Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sarah Palin and the What-Ifs

Actual, legitimate, discussion of the Palin nomination. Found (no surprise) at the AmSpecBlogsite. They both miss something quite important, however.

Quin Hilyer:

My fundamental argument with the mode or framework of analysis in both otherwise insightful posts, and in so much of the other pro-Palin commentary on the right these days, is the ex post facto assumption that because Palin galvanized the right, she was the only candidate who could galvanize the right. As I spent all year arguing, there were at least a handful, and up to 10 or 12, potential Veep picks who could similarly galvanize the right without turning off moderates/independents/Perotistas, and who also quite clearly passed the "ready at a moment's notice for the Oval Office" test

Well, yes. Curious that Hilyer does NOT mention Fred Thompson, although he brings up Romney, Kasich, DeMint, Pence, and our home-boy, Paul Ryan.

Hilyer's post responded to W James Antle III:

But before we conclude that Palin was a net drag on the ticket, I think we have to remember where John McCain was before he picked her. He had a serious base problem and enthusiasm gap. Swing voters are important, but if you don't have your base locked down they can't do very much for you

...the danger of a bland presidential nominee turning his running mate into a base-pleaser like Dan Quayle or Spiro Agnew is that the number two becomes polarizing and begins to turn off swing voters. That's exactly what happened to Palin as the campaign progressed

This is the sort of discussion that one should have, rather than whether or not someone spent $XXXK on clothing, or could/could not ID 'members of NAFTA.' We'll remind you that the anonymous leakers are offering what they choose to report as "true;" there's no tape-recording of the NAFTA discussion, and the clothing stories are becoming more than a little fishy.

What did these two estimable writers miss?

Simple. Sarah Palin was running for the chair of John Nance Garner, Dan Quayle, Hubert Humphrey, and Al Gore. The McCain staff, saddled with both a poor Presidential candidate and a serious deficiency of street-smarts, allowed the Democrats to re-define the context and argue "readiness."

Palin should be iconic--a metaphor--for the kind of candidate that the Pubbies should run, not necessarily what the Party SHOULD run.

That's a licit discussion.

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