Yank in Ulster reacts to Sarah Palin

A friend made a posting on his blog about the selection by John McCain of Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate (“American reacts to (Irish) Sarah Palin”). I made the following reply:

I do not agree with Jack Cafferty’s analysis. Sure, the McCain
campaign can no longer use Obama’s lack of experience as a weapon.
Obama’s selection of Biden was obviously motivated by the issue of
experience. Okay, so now they’re even, i.e. Palin’s lack of experience
isn’t an issue.

Also, remember that Americans don’t like intellects as presidential
candidates. Europeans wonder how Yanks could ever elect an idiot like
George Bush Jr to office. Precisely because he’s a guy you’d invite
over to your house BBQ and share a beer with. Palin fits that mould of
your approachable politician, “one of us”.

However, I laughed heartily when Palin referenced Hillary Clinton ad
Geraldine Ferraro in her speech. I cannot see how women voters for
Clinton would ever contemplate voting for this “hockey mom”; they hold
exact opposite positions on some fundamental matters.

Furthermore, the jury’s out on what effect the selection of Palin will
have on Obama’s weakest constituency: blue-collar, mainly Midwestern,
white males. I would have thought Palin’s relative conservatism (and
pleasing appearance) would attract. However, some of the replies to
Cafferty’s posited question whiffs of sexism.

Or let me put it another way. I remember the reaction to George Bush
Sr’s selection of Dan Quayle as VP candidate in the 1988 presidential
campaign. The media gasped on how Bush could have handed Dukakis such
an advantage by choosing such an idiot. Quayle was also “a heartbeat
away” from being president, for four years.

Quayle served his purpose for the campaign, and so will Palin.

Indeed, I’m still anxious that Obama may not win the state of Ohio. A
McCain-Palin ticket should appeal there, if Republican sexism doesn’t
get in the way.

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