He just cemented my vote. I haven't been too thrilled with McCain's candidacy, but I have to admit that since the primaries, he has been saying a lot of the right things. Now he has picked a strong pro-life, pro-gun, pro-business conservative to share his ticket.
One of the nice things about Palin is that she is on the cusp of being Generation X. (She only missed it by about 10 months, which is good enough for me.) She represents the new generation of young conservatives that rejects the baby boom generation's liberalism without appearing joyless, uncaring and unimaginative. We have been hearing about these young conservatives, but so far they have not entered the national spotlight. More please!
I also will be very pleased if the Republican party is the first to get a woman into the Oval Office. I know that is merely symbolic, but symbolism matters. And Sarah Palin has both symbolism and substance.
1. She took the governor's seat in Alaska on an anti-corruption platform and she has delivered on those promises. (Incidentally, that article also shows her as strong on women's issues. Read the whole thing and try not to be put off by the negative tone. If this is the worst the MSM can do to tarnish her reputation, it bodes well for her national candidacy.)
2. Even before her election, she has taken a strong stand on ethics. As Mayor of Wasilla she "followed through on her campaign promises to reduce her own salary, and to reduce property taxes by 60%" (Wikipedia). Later she headed the ethics committe of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, "when she tried to expose GOP officials with improper ties to the industry, and eventually resigned in 2004 after her complaints were ignored." (Time)
3. She is strongly pro-family and pro-life in both principle and practice.
4. She is a life member of the NRA and an out-spoken advocate of gun rights, hunting and fishing and conservation. (Sorry for the lack of linkage, here. The links I want are all on the Alaska Governor's website which is understandably flooded at the moment. If I think about it, I will update this post later. But if not, there are plenty of sources talking about this and you can look for the left to try to spin it as a negative before long.)
5. She majored in journalism but isn't an actual journalist. Think about it. What better resume could a vice president have? The job is mostly public relations. She knows how the system works and won't stumble into the dumb situations that Quayle allowed himself to fall into. But she had the good sense and ethics to avoid that profession. Win-win, baby!
6. Her lack of foreign-policy experience is a negative, but, unlike the Democrats, the Republicans have placed their least experienced partner at the bottom of the ticket not the top. This allows McCain to continue to attack Obama's inexperience and, if the Republicans win, will give plenty of time for Palin to come up to speed before she has to head the party in 2016. Also, I am not too impressed with the experience meme. Most of the politicians Americans hate the most are the ones with most experience.
A few more links: Here and here are the McCain press releases. I can't find the first one on the official site; it sounds like a fund-raising letter, but it is a better read. Here is her response.
Here is Larry Kudlow's interview with Palin on 8/1. My favorite quote:
But as for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does everyday? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question.I love the fact that she has to be convinced that the VP is a productive position, worthy of her talents. A very Dagny Taggart-esque response, no? It also brings to mind Jathom's parable from Judges 9:
Listen to me, citizens of Shechem, so that God may listen to you. One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, 'Be our king.' "But the olive tree answered, 'Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and men are honored, to hold sway over the trees?' (Jdg 9:7-9)
Here is another interview, this one with Time magazine from a couple of weeks ago. A bit fluffier than the Kudlow piece, but lots of character background.
Also from time, this is an informative summary of her background. Note, again, that they are trying to adopt a negative tone, but she still comes out looking pretty good.
And while we're talking about looking good, lets not forget the babe factor. Rush Limbaugh, predictably, is all over this aspect. My take: Palin strikes me as the kind of woman that is comfortable with her looks but doesn't explicitly try to use them to make points. Her whole family is good looking but in a healthy, natural way, not the made-up look we get from so many in Hollywood. She obviously is not the kind of person to appear in Playboy. I get the feeling, though, that she would be mildly flattered by the offer and would refuse with grace and dignity, not the sense of outrage and victimization that we hear from so many feminists. I could be totally wrong about that, but she just doesn't come off as the outraged type.
UPDATE: There is a lot of talk about the vetting process and the media being blind-sided on the Palin pick. Nat Hentoff was talking about it as early as May. I read that article at the time and I think I might have heard her name as early as March or April, but I can no longer find the article amid all of the current chatter.