Friday, August 29, 2008

Convention wrap-up

Some final thoughts ...

- Well, um, yeah. I thought the speech was pretty darn good.

- I like the pick of Joe Biden more and more. His delivery wasn't too sharp, but it was candid and honest, which was refreshing. His son's introduction of him was pretty impressive too.

- I thought there was a very effective attempt to tie the promise of an Obama presidency to the successes of the Clinton presidency, something which hadn't been done prior to the DNC.

- John McCain will apparently abandon the 'experience' argument he's trumping now since he's tabbed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential pick seeing how the depth of Palin's political experience is 18 months as governor of 47th-least-populated state and two terms on the Wasilla City Council. Again, it ain't that I'm opposed to that - fresh faces are a good thing, particularly in a change election - but it makes it difficult to criticize someone as too green for the job when you choose someone with less experience as your running mate.

8 Comments:

Blogger Barstool69 said...

Abandon the question of experience? Obama is running for POTUS not VP. She has two years of executive experience which is more than Obama. Now would be the time that you revert to the, "But McCain is going to die in the next four years" claim. If that were the case, do you honestly think he would be the nominee? I've seen this man's mother introduce him at an event, and she is more energetic than I am (granted I'm pretty lazy, but still).

If she were running for POTUS, then yes I agree with what you're saying. But the experience argument in no way should be completely abandoned.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Jmac said...

But the experience argument in no way should be completely abandoned.

But shouldn't the presidential nominee choose someone they feel is in tune with his/her worldview? That is if McCain feels that Obama's eight years in the Illinois State Senate and four years in the U.S. Senate means the latter lacks the necessary experience to lead, why in the world would he opt to choose someone who has been governor of the 47th-least populated state for 18 months and just finished a stint as the part-time mayor of Wasilla, Alaska?

It doesn't add up at all, and that's why the experience argument should be abandoned (though personally I don't put much wait into the who's been there longer argument ... sure it's a component for voters to make a decision about, but it shouldn't be essential).

This was a political pick designed for a political purpose (winning the election). It's why John Kerry tabbing John Edwards was so ineffective in 2004.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Jmac said...

Argh ... 'weight' I mean.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Xon said...

Again, though, JMac, I love you but this doesn't translate as well as you think it does. For one, we're talking VP, not POTUS, as barstool already pointed out. Not the same thing. After McCain has served one or two terms, she will have lots of top-flight experience.

Meanwhile, as barstool also already pointed out and which you didn't address in your resposne, Palin has executive experience whereas Obama does not. So it's not as though she has NO experience. And any state, whether 47th in size or 1st, has all the same sorts of responsibilites for its governor. Executive leadership is executive leadership.

Plus, MCcain is the alpha, see? The alpha already has experience, and doesn't need to pick a running mate who has the exact same strengths.

But experience is tricky that way. An experienced alpha can pick a less experienced second chair if he wants, b/c it's the alpha who really matters when it comes to experience. But a low-experience alpha can't pick an experienced second and have it "balance" the ticket in the same way. B/c at the end of the day, we're talking about OBAMA being president, not Joe Biden. Biden's experience might help him eight years from now (let's say) when he is next in line to take over for outgoing Pres Obama (again, let's say). But none of that gives any reassurance about how OBAMA is going to rule for the eight years between now and then. It just ain't the same.

I'm just saying, you're all in on Obama and have been for a long time. I think your finger has slipped off the pulse of non-Obamaniacs somewhere along the way. Palin is a great pick. People are excited about it. I'm no McCain man, but I was abundantly pleased at the selection. I hardly think he could have done better. From a conservative/right-leaning centrist point of view (the kind of folks who have to turn out for McCain to win), this is a winner of a pick.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Jmac said...

I think your finger has slipped off the pulse of non-Obamaniacs somewhere along the way. Palin is a great pick. People are excited about it. I'm no McCain man, but I was abundantly pleased at the selection. I hardly think he could have done better.

OK, but the problem is that this pool of 'non-Obamaniacs' is rather small in comparison, and by that I mean that those who would adhere to the platform but forth by McCain and followed (presumably?) by Palin is smaller in comparison with the group of Democratic-leaning supporters and independent voters.

Those pools of voters, which heavily tilt toward Obama, see the Palin choice in the proper way ... as a baffling one. It gets some press attention, wins a cycle or two, but will ultimately fizzle out over time. As far as the concept of executive experience, neither of the presidential candidates possess that experience, meaning her 18 months as governor of Alaska is it.

And the reviews from those on her side of the aisle back home don't terribly comfort me ...

State Senate President Lyda Green said she thought it was a joke when someone called her at 6 a.m. to tell her the news.

"She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president? said Green, a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla. "Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"

7:54 AM  
Blogger Xon and Katie said...

Oh, a disgruntled quote from someone who doesn't like her. Totally conclusive. Can't find those for most politicians these days. I'm sure McCain could have selected someone who would have received glowing reviews from EVERY person they've every worked with, even people in the party whose incumbent they had beaten in a recent election (Palin unseated an incumbent Repub. governor in Alaska).

I also heard that Kenneth Star thinks that Clinton was a disaster, which of course means that he WAS.

As for all of these "Democrat-leaning" people who are going to be voting for Obama, okay if you say so...I can't see the future, but I think Obama is in big trouble. All of these presumptive votes just aren't going to show up. The polls already indicate that he's not exactly running away with it, and that's after his superweek.

If I'm wrong, I'll live. But I don't think I am. As to what the "right" view of Palin is, that's just a bit pretentious now isn't it?

Bottom line: if she's such easy pickins, then expose her. See you at the debates.

But be glad she has to debate Biden instead of Obama. The abortion issue alone would go very very badly for him.

Obama: Beyond my paygrade when life begins. Woman's right to choose. Voted against born alive bill in Illinois (even when it included unnecessary provisions for the "health of the mother", which is what Obama SAID he wanted it to have before he would vote for it). I wouldn't want to "punish" my daughter with a child (yikes yikes yikes yikes). Etc. etc.

Palin: Look at my child with Downs' Syndrome, whom I chose to have fully knowing the score and whom I love.

Anyway... The symbolism of Palin is important, too. The frontier. The "little sister" state. She gave some great interviews to this effect, actually. Alaska was given statehood and told "now you've got to step up and earn your place at the table like all the big boys." And since then it's been fifty years of national intrusion upon Alaska's best opportunities to do just that.

If the empire ends up being ruled by someone from the frontier, then I think that's a good thing. The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.

Furthermore, I have spoken to a good (anecdotal, but still real) number of conservative types yesterday and today who are now voting for McCain, no question about it. Before they were on the fence, vote-third-party or write-in voters. Protest voters who refuse to go with McCain just to keep Obama out. Now they're voting for McCain, and it's basically with the hope that Palin becomes prez eventually.

So, politically, you tell me if that's a good pick for McCain or not. The "maverick" Republican whom conservatives have never trusted (and still don't) picking someone that has conservatives more and more willing to vote for him.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Polusplagchnos said...

One of the things that Battlestar Galactica should teach people is that "experience" does not matter more than resolve, particularly when the fate of the species is at hand.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

I think it is interesting how conservatives are now 'drinking the kool aid' of the newest 'celebrity' -- anointing her 'The One' and the 'Messiah' of the dieing conservative movement. [Did I miss any of the great points Republicans have been making since June?]

This double standard on the experience qualification (which our infallible founding fathers somehow forgot to include in the Constitution) should hopefully make it obvious that the election should be about the issues and judgment of the candidates.

As to judgment, the vice-presidential choices of the two major party candidates tell very different stories.

8:19 PM  

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