Friday, August 29, 2008

The world watches as media, bloggers analyze choice

For months now, Sarah Palin For, a compendium of news and opinion, not an advocacy site, has followed the flow of stories on the Alaska governor -- widely considered a second- or third-tier candidate and a longshot selection as John McCain's running mate.

Today (as is vindicated in the way few political Web sites are), most of the world is getting its first glimpse and impressions of the woman we've been following for months since the start up of this site.

Over at the Associated Press, Ron Fournier wonders quickly notes that Palin's solid conservative credentials will rev up the base, but like others, he questions whether her lack of foreign policy experience will diminish McCain strong suit.

Here is Greg Sargent at Talking Points Memo:

First thought: If McCain's entire campaign is premised on the idea that Obama lacks the commander-in-chief readiness for the presidency, how on earth can he possibly continue to make this argument when he's chosen Palin, who's been in high office only two years (half the time Obama has been a Senator) as a back-up commander in chief?

Beware the charges of light weight

Democrats are playing a dangerous game if they attempt to dismiss Palin. But we see that happening already as this post on the Chicago Tribune's Swamp shows.

When Obama was looking at Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia as a possible running mate, Karl Rove, the "architect'' of President Bush's election campaigns, dismissed his experience - a governor for three years and mayor of 103rd largest Richmond.

We're not sure where Wasila ranks.


Palin could be a major force in helping McCain flip the script on energy policy as well as the Financial Post points out.

Ms. Palin, 44, is a lifetime NRA member who is in charge of a conservative state. She's bullish on offshore drilling and opening up more of the contentious Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to exploration and production. "People are realizing, too, there's been some deception, I think, about from some on what ANWR is all about. Of the 20 million acres up there, we're looking at 2000 acres as a footprint," she said in the interview. "With new technology, with directional drilling, maybe that footprint [will] shrink even more."

Environmentalists are trying to keep the area protected, but Ms. Palin believes Americans are being fed faulty information.

"Allowing that to be explored and developed, as more Americans realize what we're talking about here, and not just relying on the visuals that have been provided them over the years on what ANWR supposedly is – with mountain ranges and green valleys and rivers flowing and all that," she said. "And you see those visuals sometimes, especially when the extreme environmentalists talk about the pristine environment that is surrounding ANWR."

Moose Stew and Snowmobiling

As the CBS horse-race blog points out, this choice is indeed colorful.

It’s not just her credentials as the youngest and only female governor in Alaska’s history that make Palin so intriguing. How many vice-presidential candidates in American history have been avid moose hunters, sports reporters or beauty queens? Palin is all three.

When Vogue Magazine asked her what her favorite meal was, she didn’t settle on pizza or Mexican. "Moose stew after a day of snowmachining,” she said. Does it get any more Alaska than that?

The Alaska governor might be just a “plain Sarah” herself, but her children’s names are far more dazzling: Track (18), Bristol (17), Willow (13), Piper (7) and Trig (4 months).

Here is The Detroit Free Press on Palin's pluses:

Here’s what Palin gives McCain and the GOP ticket: Youth, gender, a background entirely outside the Washington Beltway, and enormous energy as a campaigner. She’s a working mom with five chidren, has been in business and is a hunting and fishing enthusiast. She can claim a record as a government reformer and a tax cutter and someone who cares less about partisanship than about getting the job done. She beat an incumbent Republican governor in a GOP primary en route to winning the Alaska governor’s office.

So if you are a voter who was attracted to Hillary Clinton’s historic quest to become the first female president, maybe you’ll give the GOP ticket a look now. By picking her, McCain also reinforces his image as a maverick — someone who will take bold actions that surprise you.

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