I know we’re all excited as heck about the announcement of Gov. Sarah Palin as Mc’s veep choice, but in the interest of fairness – and to help prepare everyone for the inevitable criticisms that will follow – I wanted to present some “pros and con” arguments about her from conservatives we can trust, and get your thoughts.
First up: The Weekly Standard has a 14 pointÂ piece up aboutÂ some of the positivesÂ Palin brings to the GOP ticket and to the presidential campaign on the whole.Â Â I linked up earlier to Ed Morrissey’s pro argument.
NRO’s The Corner has had a lively discussion today about Palin, and some of the pro argumentsÂ can be foundÂ here, here, and here.Â Con arguments can be found here, here, and here (that last one is a pro and con).Â Mark Halperin has another pro/con piece.
Here are some additional thoughts I had on the positives she brings to the ticket, some of which may or may not have been mentioned in the above links:
On the reform end of things, the pick was a homerun for McCain.Â Obama was clinking glasses with Rezko and Daley and Ayers in Chicago while Palin was taking on corruptÂ politicians in her own party inÂ Alaska.
AnotherÂ plus for her candidacyÂ is the fact that she’s the governor of the state where ANWR is, and drilling in ANWR isÂ a hot issue right now, as we all know.Â She knows her state and understands the sensitivity of the issue and brings insight about it to the table on a national stage at a time when the issue of drilling is at a fever pitch.
Another thing is you can rest assured that the Dems are going to use the “Sen. Ted Stevens is a prime example of corrupt Republicans” argument, and Palin being from Alaska and taking on politicians of Stevens ilk kind of throws a little cold water on that argument.
There are some conservatives out there who have issues with Palin’s experience, saying it effectively negates the arguments McCain has made about Obama’s.Â I do think choosing her takes away a little bit from the effectiveness of that argument, but I don’t think it takes the issue off the table completely.Â I think if one were to measure Palin’s accomplishments versus Obama’s while serving in government, it’s pretty clear that in the battle of who did the most with their few years serving in government,Â Palin would win that one hands down.Â Â Think about it.Â What exactly has Obama accomplished?Â What state has he governed?Â How often has he bucked his own party? Has he ever been in command of a state’s National Guard?Â What political risk has he taken that wouldÂ threaten his standing in his own party – like Palin did for suing the administration over the polar bear threatened status distinction?Â Has he appointedÂ Republicans and IndependentsÂ in his administration? Oh that’s right – he can’t.Â He doesn’t have one.Â
I should also add that there’s a reason, IMO, that the Obama campaign backtracked on its earlier criticism of her experience.Â Simply put, they don’t want to go there.
Regarding the possibility that something might happen to or with McCain during his first term, I have no doubt that McCain is going to surround himself with competent advisors and cabinet members, and Palin has shown the ability to listen and learn and not surround herself with justÂ “yes” people, so in the unfortunate event that something happens to or with McCain, she’d have that circle and apply what she’s learned asÂ governor as well as what she could learn as a veep to her presidency.Â And assuming McCain would be a one termer (which I suspect will be the case), she would naturally run to take his place after having served four years in the capacity of veep.Â Â
I think the choice is risky for Mc, but one he had to make.Â Of the four people we kept hearing he wasÂ considering (not including Palin, who was the “dark horse”), Romney was out of the question because he and McCain have an obviousÂ personal dislike for each other – not only that, but the ads the Dems would have run using Romney’s primary campaignÂ words against McCain and vice versa would have been as embarassing as the ads McCain and the GOP are running against Obama using the words of other Democrats – including Biden – against him.Â Pawlenty would have been an ok pick but not exceptionally bold, and Lieberman and Ridge’s rigid stances on abortion disqualified them as the base made it clear in no uncertain terms what those picks would do to the party.Â Â Palin greatly excites conservatives and will help shore up the base, including most of the reluctantsÂ – even while McCain still gets to wear his “maverick” hat, and she just might bring in more of the womens vote on both sides of the aisle than McCain would have gotten otherwise, and not just because she is a woman, but because she is a damned smart woman – and wise, too.
Conservatives have been writing about Palin for over a year now – she is well-liked and has been talked about as a major rising star within the GOP.Â Now she has a chance to show us – and the country – how well that star can shine.