McCain Taps Cressida
So John McCain has made a radical, surprise, maverick choice for is Vice Presidential running mate and picked Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. It is actually a great choice. McCain is trying to get Hilary's dissafected women supporters, and so picking a woman was obviously a big consideration. But going out on a limb and picking a woman whom nobody outside Alaska has ever heard of, a comparatively young woman (she's my age, 44) was a bold stroke, targetting two of Obama's supposedly core constituencies, women and young voters. And this is not a Geraldine Ferraro pick, largely symbolic in a race the republican's can't win. This is designed to give McCain's campaign a big boost and it will. The timing was designed to take the wind out of Obama's sails after his triumphant speech (how could you call it anything else) in front of 84,000 supporters at Mile High Stadium.
It creates a lot of trouble for McCain too. Can a woman who has been governor for less than two years be more "ready to be comander in chief" than Obama? I think it deflates McCain's biggest argument against Obama.
It is also, let's face it, pure pandering. McCain is trying desperately to fend off a well run and inspiration campaign, a grass roots movement, in support of Barack Obama. Pandering to women, to young voters, while still pandering to his conservative base (Palin is one of the most strident pro-life governor's in the country) is a cold calculated move designed to win him the election by shoring up his own base while splitting Obama's. And it might work. Cold calculated political moves are ow elections are won.
Two things occur to me, one of which bodes well for McCain but the second bodes very well for Obama:
Palin as a choice is way out there. It is likely to be ridiculed on the left. But as has already been pointed out by some bloggers, Dan Quayle and Spiro Agnew were both ridiculed on the left as well, and Nixon and GHW Bush still won. This bodes well for McCain.
But what really strikes me from last night is the fact that Obama's candidacy is, as he said, not about him. It is about a movement. It is about a grass roots movement that he has tapped into and which is sweeping him along with it. It used to be said that conservativism was stronger than liberalism because conservativism was a movement while liberalism was a collection of causes. But what Obama represents is a real movement. A postmodern progressive movement, one demanding real substantial change in Washington. This type of movement has occurred before. Bobby was part o such a movement, and yesterday I talked of Obama as the second coming of Bobby. But last night and this morning something solidified in my head.
Obama may not be the second coming of Bobby. He might be the second coming of Ronald Reagan.
I'm not kidding here. What I witnessed from Denver last night was amazing, and it wasn't just the charasmatic rock star quality of Barack Obama. It was the frenzy of the 84,000 people who were there to support him. And as I think of my own feelings to his candidacy, and hear what others are saying, and as I heard him talk, I was reminded of Reagan and his call to change Washington fundamentally, that "government cannot solve your problems, government is the problem." And now after twenty-eight years of Reaganite neglect, the people of the United States are demanding that government pay attention to them once more, and they have chosen a great communicator to be their standard bearer. That is Barack's call, and he is backed by a grass roots movement of people who have taken over the democratic party and are now poised to take over the country.
McCain better watch out. He is not fighting a bunch of lilly livered liberals. He is up against he second coming of Ronald Reagan. And he is in for a fight.