The REAL "Change" Ticket?
For all his "change" rhetoric, Sen. Obama has proven himself to be no different than any other run-of-the-mill partisan Democrat who toes the line of left-liberal orthodoxy. His sparse Senate record is short of evidence of his ability to "reach out" that his campaign rhetoric ascribes to himself.
In picking a running mate, he went with the "safe" option of picking someone who has been in the Senate for 36 years - Sen. Biden has been a U.S. Senator since he was 27 years old. Very little real world experience outside of the halls of government.
By way of contrast, Sen. McCain has a REAL record of bucking his party and his President and reaching across party lines to get things done. He has ACTUAL bi-partisan legislative accomplishments to point to.
And when it came to picking a running mate, Sen. McCain didn't go "safe". He went BOLD ... picking a female governor with real accomplishments in taking on and winning against government corruption within her own party. The REAL fresh face in this election belongs to Gov. Sarah Palin. Inexperienced? As Mark Levin points out in my earlier post, Gov. Palin has more executive experience in her 2 years than Senators McCain, Biden, and Obama combined. (And it's not like Sen. Obama is in a position to point out the alleged inexperience at the BOTTOM of the other side's ticket.)
So, the ticket MOST likely to bring a change of tone to the divisiveness of Washington politics of the last 16 years? That's what Americans will have to decide this fall.
Ed Morrissey is thinking along the same lines: What Palin does for McCain, and to Obama
... McCain has clearly chosen to play offense rather than defense. Instead of a safe choice, such as closest runner-up Mitt Romney or genial Everyman Tim Pawlenty, McCain took some risk with a relative newcomer to national politics. Palin will inject risk, excitement, controversy, and an unexpected historic note to the Republican convention.(emphasis added)
First, though, let’s assess the risk. Palin has served less than two years as Governor of Alaska, which tends to eat into the experience message on which McCain has relied thus far. At 44, she’s younger than Barack Obama by three years. She has served as a mayor and as the Ethics Commissioner on the state board regulating oil and naturalk gas, for a total of eight years political experience before her election as governor. That’s also less than Obama has, with seven years in the Illinois legislature and three in the US Senate.
However, the nature of the experience couldn’t be more different. Palin spent her entire political career crusading against the political machine that rules Alaska — which exists in her own Republican party. She blew the whistle on the state GOP chair, who had abused his power on the same commission to conduct party business. Obama, in contrast, talked a great deal about reform in Chicago but never challenged the party machine, preferring to take an easy ride as a protegé of Richard Daley instead.
Palin has no formal foreign-policy experience, which puts her at a disadvantage to Joe Biden. However, in nineteen months as governor, she certainly has had more practical experience in diplomacy than Biden or Obama have ever seen. She runs the only American state bordered only by two foreign countries, one of which has increasingly grown hostile to the US again, Russia.
And let’s face it — Team Obama can hardly attack Palin for a lack of foreign-policy experience. Obama has none at all, and neither Obama or Biden have any executive experience. Palin has almost over seven years of executive experience.
Politically, this puts Obama in a very tough position. The Democrats had prepared to launch a full assault on McCain’s running mate, but having Palin as a target creates one large headache. If they go after her like they went after Hillary Clinton, Obama risks alienating women all over again. If they don’t go after her like they went after Hillary, he risks alienating Hillary supporters, who will see this as a sign of disrespect for Hillary.
For McCain, this gives him a boost like no other in several different ways. First, the media will eat this up. That effectively buries Obama’s acceptance speech and steals the oxygen he needs for a long-term convention bump. A Romney or Pawlenty pick would not have accomplished that.
Second, Palin will re-energize the base. She’s not just a pro-life advocate, she’s lived the issue herself. That will attract the elements of the GOP that had held McCain at a distance since the primaries and provide positive motivation for Republicans, rather than just rely on anti-Democrat sentiment to get them to the polls.
Third, and I think maybe most importantly, Palin addresses the energy issue better and more attuned to the American electorate than maybe any of the other three principals in this election. Even beyond her efforts to reform the Oil and Natural Gas Commission, she has demonstrated her independence from so-called “Big Oil” while promoting domestic production. She brings instant credibility to the ticket on energy policy, and reminds independents and centrists that the Obama-Biden ticket offers nothing but the same excuses we’ve heard for 30 years.
Finally, based on all of the above, McCain can remind voters who has the real record of reform. Obama talks a lot about it but has no actual record of reform, and for a running mate, he chose a 35-year Washington insider with all sorts of connections to lobbyists and pork. McCain has fought pork, taken real political risks to fight undue influence of lobbyists, and he picked an outsider who took on her own party — and won.
This is change you can believe in, and not change that amounts to all talk. McCain changed the trajectory of the race today by stealing Obama’s strength and turning it against him. Obama provided that opening by picking Biden as his running mate, and McCain was smart enough to take advantage of the opening.
Gov. Palin is like Dan Quayle? The Democrats better tread lightly here.
First, they've worked overtime trying to turn the inexperience charge against Sen. Obama into a "racist" thing. They run an equal, if not greater, risk of being thought of as "sexist" if they go there with Gov. Palin. There might be plenty of disaffected Hillary voters who could be irate over what they see as a sexist reprise of the dismissiveness the Obama campaign showed toward Hillary.
Second, they better take a look at their own presidential ticket. At the top of the ticket, they have someone with less Senate experience than Dan Quayle had. And at the bottom of the ticket, they decided to run someone who, when it comes to foot-in-mouth syndrome, makes Dan Quayle sound like Cicero.
David Freddoso adds more about the contrast between Gov. Palin and Sen. Obama:
Contrast Obama with Sarah Palin
She is everything Obama is not. A real reformer who took on her own party's corrupt establishment and won, defeating an incumbent governor, 80-20. Don't forget that she's also a mother who chose life for her Down Syndrome baby — we can probably guess where she'd fall on the Born-Alive act. If this is the future of the GOP, they're in good shape.
From National Public Radio:
Sarah Palin is no stranger to the "maverick" label often assigned to Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate who has selected her to join him on the GOP ticket. Alaska's youngest and first female governor has pushed for ethics investigations of fellow Republicans in her state and bucked the powerful oil industry on a major natural gas pipeline project.(emphasis added)
When she ran for governor in 2006, she ran as an outsider and an agent for change. But she's also an anti-abortion, pro-gun fiscal conservative — something sure to please the Republican base.
The 44-year-old Palin is a fresh face on the national political scene. But she has participated in local and state politics for much of her adult life. She was elected to the Wasilla City Council in 1992, running against tax increases in the Anchorage suburb. Four years later, she was elected mayor of the city, which has grown rapidly although its population is still under 10,000. Palin held the mayor's job until 2002 and in 2003 was named chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Palin was elected governor three years later despite her outcast status in the Republican Party. Her campaign theme was a defiant one — "Take a Stand." She won a three-way primary race against incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski and former state Sen. John Binkley, then went on to defeat former Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles.
As governor, Palin says she's tried to instill public confidence in the government of a state that's been shaken by political scandals. She won't invite lobbyists to her office and has introduced ethics reform legislation. One of her first acts as governor was to kill the now infamous "bridge to nowhere" pork-barrel spending project. And she put the former governor's personal jet up for sale on eBay.
McCain camp pushes back: More qualified than Obama:
It is pretty audacious for the Obama campaign to say that Governor Palin is not qualified to be Vice President. She has a record of accomplishment that Senator Obama simply cannot match. Governor Palin has spent her time in office shaking up government in Alaska and actually achieving results -- whether it’s taking on corruption, passing ethics reform or stopping wasteful spending and the ‘bridge to nowhere.’ Senator Obama has spent his time in office running for President.Ouch! The Obama campaign shouldn't have gone there. It's not as if the McCain campaign wasn't going to anticipate that charge and turn it to their advantage.