The announcement of Governor Sarah Palin as vice-presidential nominee to the GOP ticket took the political world by surprise. And not because she is a woman. Although, the chances were probably slim that McCain would actually pick a woman. It’s the type of woman selected that has left the average Joe and Jane with much to say.
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Palin is a mother of 5, soon-to-be grandmother of 1, mother to a son of Down’s syndrome; oh and the pundits won’t let you forget she’s a former beauty queen. She’s pro-life, pro-guns, pretty much a tried and true conservative. As chief-executive of Alaska she seems to be well-versed in energy issues. A plus, one would assume. But with 9 weeks remaining and only 1 vice-presidential debate scheduled – you have to wonder will the American public be able to digest all that she is…
Perhaps, McCain is gambling on his maverick label to buffer the criticisms assailed on his VP pick. McCain is gambling on burned Hillary voters to still feel singed and not whole-heartedly accept her speech; although Hillary asserted explicitly in her speech, if the bitterness still exists where was your allegiance all along? McCain is gambling on the notion of “executive experience” to resonate with voters, thereby undermining Obama and Biden’s job experience. And we can’t forget age or can we, McCain is gambling on reclaiming Reagan’s glory and being the second oldest US president. But what McCain didn’t gamble on was Hurricane Gustav ravaging through the Gulf Coast at the same time as the Republican Convention was underway and reminding millions of voters of the failure of the sitting president and casting a pall over his own candidacy.
November 4th will determine whether the gamble was worth it.
Ronnie Djoukeng is a Maryland blogger who can be found at her group blog, http://5andapossible.blogspot.com/ .