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  #1  
Old 08-24-2009, 11:15 PM
dalej42 dalej42 is offline
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2008 Democratic Convention in July: Does McCain still pick Palin?

In 2004, the Democratic convention nominated John Kerry right before the 2004 Athens Olympics. Kerry does his, "I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty" speech and spends the next 3 weeks being swiftboated. He loses the election.

In 2008, the Democrats wait until after the Beijing Olympics to hold their convention. Obama holds his acceptance speech at a huge football stadium to rave reviews. The next morning, John McCain steals Obama's spotlight by announcing he's selected Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Was the pick of Palin a political tactic to make the Republican ticket the center of attention over a weekend which would have been dominated by Obama's speech? If the Democrats would have held their convention in late July before the Olympics would McCain have felt less need to do something mavericky?

I do think that McCain picked Palin in order to knock Obama off the news. The Sunday talk shows would have been full of coverage of Obama in front of the crowds at Invesco Field in Denver. Instead, McCain got to dominate the Labor Day weekend with, "Who is Sarah Palin?" coverage.

If the Democrats would have held their convention in late July, McCain would have sat on the sidelines for 3 weeks knowing that the news would be dominated by Michael Phelps, Chinese censorship, and young Chinese gymnasts for 3 weeks. Then, McCain could have announced a running mate and anyone he picked would have given him news coverage heading into the Republican convention.
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2009, 11:31 PM
Lakai Lakai is online now
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Picking Palin was a hail mary by John McCain.

The timing of her announcement was made to steal Obama's thunder from the Democratic convention, but the pick itself was made because McCain was down in the polls and didn't know how to fight Obama.

She did exactly what McCain expect her to do - only in the short term. She dazzled the conservative base and made McCain's campaign more exciting. McCain just didn't study her long enough to realize she had some problems; one of them being that she was bad at doing interviews, and you know the rest.

If the Democrats had their convention at another time, then the VP might have been announced at a different time, but it would still have been Palin. McCain just didn't think that decision through.
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2009, 11:32 PM
XT XT is offline
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I don't think it really matters, as no matter who he picked I think he still loses in the end. Personally, I still think Palin was a good move on his part, as it got him some buzz and interest in what was otherwise a pretty boring run for the presidency. McCain simply didn't have a chance against Obama, regardless of who he picked. JMHO of course.

-XT
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2009, 12:16 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Quote:
I don't think it really matters, as no matter who he picked I think he still loses in the end. Personally, I still think Palin was a good move on his part, as it got him some buzz and interest in what was otherwise a pretty boring run for the presidency. McCain simply didn't have a chance against Obama, regardless of who he picked. JMHO of course.
I'm not so sure about that. Up until about the time of the Palin pick, Obama and McCain were pretty much neck and neck in the polls. Then suddenly McCain's numbers started plummeting. Now, it was also right around then that he said that "the fundamentals of the economy are strong"; it could have been either, or a combination of both, that really hurt him. And I suppose it's even conceivable that the people were just coming to like Obama better, and would have suddenly started breaking for him around that time anyway. But to the extent any conclusions can be drawn, it sure looked like the Palin pick hurt him.
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:43 AM
XT XT is offline
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Well, MMV...personally, I think that at that point Obama and his campaign really started to take off, not that McCain's started to plummet. I think that Palin, perhaps, was novel enough to spark some renewed interest in McCain, but that the die was already cast, etc etc.

-XT
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2009, 01:21 AM
wierdaaron wierdaaron is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
I'm not so sure about that. Up until about the time of the Palin pick, Obama and McCain were pretty much neck and neck in the polls. Then suddenly McCain's numbers started plummeting. Now, it was also right around then that he said that "the fundamentals of the economy are strong"; it could have been either, or a combination of both, that really hurt him. And I suppose it's even conceivable that the people were just coming to like Obama better, and would have suddenly started breaking for him around that time anyway. But to the extent any conclusions can be drawn, it sure looked like the Palin pick hurt him.
Agreed. The "fundamentals of our economy" thing really started to tank the campaign, made him look old and out of touch.

Normally, if your opponent is a black guy, adding a token minority to your ticket to counteract the potential historic-ness of him winning would seem like a really cheap move. McCain was so far behind, though, that they gave it a shot. At first, it worked, then she opened her mouth. And then McCain "suspended his campaign" as a stunt to try and counteract his "fundamentals" gaffe, which was such an obvious stunt it may have hurt him more than many people consider.

To answer OP, I think choosing Palin was entirely reactionary. A reaction to the campaign climate as it was that moment. If you change any variable at all, it's a good chance we'd have never heard of Palin.

McCain really wanted Lieberman (supposedly a democrat) as his running mate, but the GOP honchos wouldn't allow it. That would have been interesting to see, a one-sided-split ticket.

Though, it would have been two old white guys vs Obama. Good luck with that.
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2009, 02:42 AM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
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I agree with the varying views of what went wrong. It had been a long 8 years of Bush and the country was weary of it: 7 full years of war with no end in sight, the economy starting to really suck. McCain, always being the kind of gambler to take long odds and great risks to win (hey, he lost about 5 aircraft and never got killed in those kinds of risks) says the fundamentals of the economy are strong and Lehman goes belly up with Merrill Lynch looking to do the same, picks Palin, "suspends" his campaign, etc.

Had any of these gone the right way, McCain might have looked like a big hero/genius, but they all went wrong. Usually the case with drawing to an inside straight, but not always.

The best Republicans can hope for is one of: (1) Obama fails miserably all on his own; or, (2) That they have left enough burrowers in enough places to screw up the country really bad and blame it on Obama; or (3) a combination of both.

All Obama has to do is pass health care and suddenly 47 million Americans are invested in his success and the Republicans spend the next 12 years regrouping.
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2009, 03:00 AM
Lobohan Lobohan is offline
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I wonder if McCain's ignorant Hail Mary will end up scuttling health care reform. Palin's "Death Panels" is brought a lot of angry people to rallies.

To think Palin would be an anonymous governor if not for McCain's frustrated stupidity. Sad.
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2009, 04:56 AM
TokyoBayer TokyoBayer is offline
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The question concerning the reason for the Palin pick has been answered definitively in a book "The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election" which Washington Post used as a base for an interesting article.
Quote:
McCain believed he needed someone dramatic to transform the presidential race. Though he had knocked Barack Obama back in early August with ads featuring Britney Spears and Paris Hilton that belittled his celebrity appeal, everyone around McCain knew that was merely a summertime diversion, a tactical exercise that quickly would be overwhelmed by Obama's convention. The McCain team may have mocked Obama's Greek temple setting in Denver, but it needed a real strategy, propelled by a bold choice for vice president, to preserve any hope of winning in November.
As McCain approached his convention, his advisers saw the challenges as overwhelming -- and contradictory. First, he needed to distance himself decisively from the president. Second, he needed to cut into Obama's advantage among female voters. Despite the bitterness of the primaries and some of the mutinous talk among Hillary Rodham Clinton's most vocal holdouts, the polls showed Obama consolidating most of the Clinton vote. By midsummer, this had become an acute problem for McCain.
Third, he needed to energize the lethargic Republican base. While polling showed McCain now winning roughly the same level of support among Republicans as Obama was receiving among Democrats, McCain enjoyed little enthusiasm among conservatives. They might turn out to vote for him -- might -- but would they staff local offices, make phone calls, knock on doors, contribute money, and rally friends and neighbors as they had done for President Bush four years earlier? Fourth, and perhaps most important, McCain had to regain the one advantage he had always counted on: his identity as a reformer. As senior adviser Steve Schmidt put it, "We had to get that reform mojo back.”
Obama had gone the safe route in his selection of Joe Biden, a do-no-harm pick that followed the classic vice presidential manual. McCain did not have such a luxury -- or so argued some of his closest advisers. Schmidt and campaign manager Rick Davis believed McCain's only hope of winning was to make an out-of-the-box choice. If we pick a traditional candidate and run a really good race, Schmidt told top adviser Mark Salter late one night, we still lose.”
The OP nails the timing for the announcement.
Quote:
McCain's team had circled the three days between the Democratic and Republican conventions as the time to announce its vice presidential choice and scheduled big rallies on all three days to give McCain flexibility to make his decision. But they preferred Friday, Aug. 29, the day after the Democratic convention, as the best way to stop Obama's momentum.
But as outlined above, it wasn’t just the timing, it was that they realized they were facing a losing election and they needed something bold.
Quote:
But there was more to it than that, as Rick Davis later explained. "I think he realized that everything that was an indicator of success in the campaign was pointing down for us," he said. That included the economy, the country's pessimistic mood, the president's unpopularity, and McCain's belief that the media were in Obama's corner. "When you looked at everyone else, they all were good, solid selections in their own right, but who was really going to help us try and push back all these signals that said we were going to lose? Sixty days wasn't enough time to crawl our way back into the election."
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2009, 10:05 AM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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McCain lost because of the economy. Palin was a good pick, since she was glamorous and interesting, which Biden and McCain certainly weren't and aren't. I don't think anyone expected that that MSM would attack as relentlessly as they did - one would have expected at least a bit of fairness as window dressing.

If the recession had held off for one more quarter, McCain/Palin would have won by a small margin. Now that it appears the recession is starting to reach its end, mostly because of the TARP bailout and tincture of time. Obama benefits from this, even though he had rather little to do with it, McCain would have done the same.

The only possible improvement might be that McCain would not have pushed a ruinously expensive and largely (apparently) unneeded stimulus package, and I have little hope for that much common sense from an estabishment Republican. Possibly Palin, who has cost-cutting experience from Alaska, might have enabled this, but a VP does not have that kind of influence, IMO.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2009, 02:31 PM
Lobohan Lobohan is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
McCain lost because of the economy. Palin was a good pick, since she was glamorous and interesting, which Biden and McCain certainly weren't and aren't. I don't think anyone expected that that MSM would attack as relentlessly as they did - one would have expected at least a bit of fairness as window dressing.

If the recession had held off for one more quarter, McCain/Palin would have won by a small margin. Now that it appears the recession is starting to reach its end, mostly because of the TARP bailout and tincture of time. Obama benefits from this, even though he had rather little to do with it, McCain would have done the same.

The only possible improvement might be that McCain would not have pushed a ruinously expensive and largely (apparently) unneeded stimulus package, and I have little hope for that much common sense from an estabishment Republican. Possibly Palin, who has cost-cutting experience from Alaska, might have enabled this, but a VP does not have that kind of influence, IMO.

Regards,
Shodan
That post borders on the delusional. Is asking what someone reads a media ambush?

And the stimulus appears to be working fine, thanks.
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:39 AM
jtgain jtgain is offline
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I think that when McCain "suspended" his campaign to go to Washington and negotiate the bailout was a key moment that spelled his doom, though it will never be remembered as such.

If things had worked out differently, he could have been viewed as very statesmanlike and presidential, but as it worked out, he looked like an impotent, doddering old fool.

But I agree with others. He was gaining no traction with anything and this, along with the Palin nomination was necessary to try to get something to stick.
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2009, 01:00 PM
Hentor the Barbarian Hentor the Barbarian is online now
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I don't know why, but I am surprised that there still is anyone, even the likes of Shodan, who can still suggest such positive qualities about Sarah Palin.

They are complete fiction, and this has been revealed to everyone but the most partisan at this point.

However, don't let me dissaude you from running Palin as the candidate in any and all future campaigns.
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2009, 01:12 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Originally Posted by Hentor the Barbarian View Post
I don't know why, but I am surprised that there still is anyone, even the likes of Shodan, who can still suggest such positive qualities about Sarah Palin.
Shodan is right: Palin was "glamorous and interesting," until she opened her mouth. Then the glamor went away (did none of her Communications profs suggest that she'd be more marketable as a TV anchorwoman if she took an elocution class?) and she became interesting, but more in a "follow a drunk driver to see what he hits next" way.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:16 PM
Hentor the Barbarian Hentor the Barbarian is online now
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
Shodan is right: Palin was "glamorous and interesting," until she opened her mouth. Then the glamor went away (did none of her Communications profs suggest that she'd be more marketable as a TV anchorwoman if she took an elocution class?) and she became interesting, but more in a "follow a drunk driver to see what he hits next" way.
Is he right that she was unfairly attacked by the media? I suppose that isn't an empirically resolvable question.

Whether she decreased or increased the Alaska state budget is, however.

But like I said, far be it from me to stop anyone from trying to reanimate her political carcass.
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  #16  
Old 08-25-2009, 02:37 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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To the OP, personally my feeling is that McCain's main issue was in raising money. He didn't have enough to put on an effective campaign against Obama, and that perverted his entire run.

During the primaries a politician needs to sell to his own people. Once he's swung the nomination, he has to get all the people on the middle and maybe even some on the other side to go for him. The centrists decide the election, every election, and that's a really simple idea to understand.

But coming out of the booth, even leaving Palin aside, everything McCain did and said was targeted to the Right. Either he was very stupid--which is unlikely--or he was so strapped for cash that he had to pander to his own side just to stay in the race. Palin would, ideally, have saved him from that position by getting money while he went out to attack the middle. But I suspect that didn't work for some reason or another. Either that or it did and he turned to the middle, just to be overshadowed by the Pink Demon.

But so in either case, he was doomed unless he could have found someone more charismatic himself who wouldn't turn most of the nation against him like Palin did.
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  #17  
Old 08-25-2009, 01:35 PM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hentor the Barbarian View Post
I don't know why, but I am surprised that there still is anyone, even the likes of Shodan, who can still suggest such positive qualities about Sarah Palin.
That's the difference between me and you - nothing of what you post is stupid enough to surprise me.
Quote:
However, don't let me dissaude you from running Palin as the candidate in any and all future campaigns.
I invite you to quote anything I have posted suggesting Palin as a candidate for further public office.

What's that? You can't find any? That is because what you said was false and stupid.

I am not surprised.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #18  
Old 08-25-2009, 02:55 PM
fiddlesticks fiddlesticks is offline
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Palin was a sop to the hard right, the crowd that always doubted McCain's Purity of Thought and were suspicious that his Maverick brand really just meant he was a Secret Liberal (if only Fred Thompson had been as dynamic in Iowa as he had been pretending to be President in the movies, oh well!). McCain needed the sop because he was continually lagging behind Obama's fundraising, and the hard right wanted proof of McCain's conservative credentials to loosen their purse strings. So, I say, no matter when McCain announces, it would have always have been Palin or someone close her political nature. If you want to know who else that might be, you should probably ask who was No. 2 on Bill Kristol's VP list.

Last edited by fiddlesticks; 08-25-2009 at 02:57 PM..
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