McCain's VP Pick, Clinton Supporters, & the Hard Fight Ahead

McCain’s VP pick again underscores how hard the Democrats will have to work over the next 143 days to reunite their party with upset Clinton supporters. At the same time, Obama’s acceptance speech, watched by 38 million Americans (!), showed how many people he can inspire. Still, a large portion of Americans are very skeptical of him and his background. The lies that have been spread virally online as well as the negative attacks, that McCain launched after Obama’s trip abroad, have stuck in the minds of many voters, especially in the minds of former Clinton supporters. 

For McCain to pick the young female first-term Governor from Alaska was a smart move, argued the NPR reporter sitting next to me during the flight from Salt Lake City to Minneapolis. Many former Clinton supporters, she said, may see the McCain/Palin ticket as a good alternative. It is questionable, however, if her policy views resonate with former Clintonites, since Palin is  pro-life for example. Palin also is not of equal caliber as neither Hillary Clinton nor Joe Biden. Right after it was announced that Palin would be McCain’s running mate, the liberal blogosphere started making fun of her. Here are some of the headlines from the Huffington Post and other blogs: 

Another potential consequence of choosing a female Republican VP candidate is that Hillary Clinton will fight even harder to avoid a McCain presidency. And it’s not just because Palin is not Hillary, but because Palin is Palin. Additionally, Palin accused Clinton as a “whiner.” From my perspective, it would be rather unfortunate if Palin would make history being the first female VP and potenially the first female president of the US. I generally support women running for office, but I would never support a woman running for office just because she is a woman. It’s the policy, stupid.

It remains to be seen whether Palin passes the leadership threshold. Whether she is believed to be ready to be president herself might make a huge difference in this election due to McCain’s age (he turned 72 yesterday). As a friend told me sarcastically, she’d be only a heart attack away from the presidency should McCain win this November.

Update: There is already a facebook group called Sarah Palin is NOT Hillary Clinton and it has 2,593 members already (as of 3:52 pm Minneapolis time).