August 30, 2008

Historic year

Well the Democratic Convention is over. Hillary Clinton appealed to her supporters to get behind Barack Obama. Al Gore and Bill Clinton showed their support as well. Obama gave a fine speech, more aggressive than he has been in the past. The Republican Convention begins next week. I will probably end up watching more of McCain's convention to see what the Republicans have to say.

McCain's pick of Sarah Palin was a surprise to many pundits (but how often are they right anymore). Like many others, I'm just learning about her now. She is the youngest person and the first woman elected Governor of Alaska. She is very popular, but as a man from an Alaskan paper pointed out, it doesn't hurt that she followed the least popular Governor in state history. It sounds like she is a very engaging speaker and I look forward to hearing her at the convention.

It is an interesting choice. By choosing her McCain loses the "lack of experience" argument against Obama since Palin political experience is as a mayor of a small town for six years and now 20 months as a Governor. The experience argument didn't help Hillary Clinton that much so it may not be much of a loss.

When Palin quoted Hillary Clinton's phrase about "18 million cracks in the glass ceiling" in her acceptance speech, it left little pretense that her choice was not a plea to grab dissatisfied Clinton supporters.

An analyst on NPR this morning was commenting on vice-presidential choices. He said that the vice-presidential nominee does not generally bring in a lot of voters, but it is more a reflection on the presidential candidate in the choosing. Obama could have chosen Clinton as his vice-president and probably would have locked things up. As it stands he will be fighting McCain/Palin for those voters. I can only assume he didn't chose her because he didn't think they would be a good fit. From what I've heard, McCain has only met Palin once. Not much of a history to glean how they would work together or what kind of asset she would be as a vice-president. On the surface it looks like a strategic choice Obama chose not to make.

And it just might work. McCain's choice of Palin will certainly bring excitement and energy to the convention and election. It certainly ensures that this election year continues to be historic. We will either have a the first black president or the first female vice-president. An already tight election is getting more interesting.

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