough to do much permanent damage. Apparently she hates polar bears, but other than that… I got nothin’. I’m sure somebody will dig up some dirt on her eventually, but for now she appears relatively innocent. That may end up giving the McCain ticket a hint of the vibe that Obama has going for him.

And with the good, comes the bad:

  • Inexperienced: Palin is currently Governor of Alaska. Guess when she took office – maybe 2002? 1998? Multiple terms, perhaps? Wrong. She’s been in office since – drumroll, please – December 4, 2006. And people were complaining about Obama’s lack of experience. You might say, “She isn’t the presidential candidate though; it matters more for Obama”. Maybe so, but you can’t ignore the fact that she is on the ticket with a geriatric. Want to know what she did before being elected governor? Palin served as mayor of Wasilla, a town that estimates it’s own population at 6,715. That might cut it up in Alaska, but not if she were to end up (God forbid) President of the United States. If John McCain  gains office and then dies, I hope she has the common sense to resign and let the Speaker of the House take over.
  • Short Term Appeal: Having Palin on McCain’s ticket will be great for the weeks leading up to the election. She strengthens his appeal to female voters, and will theoretically help sway anyone who might be on the fence right now. What about after the election? What then? What if McCain actually gets elected president? He’ll be stuck with a borderline-incompetent Vice President. Better that than another Cheney, I suppose, but I would prefer someone that could actually accomplish something with the VP position.
  • The Oil Issue: Gov. Palin wants to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That doesn’t sound so bad, right? I mean, we need energy independence and all that, so drilling at home is the place to start. Personally, I disagree. Opening up new drilling is basically throwing good money after bad. Not only does Palin want to drill in the ANWR, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get there, including suing the federal government to remove polar bears from the endangered species list. Curse those endangered species, they always seem to show up in places where we’re destroying the environment.

In conclusion, having Palin on the Republican ticket is something of a mixed bag. Personally, I find it simultaneously amusing and flat-out scary. I sincerely believe that McCain will have to pull a massive rabbit out of his hat (or Obama will have to seriously screw something up) in order for the Republicans to keep the office of the president. On the other hand, never underestimate the collective stupidity of the American populace. I periodically get all optimistic and idealistic and stuff; then i hear some redneck (I live in Oklahoma) start spouting bilge about how Obama is the antichrist and muslim and hates America and we’re all gonna die if he becomes president. I’m used to hearing stupid things, so the above doesn’t phase me in and of itself. The scary part is when another dozen people in the vicinity all start agreeing. It’s almost enough to make me wish I attended the University of Texas. At least Austin is liberal.

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August 30, 2008 - Posted by | News, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Excellent insight on both the pros and cons side of things. To me, it’s a wildcard. But, I strongly believe he would have been better off picking someone who people have heard of. Heck, I’d prefer he picked Grimace from the McDonald’s ads:
    http://www.bofads.com/stories/helpmascots.htm
    At least people know who Grimace is!

    Comment by Smitty | August 30, 2008 | Reply

  2. Great analysis. And even though I found it extremely random, that Grimace page in the comment above made me laugh out loud.

    Comment by Jim K | August 30, 2008 | Reply

  3. Smitty,

    Great contribution! Grimace… gotta love him.

    Comment by techpluslifestyle | August 30, 2008 | Reply


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