Well, who said there wouldn't be any surprises in store for us, this convention season? (I guess me, below). Certainly John McCain's pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for veep is just what the (witch) doctor ordered to perk up this unusually dull presidential race. Although Hurricane Gustav heading, with just the right touch of apocaplyse, up the Gulf Coast as I write this, has also stirred things up. (Looks like the worst has missed New Orleans, but it is truly amusing to watch Republicans scramble to look appropriately solemn as they "curtail" their convention activities and also breathe a sigh of relief that Bush and Cheney have now found other things to do.)
But back to Palin. Since Friday people have been asking me if this was an inspired or dumb choice and the answer actually is both. She will energize that conservative base and possibly bring in some voters who just want to see a little sorely needed pizazz in McCain's operations, a little juice and life. She will re-establish, to some extent, his maverick credentials. But if this turns out to be a close race, which I think it will be, she has got to have a lot of people thinking, Christ, this inexperienced person is far too close to the presidency.
Palin, of course, has given joy to liberal pundits. Maureen Dowd has written her usual snarky column , replete with mooseburger jokes. Nastier have been the rumors flying around that Palin's young son with Down Syndrome actually belongs to her seventeen year old daughter, Bristol, that the good Governor faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her. Like any smear, this has a tiny kernel of truth--turns out Bristol is pregnant, as Palin's office announced today.
A McCain staffer (anonymously) said this about the rumor: "The despicable rumors that have been spread by liberal blogs, some even with Barack Obama's name in them, is a real anchor around the Democratic ticket, pulling them down in the mud in a way that certainly juxtaposes themselves against their 'campaign of change."
We'll ignore the difficulties with subject-verb tense agreement, this puzzling problem of having Obama's name "in" the blogs, and the exotic use of "juxtaposes"--it has been a bit of an overexciting time for the sleepy McCain campaign. But the statement is very amusing, coming from a member of a party that pushed as hard as it could to convince people Obama was a dangerous Muslim radical.
Will the American people want a White House that looks like a reality show? Pregnant teenagers, guys with guns, ladies with skinning knives, snowmobiles on the front lawn? Dammit, they just might.....Ladies and gents, we may just have ourselves a campaign, after all.