A master stroke

by Michael O. Allen on August 29, 2008

Let’s give the McCain campaign credit for one thing: They sure know how to steal the Democrats’ thunder.

Democrats dominated the nation’s attention this week with their convention, culminating with their historic affirmation of Barack Obama as the first African-American to nominated for president by a major political party. Sen. Obama punctuated that with what has been generally hailed as a successful acceptance speech in front of some 80,000 rapturous supporters in Denver last night.

It was, in short, a very good week for Democrats.

The Republicans, who hold their convention next week, have detonated a political bombshell that will sweep away attention from Democrats and undercut some of the historic nature of Obama’s ascent with their pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate. More than the obvious ploy of picking a woman in hope of stealing some of the still miffed supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, it is the attention-grabbing nature of the pick that is astounding.

I am not saying that Gov. Palin is either qualified to be president, or that she is a good pick for Sen. John McCain. I am saying that for today, at least, she helps Republicans shift attention for the Democratic ticket.

The incredible thing is that Palin exposes a significant weakness in the Democratic ticket. McCain’s pick of Palin shows now that Obama was not wise to pick Joe Biden as his running mate. Those disaffected Hillary voters can now vote for the McCain-Palin ticket in some good conscience. The Republicans found a woman who was good enough when Democrats couldn’t. I’m not saying Obama should have picked Hillary. But she is not the only woman in the country.

By not picking Kathleen Sebelius or any of the number of qualified women around this nation, Obama left the door open for McCain to make this play.

Some of abhorrently sexist manner in which Hillary was treated during the primaries and caucuses, especially by the media, has pissed off a sizeable number of her supporters.

That Palin is a conservative Christian who is anti-choice and disagrees with Hillary on virtually every issue is not lost on me. Her supporters have a legitimate grievance that the Obama campaign did not pay enough attention to. Now Democrats may pay in November. I just know that women will now vote for the Republican tickets in some states in numbers significant enough to make a difference come Nov. 4.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Andy Ray August 31, 2008 at 3:45 AM

We, from the UK, have been wondering (with sadness) why the apparently right-wing GOP always manages to trump the Democrats at least on tokenism! It’s not only now that the GOP chose a woman before the Dems could, but let’s also recall that even Bill Clinton could go only as far as promoting Young, whereas it was Bush II who had the moral chutzpah to give the most coveted job to Powell and Rice. I think the Dems got to do some soul-searching to really assess how much they are (possibly unwittingly) still dominated by Boston Brahmins and/or well-educated White lawyers. [Unfortunately in the UK even our Labour Party too have been dominated by Oxbridge graduates and lawyers. But we still have the monarchy too! However, we don’t expect this political backwardness from the American Democrats.]

schöne frisuren December 18, 2015 at 4:09 AM

We, from the UK, have been wondering (with sadness) why the apparently right-wing GOP always manages to trump the Democrats at least on tokenism! It’s not only now that the GOP chose a woman before the Dems could, but let’s also recall that even Bill Clinton could go only as far as promoting Young, whereas it was Bush II who had the moral chutzpah to give the most coveted job to Powell and Rice. I think the Dems got to do some soul-searching to really assess how much they are (possibly unwittingly) still dominated by Boston Brahmins and/or well-educated White lawyers. [Unfortunately in the UK even our Labour Party too have been dominated by Oxbridge graduates and lawyers.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: