Saturday, August 30, 2008

UC goes out on a limb, predicts Sarah Palin in 2012!

Or something like that.

I still don't know what to make of Sarah Palin. At least she can shoot.

I was astounded when McCain announced his decision (or rather, when it leaked), and still am. I was dimly aware that Alaska has a female governor who courageously took on crooks such as Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. From what I've been able to learn of her, I "kinda" like her. She's no libertarian, but seems a fairly reasonable sort of rural western conservative, like many people I know in Montana and Wyoming. Unlike Obama, Biden, and McCain, she doesn't seem to favor disarming the American public, reason enough to kinda like her. I wouldn't have predicted her to be the pick with a million guesses, but then, none of the "likelies" seemed very likely either.

But why choose her? It makes no sense whatsoever to me, if McCain's goal is to win the election. She has no name recognition, little experience (but see footnote), and, so far as I can tell, has positions only on what seem to be Alaska state issues. So why Palin? She won't attract votes from Hillary's angry supporters; they may be batty enough to hate Obama (even though he's almost identical to their Hillary in political positions), but they still won't vote for an anti-abortion conservative. McCain must know that.

When I try to guess the logic of all this, I start coming up with nutty things like "maybe McCain is resigned to losing, and is just doing this to give a fellow maverick's career a boost." OK, so I'll punt on "why Palin?" and make the following prediction:

Barack Obama is going to win the election by a landslide. I've thought this since July 4 of this year, when Obama returned to Montana to campaign. No presidential candidate ever campaigns in Montana; the three electoral votes can't conceivably matter. But ironically, by virtue of everyone else moving their primary up to "make a difference," Montana's primary came last this year, and for the first time everyone campaigned there. But Obama keeps coming back. Why? The electoral votes won't influence the outcome, but Obama believes he can win in a number of supposedly "red" states. He's not campaigning to win a close election, he's working to win by a landslide. Certainly it's what he believes; if he didn't think so, any efforst in places like Montana would be utterly senseless. But Obama knows he is better funded than McCain, he's better organized, and he has on his side the worsening economy and the general public disgust with Bush and the Republicans. I think Obama thinks he can crush the Republicans.

And now McCain has selected an unknown running mate from a state with no political importance who will be quickly dismissed as unqualified. His campaign isn't going to take off. I predict a crushing defeat for McCain, and for the Republicans in general, as the Democrats win the Presidency and both houses of Congress. Yikes! There goes the gridlock I love so much.


Footnote: As the Bush administration has amply demonstrated, "experience" is neither necessary nor sufficient for doing a good job, whether it be the U.S. Presidency or any other task. In fact, "experience" can even be a disqualification, since for most politicians it's short for "time spent in office damaging things and fleecing the public."

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