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parrot_knight [userpic]

And the Republican VP candidate is...

August 29th, 2008 (04:02 pm)

Sarah Palin, say the BBC. Cynical, or positive, or both?

ETA A leading anti-abortion campaigner, I see. It's only one element among many, but this might placate some Republican voters who might otherwise have stayed at home, wishing that Mike Huckabee was heading the ticket; this was certainly the feeling of one of my American students this year.


Posted by: brewsternorth (brewsternorth)
Posted at: August 29th, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC)

A leading anti-abortion campaigner, I see.

Sigh. Not entirely surprised. Given that their department of health's latest stealth statute will effectively reduce in large part women's access to all forms of birth control, this is just more of the same. And there's little evidence that this is really what the bulk of the populace wants; merely the will of the squeakiest political wheels, so to speak.

OTOH, if this is the best that McCain can do, Obama may be in with a chance.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 29th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)

I can't see Palin appealing to a majority of the disaffected Hillaryites. She may even drive some of them back into the Obama camp.

Posted by: Gramarye (gramarye1971)
Posted at: August 29th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)

Female VP nominee who is already technically embroiled in several simmering scandals in one of the most politically corrupt states in the U.S.? Where have I seen this one before?

It smacks too much of Mondale-Ferraro '84 for me to take it lightly.

Edited at 2008-08-29 04:56 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 29th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC)

I remember the excitement about the choice of Geraldine Ferraro reasonably well...and how that excitement faded fairly quickly as it became clear how little credibility she had as a vice-presidential candidate.

There are already two contradictory narratives emerging regarding Sarah Palin. The Republican campaign is pointing towards her ethical government legislation in Alaska and her anti-corruption campaign; but the Daily Kos has pointed towards the same problem you have, that she is potentially implicated in the corruption scandals in the state herself. The Republicans must be hoping that the Democratic campaign won't want to say too much, for fear of cries of "Rezko!" coming back at Obama; but how likely is that?

Posted by: muuranker (muuranker)
Posted at: August 29th, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)

It is too easy to think that the world-view of USAMericans is pretty much the same as Britons. So every now and then I am slightly shocked to find that I live in a remarkably secular country.

I too am dissapointed that Huckabee is not on the ticket. Very early on, when Pellagrina asked people to say-for-the-record who we thought would be the candidates, and who would win, I went for Obama vs Huckabee, and (I think) Huckabee winning.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 29th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)

I think that Huckabee would have been easier for the Democrats to beat than McCain.

I'm one of those secular Britons who once needed to be reminded how serious an issue religious belief is in the United States, and how far that belief shapes the principles of individuals. I don't now, I like to think, for many reasons, including my ongoing teaching for a junior year abroad programme in Oxford run on behalf of a consortium of (mainly southern) Christian colleges.

Posted by: muuranker (muuranker)
Posted at: September 5th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)

Suddenly read what I said in a different light!


Noooooooo I don't want to say I hope X wins.

I am dissappointed that Huckabee is not on the ticket, but this is purely because it means I fail in a bet-against-myself that I could predict the result of the election. Saying 'Huckabee' is no more an endorsement or a wish for a political outcome than saying 'red' when playing roulette means I'm in favour of a Communist take-over.

It is _slightly_ different, in that roulette is, one hopes, a game of chance, and in putting my 'money' on 'Obama vs Huckabee, with a victory for Huckabee', I am making bet where (one assumes) someone who really knows the form and the going will be able to clean up. Me, I only had a gut feeling. Comparable to putting a fiver on Lucky Lady in the 3.30.

Not that this is going to stop me preening with perspicacity if Obama wins! Particularly if I misrembered, and I actually predicted an Obama victory.

If only the result of this election was as significant as the result of the 3.30 at Kempton!

Posted by: hack (overconvergent)
Posted at: August 29th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)

I think it's definitely an interesting choice; it's no more cynical than appointing an older and whiter man as Obama's running mate, to balance out the ticket. I'm not sure that I'd've chosen someone from Alaska though; it doesn't seem large enough and swingy enough to be helpful, but I'm not the one running.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 29th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)

I think it at least appears more cynical in the immediate context. Obama's choice of Biden was a conventional one; McCain's choice of Palin seemed more directly related to the wish to exploit the issue of Hillary Clinton not being on the Democratic ticket, and related to short-term political gain rather than the orthodoxy of presenting a broader ticket. Of course under the headline "We've got a woman and Obama hasn't", is a more conventional balanced ticket, if based on a different reading of the electorate to Obama-Biden.

Posted by: Penny Paperbrain (pennypaperbrain)
Posted at: August 30th, 2008 07:42 am (UTC)

Most of the UK media seems to think that the former Clinton-supporting women will decamp to Palin en masse. I really hope this is an underestimation of their intelligence. Once you get beyond the initial "look, breasts!" shock, she seems to be opposed to just about everything that anyone with a specific interest in "women" is likely to support. Her nomination is a grovel to the religious right - the "it's a woman!" phenomenon is just a very handy bit of extra fizz.

That said, the fact that she's put her money where her insane religious dogma is and carried a Down's child to term herself (as opposed to just bullying other people into doing it, in the usual religious right style) stops me short of feeling actual contempt for the woman (so far). She might actually be a decent person - just one who holds delusions that are unfortunately not classified as insane due to the sheer weight of numbers who share them.

I'm really starting to think that the profession of religious belief should be a bar to holding any kind of public office. Someone who believed the Earth was about to be eaten by a giant goat would not be considered of sound judgement, but compared to most of the Bible the goat thesis seems moderate and probable.

Edited at 2008-08-30 07:43 am (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 30th, 2008 09:39 am (UTC)

I don't think the British media are that convinced by the choice of Sarah Palin. While Gerard Baker in The Times seemed ecstatic, The Daily Telegraph's reaction was more cautious (Toby Harnden's blog is concerned underneath the superficial emphasis on the pluses Palin brings), and (not surprisingly), The Guardian's America editor, Michael Tomasky, thinks the choice 'insane' - he has a video blog here saying why.

I respect Sarah Palin for her convictions but like you am wary of her imposing them on everybody else. Still, while voicing her opposition to 'gay marriage', I think I've seen that she legalised same-sex unions in Alaska, so behind the conservative rhetoric looms pragmatism.

I wouldn't go so far on the religious belief question - there are many mansions in that particular house.

Posted by: gervase_fen (gervase_fen)
Posted at: August 30th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)

There was a lovely moment when it was rumoured that two of her children were named after TV witches - Willow and Piper - but it turns out that Willow is a town in Alaska and Piper is named after an aircraft.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 31st, 2008 11:09 am (UTC)

That's what she says anyway. I'm sure that the fanfics are already written, explaining that Sarah Palin's conventional Christian right 'hockey mom' image is a front for lesbian witchery.