Just a quick note regarding McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. This may have seemed like a good idea on paper–appeal to disgruntled Hillary voters, add a “change” component to the McCain platform, etc.–but I’m betting it’s going to backfire big time.
As many have pointed out, Palin has little experience. Some argue that this works for Democrats: now McCain can not longer belittle Obama for same; others say that it works for McCain: if anyone questions Palin’s experience, they’ll take those quotations and run them in an ad featuring Obama’s smiling mug.
So who will Palin’s lack of experience ultimately favor? I say Obama–but not for the reasons everyone has seized on.
Democrats will assert that Palin’s inexperience is an issue because she’ll assume office if McCain dies … and that gives them license to talk about the likelihood of such scenario. Expect incessant talk about McCain’s age and his health, two topics that were largely taboo before. After all (Dems will argue), they aren’t bringing up McCain’s age to denigrate him–that would be a nasty personal attack, after all–but simply as something to consider when discussing Palin.
Even if the Obama inexperience v. Palin inexperience slugfest winds up as a draw, the age thing will linger. And in the final equation, Americans vote for a President, not a Vice-President. I don’t think the McCain campaign thought this selection all the way through to the bitter (if cynical) end, and they are going to have buyers remorse real quick-like.