(At the risk of criticism, error, and impropriety, I offer my first diary which is based upon some of my recent comments)
I've been thinking about the selection of Palin for (vice) president.
And my view has changed significantly in the last 24 hours. I think it would be incorrect to view the nomination of Palin for vice president as one of a candidacy for the vice president. Allow me to explain.
Sure the Republican ticket needs a presidential nominee and a vice presidential nominee, and McCain certainly is the presidential nominee. But Palin is not a vice presidential nominee in any traditional sense. Think of this selection as more of a management decision based on image control than a political decision based on issues and answers.
Adding Palin to the Republican ticket provides an antidote and a possibly a remedy to many of the negatives that McCain’s image is providing to the electorate:
- Old age
- A lack of anger management and an unpredictable tendancy to be overly aggressive
- An inability to relate to women in a civil manner generally
- An "unreformed" Washington insider who can’t make a move without lobbyists leading him or covering for him
- Overly concerned, pre-occupied, and associated with military and defense matters and foreign affairs
- An unpredictable maverick whose resulting inconsistencies are making him less appealing, in particular to the business community
- His marital infidelities
It’s important to view Palin not as a vice presidential nominee per se but instead as how she modifies the McCain image. View Palin as an overlay that is added to McCain to obscure or neutralize his negatives. This view changes a McCain as presidential nominee with a Palin as vice presidential nominee into a merged or combination ticket of McCain/Palin. As such Palin is an excellent choice. The fact that she is not by any stretch of the imagination qualified to be President of the United States is totally beside the point.
Needless to say this view assumes a strategy on the part of the Republican pollsters meant to appeal to last minute, undecided, limited information voters.
And yet, even as this combined image shows the advantages of enhanced neutrality, it remains useful to boil McCain and Palin down to their bare essence. In doing so:
if McCain can be seen as a Cold Warrior a bit past his prime, Palin can be seen as a Culture Warrior a bit before her prime. Neither is ready for the presidency.