The Candidates Call Each Other’s Bluff
Throughout this historic campaign the Republicans have highlighted Senator Barack Obama’s obvious lack of experience—especially on foreign affairs and national security issues. This fact has also appeared to be a very effective argument. And so in the first major decision of Obama’s young, national political career he reached out and tapped fellow senior, thirty-plus-year-veteran Senator Joe Biden for the number two spot to bolster the perception of experience.
“Take that John McCain!”
But the “inexperience” argument still holds some persuasive power, or at least it did. Enter: young Governor Sarah Palin. “What!?” “Who?” Now Democrats are crying “foul” on McCain’s new vice-presidential pick. “Oh, the hypocrisy!” they sneer. Even Republicans quietly wonder to themselves why McCain would risk disarming their favorite handy “inexperience” argument? Because McCain got what he wanted all along. (Get ready for it!) In a stroke of political genius, McCain has single-handedly dismantled Obama’s strongest argument against McCain—Obama being the candidate of change!
“Take that Barack Obama!”
The maverick McCain/Palin ticket doesn’t look or feel close to anything like Bush/Cheney or even the Obama/Biden ticket. The first female conservative VP in 232 years of America’s history! Obama’s entire “change” theme and brand has suffered a huge blow and has its own hypocrisy problem. Sure, Obama has rightly earned a significant place in history, but his decision to “ignore women” for the most part and stick with another old “safe” liberal white guy for VP is going to haunt his dreams until election day and quite possibly beyond.
And so now this entire political process is right back to square one. The two candidates have called each other’s bluff. “Change” and “inexperience” are pretty much off the table (except for the nagging historical fact that Presidental and Vice-Presidential qualifications don’t usually equate). These campaigns are now forced to refocus on the issues that voters care about most: strong families, strong country, and real opportunity to get a piece of the American dream and who has the best plan to lead us there.