Monday, June 9, 2008

Palin: McCain's Most Compelling Choice

NOTE TO BLOG BUNKER LISTENERS ON SIRIUS (BUT NOT TOO SERIOUS) RADIO: This is my main, national blog. The other blogs I'll mention are the Hillary Supporters site ( and the Pennsylvania site: Other blogs I'll try to mention include:
the main Palin web site:
the Moms4McCain site:
the Bev Perlson military moms site:
the Tom Manion web site:
the primary McCain discussion site:

If you have any questions, e-mail me at: Thanks!

You will read things here that the national media will start covering next month. On my Hillary Supporters site and on my PA site, I talk about a national group of Hillary supporters who are targeting for defeat "SuperDelegates" who gave Sen. Clinton the shaft (voting for Obama against the wishes of their constituents. Such individuals include John Kerry of MA and Jay Rockefeller of WV, among many others.

Can't go to bed tonight (Monday) without asking you to check out my Hillary Supporters for McCain site. It contains information about the most amazing political movement I've sene in my lifetime: Hillary Supporters who "mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore." Fascinating . . . I will be on Sirius Radio from NY at 5:30 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday.

On my Pennsylvania blog I've received an important request from Tom Manion, Republican congressional candidate in PA's 8th district. It deals with an important online poll. Manion, a Marine Corps veteran, lost his son Travis in the Iraq War. Please visit the site for information.

Sarah Palin sorrounded by veterans of the Vietnam War. Sarah's son, Track, age 18, is an infantry soldier in the U.S. Army. She's widely regarded as the frontrunner for the GOP's V-P nomination.

"Sarah is not an ordinary mortal. She truly has no downside."

I proclaimed to the world yesterday that prominent national security writer Jack Kelly (who writes for major newspapers in Pennsylvania and Ohio) has strongly endorsed Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska for the GOP ticket. Kelly is an unusual combination - a former Marine, a former Special Forces soldier and a former candidate for Congress (he lost, alas).

In his column, Jack Kelly says "most [presidential candidates] will settle for a veep who isn't a drag on the ticket, as Dan Quayle was for the first President Bush." He might have added, "Or, as Dick Cheney apparently was on the second President Bush."

Kelly adds, "The potential [McCain] running mates most often discussed have downsides nearly as great as their upsides."

He adds, "Gov. Tim Pawlenty helps only in Minnesota, and not enough, according to current polls, to make a difference there. Mr. McCain's friend, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, would bring in some moderate Democrats but could further antagonize conservatives already suspicious of Mr. McCain.

"Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts would have little appeal to working-class whites unhappy with Sen. Barack Obama, and evangelicals fret about that Mormon thing. A Mike Huckabee nomination would irritate economic . . . conservatives as much as it would please evangelicals. Louisiana Gov.

Bobby Jindal is a rising star. But he's only 36, and he's been governor for less than a year."
The men - key word - Kelly mentions are all people of talent. One of them (Jindal?) may end up as President someday. But Jack Kelly is right about their downsides.

According to pundit lore, Pawlenty could help McCain win the "battleground" (sorta) state of Minnesota. However, he won re-election there by only 21,000 votes out of 2.3 million cast. He was lucky to carry Minnesota himself. Bulletin to John McCain: you aren't going to carry Minnesota with or without Pawlenty.

Mitt's Romney's problem is that he strikes many people as inauthentic. They don't believe his latter-day conversion to pro-life and anti-illegals views. They see him as ambitious to a fault. Also, in the primaries, he seemed to win only states either dominated by Mormons (Utah) or characterized by the fact Mitt Romney grew up there (Michigan).

Bobby Jindal is a mixture of ability and oddness. A few months ago he was interviewed on CNN, and the questioner couldn't get him to say whether he endorsed John McCain . . . or Barack Obama. With Jindal around, McCain might need a food taster.

As Kelly implies, Joe Lieberman - a fine man and a patriot - would be an awful choice. He came close to losing his seat in Connecticut. Most Democrats despise him, and most Republicans would rather see someone else on the ticket.

Mike Huckabee is a candidate whose campaign was almost as tenacious as Hillary Clinton's He's chronically underestimated by the national media. However, it's hard to see what he could bring to the ticket that Sarah Palin can't.

She's just as "Christian" as Mike, but has less of a tendency to wear it on her sleeve. Also, she has pro-life credentials (having opted to give birth to a Down Syndrome child) that no other politician can match.

What works against Sarah is tradition - specifically, the Republican tradition of making very bad choices for Vice President. Barry Goldwater chose William Miller, an obscure (and deservedly so) Congressman from Lockport, New York. Nixon chose Spiro Agnew specifically to help him carry Maryland - which didn't happen - but lack of popularity turned out to be the least of Agnew's faults.

George H. W. Bush famously chose Quayle, who struck most people as a simpleton. Bob Dole chose Jack Kempt, but the wretched Republican campaign could have been won if Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were on the ticket.

George W. Bush chose Dick Cheney, supposedly a "solid" pick. In fact, Cheney - holed up mainly in his "undisclosed location" (the Bat Cave?), turned out to be the Darth Vader of contemporary politics.

The only "problem" with Sarah Palin is that she's such an obvious choice. As my friend in Boston puts it, she's a no-brainer. Some people invent shortcomings, such as the fact that she's beautiful and was - and is - a great athlete, the kind of person who runs - and finishes - marathons.

In my previous column I listed the groups for whom Sarah has great appeal: young people, military families, working mothers, women professionals, pro-lifers, hunters, working-class voters (her husband being one), fitness and health advocates, and ethics-in-government people. I didn't add Alaskans, where Sarah's approval ratings hover around 90%.

She's also a ferocious campaigner. In her race for Governor, she first unseated the incumbent Republican, Frank Murkowski. Then, she in the general, she beat a popular former Governor (and Democrat) Tony Knowles. That was in 2006, which was generally a very bad year for Republicans.

If John McCain doesn't choose Sarah Palin, he might have to plead temporary insanity. As I've said, "Sarah Palin is no ordinary mortal." I've also said that she's "Mt. Rushmore material." I certainly hope John McCain takes the first major step in proving me right.

Link to Jack Kelly's column:

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