Australia: Palin Counting on Identity Politics

Progressive bloggers from Australasia have challenged John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Do identity politics still count for that much, asks Cam Riley of South Sea Republic:

…there will be another electoral blood-letting in 2008 the same as there was in 2006 with Republicans in the house and senate toppling like dominoes. I expect Obama will win in an electoral-college landslide as well even though the polls don't point to it yet.

The counter-weight is that identity politics still count. Palin is being touted as ‘one of us’ by evangelical conservatives who weigh in more on character identity than resumes, competency or merit. It may be that identity to McCain's evangelical message, populist foreign policy, republican party identity and maybe even latent or passive racism against a black president will get McCain across the line.

US Presidential Campaign

Blogocracy’s Tim Dunlop found some rare common ground with the right:

I’m with those American conservatives who think this is an appalling pick, indicative of McCain’s lack of seriousness and his basic contempt for job to which he aspires. This is a trick pick, driven entirely by campaign imperatives and, as James Fallows puts it, “seems to be a choice that looks forward to Election Day, and not one day beyond that.” How could it? How could he spend the last months trying to bring down Obama by highlighting his lack of experience and then choose this person as his running mate? I dare any conservatives to defend this choice.

Weekend Talkback

Duckpond saw the choice of Sarah Palin as McCain’s mate as flawed gender politics. Unlike many in the blogosphere and mass media there was no mention of her being a “looker”:

This stunt by McCain (”he has done it again”) might work in the short term, but it would give serious Republicans pause, and I would be surprised if it would work with women. Now if it did work, McCain could become an even more dangerous and flawed President than Bush. My guess would be, despite the trope about the irrational voter, that the American public will be of a mood to demand economic answers. It is an extraordinary and frightening sight to see a former drunk and a fool roiling around as the US President. We will learn in due course whether “Eight is Enough”.

Special Providence

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