Sunday, August 31, 2008

How the Democrats Almost Blew It

McCain's selection of Governor Palin was a calculated move to deflect attention from the Democratic convention and Senator Obama's soaring acceptance speech. The Democrats, as did many others, reacted with astonishment to McCain's preposterous selection of a vice president. That reaction was what the McCain campaign and other Republicans were counting on. Because the Republican comeback, which was well-prepared and well rehearsed, was that Governor Palin has more experience and credentials to be president than Senator Obama. As Democrats ranted and raved about this ludicrous statement, the Republicans repeated their mantra about Governor Palin's executive experience and leadership qualities. This led to more outraged reactions which was just what the Republicans needed to deflect attention from McCain's poor judgment and lack of true leadership.

Only Senator Obama reacted calmly and said nothing negative about Governor Palin. If the Democrats had all done the same thing and basically yawned about Governor Palin's nomination, the significance of this event would have disappeared in a puff of smoke. While it's true that Governor Palin is the first woman to be nominated as vice president by the Republicans, the Democrats had previously nominated a woman to be vice president. So what's the big deal? There wasn't any big deal unless the Democrats and other people made one. Governor Palin will bring over a few discontented Hillary supporters, but more importantly she has impressed the Republican right with her gun toting, antiabortion, drill the hell out public land approach. That real significance is within the Republican Party to shore up support among the right-wingers.

In the debates and discussions ahead the Republicans will continue to repeat their mantra that Governor Palin is more qualified than Senator Obama. This will be disputed and argued by the Democrats as it should be. But the only substantive issue is whether Senator Obama or Senator McCain would make a better president. Of course, Governor Palin's incredible lack of experience, the Alaskan legislature meets only 90 days a year, is of significance because Senator McCain is 72 years old and has had cancer for times. That too will be debated. But the Democrats shouldn't blow a gasket over it. Obama shrewdly summed up the Republicans on 60 minutes tonight when he said they're not very good governing but very good at running elections.

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