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.


Vox Hunt: Breathtaking

Show us something that takes your breath away.

 Ladies and gentlemen, my husband, President George Bush. (Applause.)
And today, Laura and I have come back to discuss that pledge and your future.

[…] MRS. BUSH: In the year since Katrina, outsiders have made tremendous contributions to
New Orleans and the Gulf Coast rebirth. But the most important recovery
work has been done by the local people who are rebuilding New Orleans
because it's their home. I've been privileged to meet with many of these
people, with school superintendents, teachers and homeowners, and to see
their extraordinary work firsthand. Through their determination, this
region will be rebuilt.

But everybody has to pitch in, including neighbors all across America. We
need more Americans, especially teachers, to move to the Gulf Coast and
rebuild their lives here; to invest in new community by building better
schools, working for justice and equality, and sharing time, prayers and
love with neighbors who are still grieving. And until the Gulf Coast has
recovered, love, support and prayers will continue to be with you from
families all across America, including mine.

Ladies and gentlemen, my husband, President George Bush. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Thank you. Good morning. From our
beginnings as a nation, the church steeple and the schoolhouse door have
been enduring symbols of the American community. And so it is today in New
Orleans. Earlier this morning, we gathered at St. Louis Cathedral in the
presence of a just God, who asked us to love our neighbors as ourselves.
And now we stand inside Warren Easton Senior High School. Warren Easton is the oldest public school in New Orleans.

In a little more than a week its classrooms will again be filled with young
men and women who will write the future of this great American city. And
that future draws from a rich past — the music of Fats Domino, the stories
of Tennessee Williams, shotgun houses and iron-lattice balconies, seafood
gumbo, red beans and rice on Mondays.

Over the course of nearly three centuries, a city that once was the center
of slave trade has been transformed to a unique and great American city.
This city is a story of hope and dignity and perseverance. And it's these
qualities that have seen you through trials of war and prejudice and
natural disaster.

One year ago today, your beloved New Orleans and surrounding parishes and
counties and the great state of Mississippi were struck by a cruel
hurricane. And here in this city, there was flooding on a biblical scale.
Less than three weeks later, with many of the homes and churches and
schools still under water, I came to Jackson Square. I said, we could not
imagine America without the Crescent City, and pledged that our government
would do its part. And today, Laura and I have come back to discuss that
pledge and your future. […]

That's from yesterday's White House transcript "President and Mrs. Bush Visit New Orleans High School, Discuss Gulf Coast Recovery"