Why John McCain picked Sarah Palin?

So now it’s official, Senator John McCain has picked Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.  How did it happen and why?

If you will re-read my post of March 5, 2008, you will see how clear the process really was. The choice is much more limited than it may have at first appeared. 

If he picked Mike Huckabee he risked seeing some Mormons in the Mountain States sitting at home on Election Day.  Many of them are still simmering over Huckabee’s heavy handed political style during the early primaries. And those Mountain States, though small in electoral votes, are needed, every one of them, in any Republican electoral victory map.

On the other hand, if he picked Mitt Romney, as Washington insiders expected, he would have seen some Evangelicals in the South quietly sitting at home on Election Day.  That was the lesson learned from Iowa and the primaries.  In a close race it could have impacted some of the border states. 

If he picked another white male who didn’t actually get in the primary races, say Florida Governor Charlie Crist or Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour or South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford or Minnesota Governor, Tim Pawlenty, he risked disgusting both Mormons and Evangelicals besides reducing his ticket to the level of hopelessly boring in a year when American’s are crying out for change.  Facing Barack Obama, an African American, McCain would have looked terribly old fashioned and traditional with another white male on the ticket.

Colin Powell would have worked.  But he wouldn’t take it and good thing, he has never really been forgiven for dissing Evangelicals in a nationally televised Barbara Walter interview after the first Gulf War.  It made him the darling of the media but it ruined his chances to win the Republican nomination and anyway, McCain already dissed the Evangelicals himself in 2000 when he called their leaders “agents of intolerance.”  So the media should already be sufficiently sated and the Evangelicals would be hard pressed to be enthusiastic about a ticket that boasted two of their detractors.

Condoleezza Rice would have been perfect, a woman and a Black, who also happened to be a born again Christian, except for the fact that she is joined at the hip to George W. Bush whose approval ratings are now in a virtual dead heat with Rosie O’Donnell’s.  

Which leaves us with a woman. Yes, that’s it folks.  There is no other choice.   I thought it would be Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas.  But I didn’t know about Sarah Palin.  True, McCain is risking the fact that she has not been publicy vetted.  But he has been rolling the dice throughout this whole campaign and look where it has gotten him?  He is still in the race when all others counted him out.

This decision has clearly stolen the limelight form the Democratic coronation, which was practically an infomercial for the Republicans.  Now, the media will gush over the fact that no matter who wins history will be made. 

Yep, that’s it, folks.  That’s what it had to be.  Read my blog from March 5th.  And just change the name from Hutchinson to Palin, and you will see why it had to be.


8 Responses to Why John McCain picked Sarah Palin?

  1. David Black says:

    Ahem, read my blog entry from April 16 where I essentially suggested the same thing by pushing for a McCain pairing with Condi Rice. Palin has by far more cred than Condi as a state governor. The idea of Condi made sense but she has never held elected office. That would have been a sore point, despite her academic and administrative profile and experience with foreign policy.

    I wrote:

    “Senator, I’ve heard of Mitt Romney’s name being suggested for VP, but in reality, a tag team of two old white guys isn’t going to cut it in a culture influenced by YouTube and American Idol.”

  2. chumpzilla says:

    Another point worth mentioning is that Sarah Palin is far more conservative 9in her record and rhetoric) than John McCain. Even if she is a union member.
    She should be able to connect with middle American women who are also soccer/hockey moms. A group that is dangerous for the Democrats to attack.

  3. raleyb says:

    I was driving to an office organization job I had this morning, when I heard Laura Ingram talking about the possibility of Palin as Veep. When I heard the mention by Ingram, several things popped into my head. The first thing I thought about was Doug’s piece in March about Hutchinson. I linked to it way back then and told a few people that Doug was predicting Kay Bailey Hutchinson. I thought if Palin is picked, hopefully Doug will point back to his past pick, because even though it was wrong- it was actually right. Just as you said in your post, take out Hutchinson and insert Palin. The names are different but the strategy is the same.

    Secondly, I thought about the online NCAA like bracket for VEEP earlier this year. It resulted in a Huckabee vs Palin final. Huckabee won the final about 70-30, mainly because of a Ron Paul-like Internet organization, which I was part of. How interesting that out of 64 very qualified potential VEEPS, Palin makes the final. But I thought Palin- interesting? I read up on her and really liked what I saw. It’s funny I told someone this morning that unless McCain picked Palin or Huckabee I could easily throw my vote to Ron Paul- who is growing on my daily.

    At least this pick energizes me and the other born agains in the country, as opposed to the alternatives. Romney- yawn. All the other governors-yawn. All the military/homeland defense/cabinet folks-yawn.

    Great piece and great call in March.

  4. David Black says:

    “It’s funny I told someone this morning that unless McCain picked Palin or Huckabee I could easily throw my vote to Ron Paul- who is growing on my daily.”

    Instead of “throw my vote to,” don’t you really mean “waste my vote on”?

  5. raleyb says:

    Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the classic definition of insanity my friend- Mr Black

  6. David Black says:

    Isn’t expressing your heartfelt admiration for Ron Paul the same thing?

    For every hosanna you offer that whack job Ron Paul, I’m there to smack you upside the head with a mallet.

    You people need to be reminded of YOUR lunatic devotion to your various “messiahs.”

  7. […] Doug Wead – whom, you’ll remember, I quoted yesterday in regards to my theory – has his own ideas: If you will re-read my post of March 5, 2008, you will see how clear the process really was. The choice is much more limited than it may have at first appeared. […]

  8. […] https://dougwead.wordpress.com/2008/08/29/why-john-mccain-picked-sarah-palin/ Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)In Palin’s Life and Politics, Goal to Follow God’s Will – NYTim…Why Sarah has the X appealPalin harshly criticizes Obama in her prime-time debut.The Forging of Titanium Sarah – HUMAN EVENTS […]

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