Saturday, August 30, 2008

Vice Presidential Predictions - Two Down

On June 5, 2008 I predicted who the presidential candidates would choose for their running mates. I cleverly chose the title Vice President Predictions.

I wrote:

Republican - going way out on a limb here - Joe Lieberman.
On August 29, 2008 I received the following news alert:
Alaska's Gov. Sarah Palin is John McCain's choice of running mate.
So I am now officially 100% wrong in my predictions.

Who the heck is Sara Palin?

Sarah Palin, now 44, has been governor of Alaska since December 4, 2006.

She was born in Idaho but moved to Alaska when still an infant.

Wiki says she and her father regularly arose at 3 am to hunt for moose. Wait for it: before school! Holy crap!

They (Sarah and family) also ran 5 K and 10 K races. Holy crap! I finally ran 5 K (not in a race) a couple of years ago I think it was. It's a long ways.

Her nickname in high school was "Sara Barracuda" because of her intensity playing basketball. She has a BA in Journalism from the University of Idaho. She's worked briefly as a reporter and a commercial fisherwoman(?) alongside her husband. Article I read said she smashed her hand doing the fishing.

She's married to Todd who is a native Eskimo and her High school sweetheart. They eloped after college. It is reported that when they found out they needed witnesses for the ceremony they went down the street to a nursing home and recruited a couple of residents. She has two sons and three daughters.

That's 5 kids. Holy crap!

After the last one was born, just a few months ago, she was back in the office after 3 days. Holy crap!

Oh yeah - she also plays the flute and won the Miss Wasilla beauty contest (I am not making this up folks). Later she was mayor of Wasilla and that's her family home. Wasilla, AK has a population estimated at slightly under 10,000. There are some nice images on City-Data and it appears to be a rather picturesque place but considerably more rural than appeals to me at this stage of my life. There are some sex offenders there. Guess they must be everywhere. Thought maybe not in Wasilla. I was interested in the crime stats. There was a murder back in 2001. Theft is the big crime though. That category accounts more the huge percentage of all crimes there in Wasilla. I am interested in why it was so high although I have no clue.

I watched a clip of Sarah Palin speaking and I have to say I liked her style and what she said.

I also read more about her political career. She is gutsy and definitely not afraid to oppose her own party. She won election to her mayoral post even though she supported a controversial sales tax. Alaska has a strange tax structure but that's another topic. Anyway she supported the sales tax to make the town safer. Sounds like a good plan to me after reading the crime stats. She won and she had a lot of opposition from the "good old boys" the way I read the story.

She also crossed a bunch of the incumbents as well by opposing their pet projects. Alaska seems to lean to the corrupt side of things if I'm reading this stuff correctly.

She opposed the infamous bridge to nowhere. She initially supported it but later decided against providing state funds for the state's portion. Good decision I say.

She's also had her share of public controversy. Mainly from what I can tell on several occasions she fired a bunch of people. Apparently the decision was hers to make but the last one was publicly popular and supposedly her public approval fell from 90 something % to 70 something %.

She's pretty outspoken and definitely courageous in support of her convictions. She must have a tremendous amount of energy and stamina. And she must be pretty astute as well as smart.

She makes me feel like I am a sorry underachiever.

It is an exceptionally interesting choice from all perspectives.

I admit that I am quite surprised by the strength of the support for Sarah Palin amongst my conservative friends. I also admit to being surprised at the McCain campaigns political deftness in keeping the secret and then in orchestrating the announcement. If my conservative friends are any kind of indicator of similar invigoration throughout that group nationally then the McCain campaign has definitely done some good for themselves.

I still believe the election will be won or lost in the battle for the middle. Of course since I am 100% wrong about my political predictions so far then even I would not be very impressed with any new ones.

Will Palin entice over some of that middle ground? I think so and I am mainly gauging my own reaction which so far is positive.

I think it is a toss up race right now but it is still quite a while to election day.


Lori1955 said...

This election is sure going to be an exciting one. No matter who wins, history will be made. I too expected Lieberman to be the choice but after hearing Palin and reading up on her, I am really excited about this ticket.

I agree with you that this race is going to be about who can win over the middle. Right now it seems that both candidates are trying to just solidify their base, which is understandable.

It will be interesting to see what the next two months bring.

~Betsy said...

Sarah Palin was a smart choice. As I said to my husband, if she can raise 5 kids, run a household, govern a state as large as Alaska and still be the team Hockey Mom - she's able to do anything. Hockey mom's are tough cookies! :)