The Palin Pick
While this is technically beyond the scope of a locally focused blog, I feel like I have to say something.
When Sen. John McCain first picked Gov. Sarah Palin, my first thought was, “wow, this could really work – women voters might be convinced to move to this ticket.”
Twenty-four hours later, I wanted to call McCain campaign manager Rick Davis and senior strategist Steve Schmidt and tell them that I understand because members of my family have struggled with alcohol abuse in the past and that I am there for them when they are ready to experience what St John of the Cross called “the dark night of the soul.”
I am joking of course, but only barely. I don’t know if members of McCain’s senior campaign staff have a substance abuse problem, all I know is that someone over there has been drinking the kool-aid.
This makes them look really bad. Really bad.
Why? Because this isn’t about Palin or her daughter or any internet rumors.
This is about the truly stunningly bad judgment that they made. This is about how Palin feeds into the meme that McCain campaign can’t quite get things together. This is about how no one seriously believes that they knew about Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy.
Yes, yes. I have heard the arguments and read the headlines – the Palin’s family travails actually helps the McCain-Palin ticket.
It’s got nothing to do with family values or any other smokescreen people will throw up over this issue.
There is one overarching reason why this is a serious problem for McCain – staying on message.
Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden will be able to travel the country and talk about middle class tax relief, ending tax breaks for oil companies and corporations that ship jobs overseas, and reforming healthcare so that all Americans can get the coverage they need.
McCain and Palin will try and talk about their issues (which will no longer include experience), but all they’re going to be asked about is Bristol Palin’s pregnancy and whether they really think being mayor of Wasilla, Alaska and commanding the Alaska National Guard during the great Moose and Caribou Wars makes you qualified to be president. They might also be asked whether Palin really believes in dividing the United States (she belonged to the Alaska Independence Party). Oh… and about the ongoing investigation into whether she used the power of her office to punish her sister’s ex-husband.
They may talk about other issues, but no one is going to be listening. It doesn’t matter whether or not she supports Alaska seceding from the Union, whether there is a crime at the bottom of Troopergate or whether she ever talked to Bristol Palin about the proper use of a condom. All that matter is that McCain’s message has officially gotten lost in the mail and he has no one to blame but himself and his own staff.