VP CANDIDATES ARE USUALLY IMMATERIAL; MAYBE NOT THIS ELECTION
When political discourse becomes gossip page fodder, something is deeply wrong. Since Sen. John McCain announced Gov. Sarah Palin as his VP candidate, the horrendous political calculation is still evident. A highly green politician buttressing a rickety presidential candidate became a worry. Campaign-wise, the Palin pick has succeeded beyond any McCain campaign operatives dreams. Republicans win when the issues are secondary or non-existent. This election is now about Palin shooting guns and Palin wearing lipstick like a pig.(?)
Palin all the time has nothing to do with the issues confronting Americans. Palin isn't going to help create real jobs and increase wages. She is not going to help out energy policy other than further engorged the oil companies and health care won't be solved.
That the Obama campaign has been caught so flat footed by Palin is quite worrisome. They did not underestimate her as much as they did not place enough importance to the VP no matter who it was. This is rational thinking. People don't vote for the bottom of the ticket...ever and everyone knows the VP job is nothing more than ornamental. This election is so different than any other in this country let alone the world that conventional wisdom goes out the window.
When Barack Obama announced he would move his convention speech to the 80,000-seat Invesco Field, the prevailing wisdom was that McCain could never fill even one-fourth of the stadium. For months, the campaign has fretted over the fact that McCain has struggled to attract voters to his events. Since teaming with Palin, the problem no longer exists. Ironically, voters still are not enthused by McCain, but flock to see Palin so much now that the campaign is contemplating having the ticket appear together for fear of having Palin's events dwarf McCain's
Most likely the Palin phenomenom will die and the election will become about issues rather than personalities. What worrisome, is that Sen. Joe Biden is kissing old lady's in Pennsylvania in spite because they say they won't vote for a black man or a suspected Muslim, meaning the stigma of racism is very real especially among older voters. The same demographic that tends to vote religiously.
If Palinpalooza still has legs by her vice presidential debate, the Biden factor may further stoke the current media coverage that focuses on, what Obama calls "phony outrage" and less on kitchen table issues.
McCain and Palin seem adept at using gender has a wedge issue. There is no other politician in America that is more ill-equipped to traipse around possible land mines regarding gender than Biden.
The Delaware senator is biting, funny and satirical and prone to saying the wrong thing, which actually is a euphemism for saying exactly what you and me would say under the same circumstance. Once can imagine Biden being neutered in that debate while Palin exudes in the same politics of low expectations that scored Bush debate wins over Al Gore and John Kerry despite clearly flailing.
It's telling when the Grand Wizard of dirty GOP politics, Karl Rove, is preaching to Obama that he's paying too much attention to Palin, it's another problem when an presidential election is less than two months away and we're talking about subjects that have no bearing on the lives of ordinary Americans.