What are the pundits saying about the Palin pick?
* Charles Krauthammer: “The Palin selection completely undercuts the argument about Obama’s inexperience and readiness to lead…. To gratuitously undercut the remarkably successful ‘Is he ready to lead’ line of attack seems near suicidal.”
* Noah Millman, presenting a defense for Palin: “I realize, of course, that she’s totally unqualified to be President at this point in time. If McCain were to die in February 2009, I hope Palin would have the good sense to appoint someone who is more ready to be President to be her Vice President, on the understanding that she would then resign and be appointed Vice President by her successor.”
* Ramesh Ponnuru called it “tokenism,” adding, “Can anyone say with a straight face that Palin would have gotten picked if she were a man?”
* David Frum: “The longer I think about it, the less well this selection sits with me. And I increasingly doubt that it will prove good politics. The Palin choice looks cynical…. It’s a wild gamble, undertaken by our oldest ever first-time candidate for president in hopes of changing the board of this election campaign. Maybe it will work. But maybe (and at least as likely) it will reinforce a theme that I’d be pounding home if I were the Obama campaign: that it’s John McCain for all his white hair who represents the risky choice, while it is Barack Obama who offers cautious, steady, predictable governance…. If it were your decision, and you were putting your country first, would you put an untested small-town mayor a heartbeat away from the presidency?”
* An email to National Review: “As much as I loathe Obama-Biden, I can’t in good conscience vote for a McCain-Palin ticket. Palin has absolutely no experience in foreign affairs. Considering both McCain’s advanced age and the state of the world today, it is essential that the veep be exceedingly qualified to assume the office of president. I simply don’t have any confidence in Palin’s ability to deal effectively with Iran, Russia, China, etc.”
* Mark Halperin: “On the face of it, McCain has failed the ultimate test that any presidential candidate must face in picking a running mate: selecting someone who is unambiguously qualified to be president.”
Marc Ambinder A few I spoke with or e-mailed were optimistic, using phrases like “brilliant” and “game-changing.” One GOP strategist who has worked with Palin says she’s coated with Teflon — “attack at your peril.” She “renews McCain’s maverick credentials.” One person close to Romney said she “looks like a real reformer. She’s done what Obama’s talked about.”
A few are cautiously optimistic that it’ll turn out OK, but most of the strategists and consultants I’ve spoken to, e-mailed with, or read/watched are struggling with it. ck.
Conservative activists, almost to the man and woman, LOVE the pick.