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Thoughts on the 2008 vice presidential race

I don't think I've said anything about it up to now, and there's only (as of today) 9 1/2 weeks left.

I just read Mudflats' "What is McCain Thinking? One Alaskan's Perspective." In it, she says:

[…] Listen to John McCain and you'll hear
about a maverick reformer who took on big oil, took on corrupt Alaska
politicians, and whose ethics are unquestioned.

Alaskans really want to like Sarah
Palin.  In a state where corruption is the rule, and the same faces
keep recycling over and over and over again like a bad dream, a new
face, with a promise of reform seemed like a breath of fresh air. 
Palin defeated incumbent governor Frank Murkowski (father of Alaska
Senator Lisa Murkowski who he appointed to his own Senate seat when he
was elected governor) because he was such an obnoxious, bloviating,
downright BAD politician.  This staunchly republican state voted with
relief, not having to cross over and vote Democratic, but still able to
get Murkowski the hell out of office.  In the general election Palin
swept into office running against a former Democratic governor, Tony
Knowles, who was capable but came with baggage.  And he represented to
Alaskans more of the same, tired old-style politics, and special
interests that we have come to loathe.

So, if McCain had made his selection six
months ago, the squeaky-clean governor meme would have made a little
more sense.  But, Sarah Palin is currently under an ethics
investigation by the Alaska state legislature. […]

See, six months ago, it was pretty hard to tell the lineup of Republican presidential candidates apart — even with a scorecard. So when I tweeted a friend a Publius Pundit vice-presidential poll, he said he was rooting for someone he thought could govern: Christopher Cox, for his conservative bonafides, relative youth and ability to shore up McCain's economic flank.

He asked me who I thought had a shot, and I told him I thought the nod would be more about campaigning than governing: "Whitman, Hutchison, Rice,
Watts, Jindal, Powell, Palin, Blackburn, [Elizabeth] Dole, Steele." Of those, my friend said he thought only Watts had enough experience but lacked the desire.

I didn't give the issue any more serious thought until this morning. I'd assumed McCain wouldn't give in to his long-shot leanings. I was wrong.

Today, my friend asked me what I thought of Joe Biden. I said "Meh. I'd hoped he'd double-down on change (Bayh/Kaine) or pick
Hagel or Powell or Richardson, but I'm pleased he didn't pick Clinton." I think we can all see pretty clearly what not-picking Clinton yielded.

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