Here's a Theory About McCain's Choice of Palin, that comes into play in the Biden/Palin Debate

     Part of McCain's stradegy, is to distance himself from Bush as much as possible.  He can't deny his past congressional decisions in that many of them have coincided with Bush's ideals.  Had he chosen another congressman to run with, I'm assuming he'd have to choose a republican although there is the issue of Lieberman who has recently gone independent democrat, has criticized both dems and repubs in the near past and has been hanging around with McCain.  But he was Gore's running mate, and so it would be an odd choice.  On the other hand we have Palin.  Does that seem odd?  What I'm getting at here, is that had McCain chosen any other Republican senator as his running mate, there would be two, not one, candidates to compare to Bush's track record.  In choosing Palin, McCain's running mate gets a free pass in that area, and gets to speak her mind, freely, without having to constantly defend a voting record that runs opposite to her presently stated opinions.   In being an outsider she's got that freedom.

     This came to light in the debate between Biden and Palin as Biden went down the list and constantly emphasisized that McCain has been on the side of the present administration when it comes to 90% of the issues.  He can't debate that with Palin. However, what he cold have debated was that her past issues only involved Alaskan government, which with the exception of oil companies, doesn't stretch as far into most of the important issues the country is presently dealing with.  Not that she's not smart, but she's not experienced in a nationalistic sence.  McCain can't go to her for advice on most issues.  She did try to play up her Alaskan experience to McCain using her for energy interdependance responsibilities though.

     In conclusion, she may have been chosen as a distraction, not only to grab some women voters, but also to distance the team from the crud the repubs have been drudging up during the present administration's foleys.  She's got no congressional voting record that coincides with Bush's.  She's pushing the positive everyday family factor, she's a woman, and she was able to debate simple topics with Biden without falling flat on her face.  You see the difference beween this debate and an interview with Katie Couric, is that nobody interupts Palin while she's talking, and nobody drills her causing her to faulter.  She is allowed to speak her mind clearly without interuption.  She's allowed time to prepare for her next answer while analizing what her opponent is saying.  It seems a little less stressful than putting the person on the spot and forcing them to answer the question right then and there.  The opponents were permitted to steer their retorts in any direction they wanted, thus, steering the wheel and subject matter to a place they felt safe, and thus jump away from topics where they felt opposition with.  That being said, I still think Biden would have held up better answering the same questions Couric asked Palin.  It seemed like her choice of running mate works best when she's allowed to speak freely, and she was able to do that in this debate, not that she didn't have comparable opposition from Biden.  Personally though I thought he could have responded better to her accusation of finger pointing, I mean up until recently, what else do you have.  And Biden can't really say much about her history, because this debate is not about Alaska, it's about America.

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You make an interesting and valid point

Wally_Pipp's picture

I submit, however, that the reason Biden kept on going after McCain rather than Palin is a bit more subtle.

If you recall, over the past several weeks, Republican handlers have made a great deal of noise about treating Palin with deference and about how some media outlets, bloggers, and liberal pundits have been too harsh on her and her family. I think there were probably a whole series of press releases ready before the debate attacking big, bad Biden for beating up on the pretty little lady from Alaska. Biden and his handlers recognized this trap and successfully avoided it by attacking her running mate and not her.

Remember that the only reason this debate has garnered so much attention is the novelty of Republicans, the party of misogynists, fielding a female vice presidential candidate. But people don't normally choose a president based on his running mate. Does anyone remember the Gore/Quayle/Stockdale debate in 1992? Or do you, like me, remember nothing other than Admiral Stockdale's opening remarks? ("Who am I? What am I doing here?") I had to look up the name of Bob Dole's running mate in 1996 (Jack Kemp) and I have no memories of a debate between he and Al Gore, although I am certain that one occurred. 

The strength of the ticket is going to be carried chiefly by the name at the top of the ticket. The choice for the second position should help strengthen the ticket, but it's purely garnish and not to be confused with the entree.

Even with the novelty of a female running mate, I don't think a significant number of voters are going to change their votes based solely on this factor. The Republicans were hoping to distract Biden enough to make him appear to be a bully. Biden defused the situation perfectly by attacking the man at the top of the ticket rather than the shiny lure being waved in front of his face.

Best regards, Wally

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