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The Collective
Saturday, August 30, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

I remain skeptical that the Palin pick will be good for McCain in terms of the election-I think we don’t have enough data to determine her exact effect at this time (although as mentioned, the positive effects of a veep selection are negligible, so the real question is whether she will do any harm).

However, I will say this: it is a pick that will clearly excite the base. It will therefore provide good fodder for the convention and a vehicle for base-mobilization. In that regard, it was a smart pick-at least in the short term.

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Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | |


  1. I think that “one thing” - exciting the base - is not such a little thing. In fact it could easily be argued that McCain needs more than anything to get a strong turnout from the republican core.

    It is likely that this election will be decided by who turns out to vote and who boycotts in disgust. If republicans get a normal turnout, McCain has a chance at winning. If significant numbers sit it out, or cast a protest vote for a third party candidate, McCain will lose.

    I think the “one thing” that you identified Palin as doing is the most important thing that a running mate could do for McCain.

    Comment by Captain D — Saturday, August 30, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

  2. The problem is: if a candidate needs to excite the base by his choice of running mate, it means he is starting from a weak position to being with.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, August 30, 2008 @ 8:20 pm

  3. However, I will say this: it is a pick that will clearly excite the base.

    I think you’re right with this one.

    It got me thinking, though, about the coverage of the pick. i have seen multiple places (most notably at the Wash. Post) this choice described as one that reinvigorates McCain’s “maverick” image.

    It seems like people use this term “maverick” without understanding its meaning: “one who refuses to abide by dictates or resists adherence to a group.”

    Isn’t-by all accounts-this pick about the LEAST maverick thing McCain could have done? The gender thing, the conservative Christian thing, etc…these are all characteristics which make him MORE in line with important segments of the Republican electorate than not.

    A more “maverick” move would have been to pick Lieberman.

    Certainly his move was unexpected-but I’m not sure how it’s “maverick.” It seems more desperate or pandering than anything else.

    Comment by Ratoe — Saturday, August 30, 2008 @ 10:47 pm

  4. I concur-this wasn’t a “maverick” pick and the media do use that term too often, and frequently incorrectly.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, August 30, 2008 @ 10:50 pm

  5. I agree that it’s a problem if you need to use your VP candidate to reach your core. It is problematic to have problems with your core this late in the game.

    I was just pointing out that this is one thing McCain needed to do in order to have a chance. It’s by no means a kill stroke. It just keeps him alive; without doing it his campaign would be dead.

    Comment by Captain D — Sunday, August 31, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

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