His Mistake

'I intend to win this election'

I have not said much about Obama and the DNC of late here at the Proletarian. I am excited about Obama’s vision for a better America, a more liberal one that offers all GROUPS and TYPES of people a voice in being a part of the participatory processes that truly formulates a secular constitutional state. However, with all of the excellent things Obama brings to the table, I do believe he made a calculated mistake in his selection of Joseph Biden, who offers a more balanced ticket with his foreign affairs experience. Perhaps he would have been a better choice as Secretary of State. Of course, it was Biden who stated this:

Presidential Candidate Joe Biden:  “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy . . .  I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”    

Biden is not a sexy pick like John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin, who is attractive, athletic, and highly interesting. Palin does not come across as an elitists in that she was a sports journalist in her past and did not attend an Ivy League school. The only other candidate I believe to compete with such a sexy pick as Palin would have been Hillary Clinton. Palin is pretty conservative: she is pro-life, a member of the NRA, and favors environmental degradation in her support for more drilling.

I fully endorse Obama, though I favored Clinton at the start of the election season. I suspect McCain’s selection of her is in part strategic in that a number of Americans who favored Clinton are upset that she was not Obama’s VP choice. I have yet to see any polls on how this affects those who might vote McCain/Palin because a woman is on the ticket. I made a bet with a friend that it will hurt Obama; my friend thinks that people will not let an issue of gender shift their thinking much. I disagree.

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23 thoughts on “His Mistake

  1. Pro — i think you’re wrong. Hillary’s constituents are not that gullible. Anyone can see thru this ruse by McCain, and they will not be manipulated. Furthermore, their core values differ signifcantly — palin is anti-abortion, pro-guns, pro-death penalty, pro-buchanan, anti-gay marriage, a globalwarming sceptic, wants creationism taught in schools and in every way a true gop conservative. Hillary’s supporters are are on the left, if not the far left, of all those issues. she’ll not get hillary’s votes. this was mccain trying to pander to ALL women, but mostly to the republican conservative voters who still accuse him of being too liberal, “a maverick” in spite of his agreeing with bush on 90 percent of his positions. the republicans felt that he had to appease them to ensure they’ll come out and vote come november.

  2. angelic1 — I do think you have a point and are probably right — so I hope. There is a clear ideological difference here. Still, the bottom line is there are those who are unsure about Obama and who are frustrated with his VP choice. HRC can help here.

  3. I would agree. McCain probably won’t grab too many hardcore Hillary supporters just by taking a woman (especially this particular woman). For the most part he’s swinging the votes of generally moderate-to-conservative women who might have been a little Obama-curious and moderate-to-liberal women who may have been Hillary supporters or, as you point out EC, may be frustrated with Obama’s pick.

    What it really accomplishes for McCain is that it creates some excitement and quickly gets America’s attention off of what was an incredibly successful DNC, on top of the fact that it answers a lot of hard-core conservative concerns on domestic issues.

  4. imthenimrod

    Excellent point. I was thinking that but failed to note it. The key thing here is that McCain’s excitmet will not last too long. Still, it has forced Obama’s great speech to slip to page two.

  5. Wasn’t too thrilled at the pick of Biden…as a teacher, I’m not a big fan of a plagiarist. But he’s decently acceptable if he keeps his mouth shut. However, McCain’s choice is pure idiocy. He took away his biggest attack point (Obama’s inexperience). There’s always been questions about McCain’s judgement (The Keating Five, Bomb Bomb Iran, adultery, etc…) and now the man who is 72 and has had four bouts with cancer picks a woman who has less than two years experience running the glorified American colony of Alaska, zero foreign policy cred and two years ago was a mayor of a town of 9,000 residents. This is who you want a heartbeat away? McCain is an idiot. Once the excitement dies down…his pick will be considered worse than Quayle…or even Perot’s choice of that crazy Admiral back in ’92.

  6. Dave’s point is well made, but would also explain why perhaps Obama did not want Hilary a heartbeat (his) away from being president. I still have questions about Vince Foster.
    Biden was a definite disappointment for those of us who were thinking of losing our minds and voting for liberal like the Obaminator. A career politician does not conjure visions of “change”, though I do like that he commutes in from his home, like the rest of us middle-class slobs.
    I saw the SaddleBack Conference! Very well done! Obama handled himself very well, perhaps even better than McCain.
    Undecided…

  7. Do not underestimate the brush fire McCain just lit with his base by selecting Palin to be his VP nominee. It was like expecting a favorite football team to run a ho-hum offense, then seeing it line up in the shotgun with four wide receivers. I followed the VP-stakes enough to know her name was somewhere on the list, but I was surprised at how moved I was when it became a reality.

    The debate about her experience is fascinating, as it compares the Republican’s No.2 to the Democrats No.1. If she is not experienced enough, then how is Obama experienced enough? What exactly has Obama done in his limited time in governent He hasn’t even completed his first term in the Senate, and most of that time has been spent running for President. As a mayor and a governor, the buck stoped at Palin. In committee-type offices, Obama has been in charge of nothing. As to the “heartbeat away?” question, Mike Huckabee put it nicely: “I think she’s far more ready to be President if something happens to McCain than Barack Obama would be if something doesn’t happen to McCain.”

    So, the experienced guy picking a “rookie” to be his No.2 is stupid, but having a “rookie” run the country is okay if he picks an experienced guy to be his VP? Hmmm.

    To put this another way: If you need to hire a carpenter to redo your kitchen cabinets, would you be more comfortable with an older journeyman with a fresh-faced apprentice…or a fresh-faced kid calling the shots with an older journeyman in tow?

    Time will tell if Biden and/or Palin were the right choices for each candidate. Palin’s speech this week and the VP debate will go a long way toward enlightening us.

  8. I don’t think either VEEP pick is going to sway too many voters. The VEEP is always a political pick no matter what the candidates say. They don’t pick someone in order to take their place, they pick someone to balance to ticket.
    I must say that I’m excited about McCain’s pick. He could have gone the safe route and picked a more established candidate, like Obama did, but he went out and added a little excitement to the race. I think she will make a good vice presidential candidate.
    The thing that shocked me about Obama’s choice is that he picked the one politician in America that might be even more annoying than Hillary Clinton.
    Lets face it folks, there is only one logical choice for president this year, and its John McCain. I think voting for Obama is like buying a boat. Its really the IDEA of a boat the people really want, not the reality. Its the IDEA of Obama that people are excited about, they really don’t want the reality.

  9. McCain’s selection of Palin is certainly a shrewd one, but I suspect that it may not pan out as he hoped, for many of the reasons listed in the post and comments sections. The conservative blogs that I follow are all in a mostly positive tizzy about this.

    However, Palin will shore up McCain’s credibility gap with the social conservatives in his party; they already love her.

    The real test will be her debate(s) with Biden; Biden is known to be something of an attack dog but given that few people outside of Alaska know anything about Palin, we cannot assume that Biden will necessarily eat her lunch. We will all have to wait and see.

  10. I’m gonna have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. The Die-Hard (keeping hope alive til the end of the convention) Hillary supporters, for the most part are well-educated Liberal women who would oppose Palin on all the major issues that are of concern to most women. I think that they’ll initially be happy McCain picked a women, look at what she stand for and then vote for Obama or not at all. Those who are undecided will likely not vote for McCain b/c Palin no-longer makes him seem like a moderate. Those folks on the fence would’ve liked a Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman. I see it as a bad move on McCain’s part.

    As for Biden, he’s definitely a politician’s politician. I’m hoping that Obama will rub off a little of the politico facade so that Biden seems more authentic to the people.

  11. I pretty much have to agree with most of the observations here. I do not for a minute think that McCain believes he can snag disaffected Hillary supporters. What I see, at least in my area, is a lot of apathy on the part of Republican / conservative women. I think his pick was more to draw them in. He needs to shore up that vote on his side because it is possible there may not be as great a turnout on the Obama side now that Hillary is not there.

  12. Anonymous: Well I cannot say much about the details of the bet, but it does appear that I am in trouble based on all of the above comments. People do not seem to agree with me here. I am still waiting for more information. I, like my friend, wants to win.

    I can pay up. I do not mind. My ego will take a hit.

  13. I wish I had read angelic’s comments before I commented. She said exactly what I wanted to say . . .I don’t think votes are naive and can see what is really going on here.

    Initially, I wasn’t to thrilled about Obama’s selection as VP, either. However, I think he needed someone to give him some foreign policy strength.

    I am saying that I’m still undecided, but after McCain’s pick, I am definitely less likely to vote republican. I really believe he has erred in his selection Palin–I think it will work against him. He barely knew her, for goodness sake!

  14. I don’t think McCain picked Palin as a pander to women. McCain, being McCain, wanted to shake things up in a close race. The rumor is Lieberman was still high on his list, but he realized it might crack his base. Choosing a Romney or a Pawlenty would have elicited a yawn. Palin had one thing the other candidates for VP did not have: a track record of reforming government. She reinforces McCain’s “maverick” reputation, creating a ticket that has tried to change the status quo rather than just talk about it.

    Gov. Palin needs to perform well this week at the convention to prove McCain made the right choice. Obviously, she has to show she is competent on the issues.

    “The same old experience is irrelevant. You can have the right kind of experience or the wrong kind of experience. And mine is rooted in the real lives of real people, and it will bring real results if we have the courage to change.” – Bill Clinton, 1992

  15. This election should be over.

    ” 11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

    SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.”
    -Sarah Palin

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/8/31/174153/834/246/581480

    It was either Palin or Lieberman for McCain. I’m not sure which one was the worse pick.

  16. “that offers all GROUPS and TYPES of people a voice in being a part of the participatory processes that truly formulates a secular constitutional state.”

    So, you are saying the GOP does not offer a voice to all groups and types?

  17. I think Odgie hit it on the head when he mentioned that the Palin pick would help to shore up the social conservative vote for McCain.

    Bush won two elections because social conservative vote was firmly behind him. I’m not saying that McCain will win this year, but I am saying there’s NO WAY he would win without the social conservative vote.

  18. I hope people this time around are smart enough to see through John McCain’s obvious ploy. Frankly, if I were Palin, I would have said thanks but no thanks.

    His selection of her was designed to shore up his right-wing base and to attract some Hillary supporters. She is neither nearly as well-versed as Hillary Clinton on foreign affairs nor is she a representative of many women on issues uniquely affecting women.

    It is a sad commentary on people of the religious right that many of them do not seem to look beyond the anti-abortion litmus test to determine whether other policies of the people they support are pro-life. War is anti-life, and so is trying to get an endangered species (the polar bears) off that endangered list in order to make way for drilling for oil
    in Alaska. Denying global warming and its effect on the planet are also anti-life.

    Instead of focusing on Palin’s appearance, her time as a beauty queen contestant, and other superfluous issues, her policies should concern all of us greatly.

  19. By the way Jon… “under God’ wasn’t even added until 1954 I believe (I might be off by a year or two but I guess Palin was off by about 175)

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