The Widening Gyre: The GOP Follows the DNC with a Curious Choice for VP.
But who is Sarah Palin? Joining a candidate running on his experience, Palin served four years on city council and six years as mayor in her hometown of Wasilla (pop.<10,000) before winning Alaska's gubernatorial race in 2006. Previously, she earned a degree in journalism with a minor in politics from the Univ. of Idaho and subsequently worked as a sports reporter, co-owned a commercial fishing business with her husband and owned an all-terrain vehicle business before being appointed to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which she chaired from 2003-4. And, yes, she was runner up for Miss Alaska in 1984.
She has presented herself as a reformer, having become embroiled early on in exposing alleged corruption even within her own party. She opposes abortion rights and supports opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling.
In her appearance today, Palin referenced Seneca Falls and paid homage to both Ferraro and Hillary Clinton for having paved the way for her own push to shatter the glass ceiling.
So, how will this effect the race? Will the pull for disgruntled Clinton supporters work coming from an anti-choice, anti-gay-rights, pro-drilling, fur-wearing, creationist Republican? Will Republicans want to get behind someone less experienced than Sen. Obama -- a woman who looked more like she might be McCain's daughter rather than his running mate? Or will they go for a pro-life, hunting, fishing, pretty mother of five, whose eldest has served in Iraq? Will she win over voters as a reformer and change candidate as she at least hinted at today?
Will the Democrats -- particularly Sen. Biden -- have to tread a lightly when talking about Gov. Palin to avoid claims of male chauvinism Republicans probably stand ready to hurl at them? Biden should be expected wipe the floor with Palin in debates, but will he have to watch coming off like a bully or risk a version of the "asshole" charges that Al Gore garnered when he ran for President?
Ultimately, everyone seems to be asking, is Sarah Palin the person this country wants next in line for the Presidency behind 72-year-old John McCain? (Happy birthday to him.)
Reactions from across the country included these from Palin's new opponents:
Democratic nominees Barack Obama and Joe Biden (joint statement): “We send our congratulations to Governor Palin and her family on her designation as the Republican nominee for vice president. Her selection is yet another encouraging sign that all barriers are falling in our politics and while we obviously have differences over how to best lead this country forward, Governor Palin is an admirable person and will add a compelling new voice to this campaign.”
They let others take up the first signs of attack:
Barack Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton: “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same.”
Read more here.
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