When I heard today John McCain that had picked Sarah Palin—a governor with less than two years in office—as his running mate, like most everyone else, I was surprised – a sentiment which soon turned to sheer bafflement.
Yes, Palin makes some sense for McCain in that she upholds many core conservative beliefs (gun rights, global warming, energy), in addition to fancying herself as a fellow “maverick.” And judging from the Christian conservative chat boards I visited today, McCain’s evangelical base—which has been previously lukewarm to his candidacy—could not be happier with the pick.
However, when we step back to reality, we must assume one of two things regarding john McCain’s state of mind in selecting Palin – he is either: a) shockingly brilliant, or; b) equally deranged.
And when I look at the options, I have to go with the latter: McCain is crazier than a proverbial shithouse rat.
Outside of reinforcing his “maverick” image, if McCain’s ploy in choosing Sarah Palin is to draw in disgruntled Hillary zealots yet clinging to her in the hopes that tossing a female candidate their way will make them lunge for her like starving dogs, he’s wrong.
Sure, a few last zealots may flee to McCain out of continued spite for Obama, but what his campaign forgets is the vast majority of Hillary fans are pro-choice on abortion. And like McCain, Palin is staunchly pro-life. So expecting Hillary’s gang of 18 million to reverse on an issue as emotionally charged as abortion rights just to vote for a “hockey mom” is sheer insanity on McCain’s part.
Secondly, in picking a candidate with far less experience than Obama, McCain has undercut his favorite attack message against him: Obama is inexperienced; he is not ready to lead.
Sure, McCain’s newly energized masses are (desperately) crowing that Palin’s two terms as mayor of an Alaskan town of 8,600 people--and governor of a state with a population smaller than San Diego--qualifies as “executive experience.”
Yet like McCain himself, these people are also fucking insane.
They are also as high on their own cult of personality as any Obama fan has been on his, but cannot recognize it.
Or at least not yet.
Finally, in bringing aboard Sarah Palin, McCain is putting his campaign at a major strategic disadvantage by positioning her against two rivals in Barack Obama and Joe Biden who have been pressing the flesh, and introducing themselves to locals in diners and steel mills for the past 18 months. Yet to people in key battleground states that McCain must capture to win election, Palin will be a total stranger, and she’s got roughly 60 days to reverse that situation.
Not easy when your opponents—which includes Hillary Clinton herself, and her 18 million—have a massive head start on you.
So to sum up, yes, John McCain is crazy.
But to paraphrase Jason Alexander, right now crazy’s all he’s got.