The Republicans Now Have the Hottest Ticket

I’m sure I’m not the only one who wasn’t expecting Sarah Palin to get the nod for the VP spot on the GOP ticket. The Democrats may have had the first woman to run for Vice President, but the Republicans have the hottest woman to ever be a VP nominee. Yep, we just won the photogenic stakes.

I think this actually matters. Let’s face it, Joe Biden – as nice a guy as he is, and yes, I cried during his son’s introduction at the Demo Convention – does not bring anything to the ticket. None one is going to vote for Obama because of Biden’s got more experience in foreign policy. The VP is not the President’s chief foreign policy advisor. That’s why he hires a Secretary of State. Then he’s got a Deputy Secretary, Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, National Security Advisor, and a host of other hopefully really smart people.

No one is going to vote for Obama because he’s got an old guy on his ticket as well. No one is going to think, sure, Obama’s young, but there’s an older man who will go from being one of the most powerful men in the Senate to being the tie-breaking vote, in case there ends up being a 50-50 party split.

On the other hand, people will vote for McCain because he has a younger pretty woman on the ticket. She will attract Hillary supporters who wanted their woman on the Demo ticket. It’s the politics of gender. There are those for whom having a woman on the ticket is as important as it is for others to have a black man. And youth balances out McCain’s years in a way that age does not work for Obama. When people are looking for heroes they want Batman and Robin (or Batgirl, in this case), not Batman and Alfred. It doesn’t look good for the side-kick to appear more qualified that the principle.

But Sarah Palin doesn’t just bring women on board. The irony is that not only will she attract Hillary supporters, she will also attract some of the most virulent Hillary haters. She is rock solid conservative. She’s a member of the Assemblies of God. She is a poster-mother for the pro-life movement.  She is the answer to everything Republican voters questioned about John McCain’s conservatism.

And she is a lot better looking than Hillary. She doesn’t look strident. She doesn’t look aggressive. She’s feminine and unlike Hillary, she doesn’t have to work hard to look that way.

Oh, and she has held elective office for longer than Hillary. After all, Hillary claimed to be the candidate with experience. And she could claim this, having served in the Senate four years longer than Obama. Of course, Obama had those eight years in the Illinois Senate and Clinton had never held any other elected office. But I digress. . . Palin has held elective office since 1992 – five years before Obama – though she was out of office between 2002 and 2006. However, during 2003-04, she was Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Unique amongst all the names on the two major tickets, she is the only one to have held office in the executive branch of government.

As a brief aside, I should mention that despite the whim of a group of editors on Wikipedia, the First Lady is never “in office“. Despite her delusions of grandeur, or her ability to henpeck her husband, she is never a member of the executive branch of goverment.

Last night, I thought Tom Pawlenty was both the best and most likely choice. I’m glad I was wrong. Palin has all the advantages of Pawlenty and more. Put another way, she is Mike Huckabee without any of the baggage acquired during the primary season. Sarah Palin makes me want to come back to the States and start canvassing voters.

Advertisements

Running Mate

I’ve been busy with marking, so I haven’t had time to write much. The only thing that brings me out of the woodwork briefly is the Obama candidacy, now that it appear to be a lock.

Hillary has made it clear that she would like to be on the ticket, even if it is as second banana. This isn’t surprising since it’s a heartbeat away from the Presidency and everyone knows just how many hearts have stopped beating by being positioned to close to the Clintons.

However, regardless of the personal danger involved in choosing Hillary, I think there is really only one obvious choice for Obama. Not that I want the Democrats to win in November, but if I were one of the three VP pickers, I would be telling Barak that he needs John Edwards. He’s as liberal as Hillary – not that this really matters in a VP candidate – but he doesn’t have the baggage of high negatives.

He’s a Southerner to balance out Obama’s Indonesia/Hawaii/Illinois/Kansas mother and Kenyan father background. This is better than Hillary’s Illinois/Little Rock-but-never-really-Arkansan/New York residential trail. Obama may play well in Peoria, but he’s also got to win Plains, Pascagoula and Poteet.

The Rod of Correction

Thanks to the young fogey for this quote from Rod Dreher which reflects my own sentiments:

I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but more of this gaggy Dear Leader stuff from Obama worshipers I have to watch, the more I appreciate Hillary Clinton’s plain old milk-curdling nastiness.

Actually, thanks to the young fogey for the link to Rod generally. I like the Orthodoxy with attitude, even with commenters who suggest that his scathing analysis of society is somehow not compatible with his Lenten fast.

All Change

I think Barak Obama has the best chance of being elected President of the United States.

I’d actually rather see Hillary Clinton elected. If you know me, you know that is not an easy thing to say. I’d rather see almost anyone elected rather than Hillary. But at least with Hillary you know what you are getting. All you have with Obama is the most liberal voting record in the Senate combined with the endless chant of “Change! Change! Change!”

Obama has not been around on the national scene long enough to have built up a lot of negative feeling. Clinton would be defeatable in November because so may people have an attitude of “anyone but Hillary”. Once in office, Obama will push for an agenda that most Americans will not like. It will be too late.

Obama will work with a Democratic Congress, in the first such tandem between Capitol Hill and the White House since the first half of Bill Clinton’s first term. That’s when we got the FACE Act, the Brady Law, don’t ask dont’ tell, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer. We also got the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. That created 50 new federal offenses, banned semi-automatic “assault” rifles, and eliminated higher education opportunities for prisoners.

The big differences between 1993 and 2009 are that Obama is much more liberal than Bill Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is both more legislatively aggressive and more liberal than was Tom Foley. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Steven is 87. Scalia, Kennedy, and Ginsburg are in their 70’s.

Then there is foreign policy. Obama will be much happier for the UN to decide that. He’s going to pull the troops out of Iraq. That sounds good, but unfortunately the US invasion created a bit of a mess and a subsequent direct withdrawal will result in a complete breakdown of civil order. Any Christians who are left in Iraq had better get out, because it will just be a matter of which Islamist extremists can kill the most people. Also expect something close to full-scale war between Iraq and Turkey.

So yes, all in all, you can expect change, change, change from an Obama presidency and you can expect an Obama presidency in January.

How Times Have Changed

When I was Republican County Chairman of Gonzales County, Texas, we were definitely the minority party. Way in the minority. This was at a time with the only winnable statewide race for Republicans was the governorship. Pockets of GOP support on a more local level were beginning to emerge in places, but for Gonzales County, as well as most other rural counties in South Texas, to win the Democratic primary was to win the general election.

So imagine my surprise when I was going through one of the regional daily papers online and learned that the candidates for District Attorney are both Republicans. Whoever wins the Republican primary will be unopposed in the general election.

I’m not particularly surprised that both candidates are women. Texas has a long history of electing women, including the second woman governor in US history in Ma Ferguson. Ferguson would have been the first woman governor in US history, if Nellie Ross hadn’t been inaugurated two weeks earlier to finish her husband’s unexpired term. Ferguson’s husband had also been governor, but had been impeached and removed from office eight years before.

That’s why I won’t be surprised if Hillary wins the Democratic presidential primary. I would, however, be very surprised if she were to win the state in November. No Democrat has carried Texas since Jimmy Carter barely did so in 1976.

But it’s local politics where things have changed. This is the proof that Texas has really become a Republican state. I just wish I was there to enjoy it.

Huck Not Out

While he is clearly trailing, and I don’t think he will get the nomination – especially as the media have already nominated McCain – Huckabee showed last night that he’s not Hucka-been just yet. Sadly I have to agree with the pundits that he is working himself into position for the VP nod. But the good news is McCain will be the oldest President if elected. That gives Mike a shot at the top spot before ’12 or ’16.

I was looking at the exit poll data from Missouri – always noted as a bellweather state. Huckabee was favourite candidate of Protestants generally. He was the overwhelming favourite amongst small city and rural voters (38% as opposed to 26% for McCain). He was by far the favourite amongst the “very conservative” (41% to 17%). He was the favourite of voters under 30 (35% to 27%). Not surprisingly, he was the choice of those absolutely opposed to abortion (40% to 29%). He was the choice for those voters who said what mattered most was for a candidate to share their values (41% to 21%). Amongst those who called themselves “born again”, Huckabee doubled McCain’s vote (44% to 22%). In all these categories, Romney falls somewhere in the middle.

If McCain wants to motivate and mobilise the vote, he needs Huckabee. This is especially true if Obama gets the Democratic nomination. Even though his voting record is more liberal, Obama hasn’t built up the negative feeling that Hillary has.

As I noted in a comments to the previous post, I stopped watching BBC coverage after while and switched to SkyNews. After the insightful comments of comments of Christopher Hitchens, the Beeb didn’t have much time for Huck. They didn’t even carry his speech live. They were much too enamored with Clinton and Obama. To be fair to Hitchens (even if he doesn’t feel obligated to be fair), he did note that for all the talk of Obama being the first black president, he is only half-black and that half wasn’t descended from forced migration to the US (as he refers to the Peculiar Institution). Thus he shares nothing more than skin tone with the vast majority of African-Americans.

No End to Mixed Sex Wards

It is no surprise that if you put women and men together in the same hospital ward, there might be some cases of assault. And of course there’s the whole embarrassment factor when it comes to certain bedside medical procedures or discussions. But if you are in the US, you are wondering why anyone would be talking about same sex wards. In fact, you may even be wondering what a ward is. (It’s like having a shared room, only with 5-7 other people.)

The Labour government promised it was going to eliminate mixed-sex wards in the National Health Service. It has now abadoned that promise.  Health minister Lord Darzi has now admitted it is “an aspiration that cannot be met”. That’s the reality of socialised medicine.

All the Democrats running for president are promoting socialised medicine in one form or another. I just wanted you to know what you have to look forward to.