VP Pick Reactions

August 29, 2008

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a fiscal conservative. I dislike neocons even more than I dislike Reformed theology. In fact, up until this week I had been leaning towards Obama, in spite of his pro-abortion track record, because it seemed like he would have what it takes to take on big business and lobbyists, end corporate welfare, etc.

But I think McCain’s and Obama’s VP picks may have tipped the scales for me.

Now, I always liked McCain. For one thing, he’s not a poseur — he doesn’t pretend to be an evangelical, like many Republicans will, to the point where it seems patronizing. I like the fact that he’s a “maverick”, and isn’t afraid of challenging the status quo, challenging corruption. But I figured, he’s rich, he’s conservative, he’s not going to take the right tack on stopping disasters like this mortgage debacle — if anything, the result of too much laissez faire capitalism, fallout from 8 years of irresponsible Republicans.

However, little as the Vice Presidential picks may matter in the long run, they have changed my perspective of their respective campaigns and characters. Obama chose a guy who appears to me to be pretty much a reactionary — an Old Guard Democrat, pro-abortion, anti-progress. This is the guy that, for instance, goes to bat for the RIAA … a safe bet to reassure folks that Obama’s camp isn’t without experience, but something of a wet blanket on any excitement I had about Obama being a force for change.

McCain’s pick, however, seems at first glance to be a straw man (or rather, woman) — a shameless attempt to draw in those disappointed with Hilary’s loss in the primaries. However, the more I read about Sarah Palin, the more McCain’s pick reassured me that he is a maverick — and rather than cooling any fervor I had for his distinctions, she seems to be “the best of McCain, plus everything you might think he’s weak on.”

Why? Well, she’s an evangelical, a real one. She’s a woman in a purportedly mysognyistic party, and a fervently pro-life woman. To all appearances, she can relate to the working class and middle class in a way that poor McCain, cursed with the silver spoon in his mouth, never could — her husband is a commerical fisherman; her parents were schoolteachers. She’s also an ethical, responsible politician, not afraid to take on corruption, and serves to reinforce McCain’s “virtuous outsider” image.

But most of all, I like her because she’s a risky, bold pick for McCain. A lot of people thought McCain would go with the milquetoast Romney; this would have appeased those who felt McCain wasn’t conservative enough, and helped to bring in more of the “Old Guard”. Instead he chose someone unknown, probably unpopular with the party elites, but who had character, credentials, and who most of all is, well, interesting! Biden is Obama’s Romney, a safe bet, but a boring one.

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7 Responses to “VP Pick Reactions”

  1. RoPiNi Says:

    Thanks for the honest opinions. I’m curious, honestly curious….how do you feel about the one-heartbeat away argument? All of the VP choices I can think of in recent memory had been in some kind of discussion, at some point, for the top spot. I dunno. Just curious how you feel about President Palin?

  2. Ben Says:

    Great. To all appearances, she’s the conservative Obama. Inexperienced, perhaps, but different, interesting, a true progressive. Her track record so far seems resoundingly positive — “faithful in the small things, entrusted with great things.” Of course, I never heard of her before today, so these are initial reactions, but “President Palin” sounds fine — in fact, I hope that if they win the ticket she “runs for re-election” in 2012 instead of McCain (8 years might be pushing it for him).

  3. Danny Slavich Says:

    Interesting analysis Ben. And, because I agree with it, it must be right 🙂

  4. Lee Says:

    Yes, very interesting! But so is this…. it will be interesting to see what transpires.

  5. Tato Says:

    My gut reaction was just what you said it was – a “straw-man” to draw in Hilary votes. Anyways, I am not informed about this election as much as I’d like to be. I watched part of Obama’s DNC speech, but that is it so far.

  6. Lee Says:

    Any change in your opinion as the hour draws near? 🙂

  7. Ben Says:

    Not exactly, I still stand with my same impressions on the VP picks … BUT … after listening to the debates I didn’t feel like McCain really had it in him. And the incredibly negative campaign he ran didn’t make me too excited about him. I decided in the end that you should vote for the President and not the Vice President.


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