Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cherchez la femme?

Now that The One has failed to move the needle with his Veep pick, all eyes turn to Maverick McCain. McCain has one distinct advantage: just about anyone he picks will be more interesting (at least initially) than Joe Biden, who was an old story 20 years ago.

But what should McCain do? One potential play is to pick a woman. I have mentioned Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a possibility and some reports indicate that she might still be in the running.

McCain clearly hopes to capture distaff side anger over the snub of Hillary. He's got this ad out right now using a few choice Hillary soundbites as a truncheon (good female voiceover talent, too, with just the right frisson of outrage). If I were Obama, I wouldn't have picked Hillary either, since it's hard to look forward and watch your back at the same time. But there might be a certain percentage of outraged women who might give Maverick a look if he were to pick the right woman. The ever-reliable Ed Morrisey linked to a good analysis by blogger Cuffy Meigs about the three women who have been rumored as possibilities -- Palin and two corporate executives, recently retired eBay honcho Meg Whitman and former HP chief Carly Fiorina, who has been a key adviser to his campaign. One thing is pretty clear - McCain has no trouble dealing with strong professional women, as his marriage demonstrates.

It could definitely the right play. Meigs makes an excellent concluding point in her piece:

Executive experience, of course, is the leading theme here. NONE of the candidates have it, including Hillary herself. Perish the thought that the Executive Branch is helmed by an actual executive.

No executives. No women.

And the most tech-savvy person is the guy who can't pull off a mass text message. It's a gap screaming to be filled.

If things get ugly in Denver with Hillary and her PUMA (which stands for Party Unity My Ass, in case you were wondering) pals, I think the likelihood of a woman veep candidate could increase exponentially. McCain currently plans to reveal his pick on Friday at a rally in Dayton, Ohio. If Hillary and her people aren't publicly assuaged, don't be surprised if one of these three women appear on the stage with Maverick.


Gino said...

i'm thinkin, if mccain picks a woman, it would be covered in the media as a desparation scheme to win hillary votes.

it could backfire.

Mark Heuring said...


I suspect that the media may cover it that way. But the people McCain might reach with this move are also those who are now tired of having the media explain what their options should be. This is a crude way of putting it, but essentially what the media have been telling female Hillary supporters to lie on their backs and think about England, if you know what I mean (and I know you do). And that is why they are p.o.'ed.

Anonymous said...

Vice Presidential picks are almost always made to address weaknesses, both real and perceived, in the Presidential nominees. The only time since the end of WWII that I can remember when that was not the case was when Clinton picked Gore in 92.

And no matter who is picked, the other side will find reasons to criticize, most of which are laughable. For example, right now, McCain is attacking the Biden pick because Biden was a harsh critic of Obama's during the primaries. He is also criticizing Obama for not picking Hillary, claiming that she was not picked because she was a harsh critic of Obama during the primaries??? Doesn't make a lot of sense, but it doesn't have to. It's politics. Just keep throwing crap at the wall and see what sticks.

And some of my all-time favorite political op-eds are the ones penned by open mouthed breathers on the right and left who have the intellectual prowess to observe that "this pick reveals the weakness of said candidate." Wow, thanks Einstein. Your parents must be so proud. Man, I love this stuff. So glad the olympics are over.


Mark Heuring said...

True enough, Rich, although I think Gore did address one weakness of Clinton, which is that Gore wasn't seen as a sleaze, especially in 1992. Unfortunately for Al, hanging with Clinton put an end to that ("no controlling legal authority").

Do you think Biden actually addresses any real or perceived weaknesses of Obama?

Anonymous said...

I think Biden helps Obama's in his bid to win Pennsylvania. He is from Scranton, which is the HRC base in PA, and Delaware has been called part of suburban Philadelphia. He'll also appeal to Reagan Democrats in the Rust Belt, who are probably Obama's biggest weakness right now. In that respect, Biden will be a great foil for Romney.

Biden also appeals to the blue collar voters in places like Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, and Michigan. He brings considerable political upside.

They'll present Biden as somebody who has been in Washington, not of Washington. A commuter to his Delaware home, who hasn't lived in the beltway.

Lastly, while he may be long-winded at times, he is a pretty good attack dog and debater, so he fills the hatchet man role pretty well, and may force McCain to pick Romney. Then we'll be watching a lot of commercials about 2 guys who own 15 or 16 houses between them.

It may be a load of crap, but it seems to resonate.


Mark Heuring said...

I dunno Rich, my thought was that Biden makes it less likely that Maverick will pick Romney. Biden is a nothingburger, to be honest. He hasn't lived in Scranton for a long time and he's been in Washington for 36 years. He's definitely of Washington. He's nasty enough to be an attack dog but too long winded to get off good soundbites.

I still like Palin but my guess is that, in the end, it will be T-Paw. T-Paw will seem pretty ingratiating next to Biden.

Mark Heuring said...

Oh, and if Pennsylvania isn’t already in the bag for Obama, he’s dead anyway. Pennsylvania should be a piece of cake for a Democratic candidate. Philly alone should be able to carry it – they always find ways to get absurd voter participation totals there (90-95% for Gore, similar for Kerry) that destroy any margin a Republican can build in the middle of the state.

Ted said...

Despite the Dems and the allied main stream media’s desperation to see Romney as McCain’s Veep, Mitt is clearly out, with (1) Obama doubling down on the class warfare theme (McCain’s 7 houses) and (2) McCain doubling down with ads showing the hypocrisy of Biden attacking Obama in the primaries — Romney did way more than that contra McCain.

This leaves only Govs Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty. Pro-abortion Ridge and Dem-Lieberman were never real considerations, despite relentless media goading. Pawlenty’s lackluster TV performances, coupled with Palin pizzazz, the primacy of oil drilling and the ticked off women/Hillary voters, does now portend a McCain/Palin checkmate on the Dems. This is so albeit the Dems and liberal media dare not mention Palin’s name, that is, everyone but…..

And if there’s any question as to Palin being uniquely positioned and able to more than nullify Biden in debate, see the excellent discussion at

Team McCain, well done!!!

Anonymous said...

Biden flanks the democratic constiuency that was already voting for Obama anyway. He's an old school guy who's got substantial baggage including plagerism. The democrats may see him as well respected, but many will see him as "establishment" DFL which is an ironic choice for someone who has potsulated himself as the agent of change. Instead of change we get "more of the same."

Safe choice, but most certainly a boring one...