Sounding Board Discusses McCain’s Veep Pick

Sounding Board members, including a new addition, offered their thoughts on John McCain’s pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate.

The new addition to the board is Nikky Southerland, a 20-year-old University of Washington student from Grapeview. He describes his politics as “‘Scandinavian Liberal,’ which is basically far left wing.” Thursday night he helped us balance the live blog so well that we thought we’d invite him to the team. The fact that he adds youth to the discussion, especially important in this election, made us want his input even more.

Click on the jump to read our board members’ thoughts on Palin.

Susanne Hughes “I am still undecided which is a position I am rarely in this late in the process. I look forward to the GOP convention and learning more about Governor Palin. I did not support Hillary because she was a woman so merely the fact Palin is a woman does not guarantee my support.”

Jeff Kreifels “I was convinced after last night that Obama would dominate the news today.

“However, with McCain’s surprise pick of Sarah Palin, Obama didn’t even get 12 hours worth of solo attention. In fact, with the news media all buzzing about this young, relatively unknown conservative Governor from Alaska, it is easy to ask, ‘Joe Who?’ The first attacks on her that I have heard are, ‘She’s not qualified. She has no foreign policy experience.’ I can’t imagine that the Obama campaign will continue that line of attack, as it is self-indicting.”

“I didn’t know anything about her until hearing about her this morning. Once I heard a bio on her and heard talk radio, both liberal and conservative, talking completely about her, I got very excited by the choice. She is a conservative that McCain needed to solidify that wing of the Republican Party. She also sounds like a real mom. With Patty Murray being the champion for “soccer moms” many years ago, I love Governor Palin’s comment that she is a ‘hockey mom.’ She appears to be a real person, not just another politician. I think she has added instant energy to the campaign and the choice has limited any momentum that Obama had last night. The initial criticisms of her have been ‘She doesn’t have enough experience.’ That is a bit of boomerang. Joe Biden had six days of fame. Now he is an afterthought.

“Whoever suggested her last night on the Sounding Board was a prophet. Good call.”

Jane Rebelowski “First thoughts were that it was a parody show I was listening to, not the ‘real’ news. I guess the whole argument of ‘experience matters’ is out the window. My first knowledge of Ms. Palin was when she originally was defending the bridge to nowhere before she was against it. She was a mayor of a town with a population of less than 10,000 persons and has been governor of a state for 20 months. This is a state that looks like they will re-elect Ted Stevens. I do not think that this move will actually lure in former Hillary supporters if that was the intention. Persons who I know who were (are) strong Hillary Clinton supporters just seem to have very different values from Ms Palin. I’m sure there may be a percentage of Hillary supporters who may be encouraged to vote for this ticket just because the estrogen level has been raised, but I cannot imagine that would be a high percentage. I’m sure some people will be supportive of her gun views, but many independent voters (and the majority of our citizens) finally accept climate change, which Ms. Palin does not, unless John McCain has helped her modify her position. Perplexed.

Heather McClellan “I woke up this morning to a new spring in my step. I am so thrilled with his pick. She’s a mom with five kids, one in or heading to Afghanistan. She’s an average woman trying to make a difference in her state and I couldn’t be happier with McCain’s pick.”

Ben Leibson “McCain is obviously going after Hilary supporters who feel wronged and the Republican base at the same time. I don’t believe it will be effective with pro-choice women, and the base already reluctantly supported him.

“She has done a good job so far in Alaska, but does that prepare her to run the country if something happens to McCain?

“Whether she will really help him or not will depend largely on how she campaigns.

Nikky Southerland “It’s certainly an interesting choice.

“Any reasonable person might first think that McCain is trying to get some of the disaffected Hillary voters. But I don’t really think that’s the main goal here. It seems too blunt, and quite frankly, the most hardcore of Hillary supporters aren’t going to go vote for a Republican candidate who happens to have a woman as a VP. They’ll disagree with the McCain/Palin policies and just not go to the polling place at all.

“Picking someone from a state that’s blood red also shows that something else is going here.

“So what is it?

“I have a couple of thoughts:

– Sarah Palin is young, and she’s a great way to balance out the ‘too old’ charges that are frequently thrown towards John McCain. But with the young factor also comes ‘inexperience.’ Yet that charge will be less
of an issue with a VP–because they’ll have training wheels on while learning from an elder statesmen.

– She hasn’t been vetted by the news media at all. This is both a good and a bad thing. If she’s perfectly clean, then it won’t be an issue. But if something does show up, it will be most likely close to election.
How that will affect the ticket, I’m not sure. Quayle wasn’t vetted either, ran into some embarrassing stuff, yet that ticket still won.

– Palin is a chance. Romney is a great choice for getting Michigan and the economy. McCain picking Palin is indicative that he’s running scared of the Obama/Biden ticket and felt it necessary to take a chance on a
black horse instead of a well known figure on the national level. If the public likes her and can connect with her policies, McCain can take away some of the Obama appeal. But if she’s shown as inexperienced, an amateur, or too closely connected to Ted Stevens and other corrupt Alaskan politicians, it can easily backfire.

– By picking a ‘maverick,’ McCain is trying to get some of his own maverick appeal back that has been constantly under attack by the Democrats in the past few weeks. But by picking Palin, McCain might be
trying too hard to get that image. I don’t see any major appeal to her besides her age, and the fact she’s a conservative female.

– Romney is still my favorite choice. There might still be bad blood between McCain and Romney, but Mitt gives the impression of youth, while still carrying the “experienced” tag and his impeccable credentials on
the economy.”

56 thoughts on “Sounding Board Discusses McCain’s Veep Pick

  1. Karen, I can not speak for her, but in my house when things, that are not part of the most basic needs ie…food, for blogging (I am kidding on that last one), become unaffordable they are instantly targeted and eliminated as uncessary.

  2. Thanks Elliott. For me the two words are just two entirely different arguments. Will you be blogging with the Souding Board tonight?

  3. Who makes the decision in your house? I guess that’s what I was getting at, someone, whether it’s Mayor Bozeman or Governor Palin or you, has to make decisions. They can’t all be made by committee or consensus.

  4. Karen, you are conjoining two arguments that are completely separate. My statements to you regarding food and shelter and necessary things were not linked in any way to my argument with Elliott regarding entitlements and earmarks.

  5. Karen,

    In your post #45, you ask a great question, “who decides what “unnecessary things” are”?

    I agree with what Colleen has been saying (thanks, Colleen) regarding prioritizing spending in government much like we do with our own family budgets.

    In Government, those who decide what is “necessary” and “unnecessary” are our elected leaders. That is why we need to choose our leaders carefully. And if we don’t like how they are prioritizing spending, we need to elect someone else at the next opportunity!

    Mayor Palin had the opportunity to pursue “earmarks” to ease the financial burden on her local constituency for projects. If the voters didn’t like how she was prioritizing spending and requests, they could vote her out of office. They did not.

    I would like Congress to do away with “earmarks”, entirely. Find more appropriate ways to fund worthy projects instead of allowing “earmarks” that don’t go through a credibility process.

    Now, if she sought those “earmarks” for unnecessary or unimportant things, shame on her. But I haven’t seen any evidence of that. What evidence I do see of her stewardship of taxpayer dollars, I like! She took the federal dollars already allocated to Alaska because of the “bridge to no where” and put those funds to more useful purposes.

    Bob Meadows posted a great explanation of “earmarks” in the “Palin and the Bridge” thread. I highly suggest reading it.

    Kathryn Simpson

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