Coming back on my flight from Denver, I am shocked at what I am hearing while listening in to conversations regarding the Presidential race. Despite the spectacular speech by Barack Obama- seeming to put a great seal on what had otherwise been a show of his rivals at the convention- the buzz in airports in Denver and Phoenix has not been Obama- but has been the announcement by John McCain that his running mate will be Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Maybe it is the mystique of Alaska, a land most Americans have never visited and know very little about. Maybe it is her stunningly good looks, perhaps being the nicest looking Governor in U.S. History. Maybe it is the combination of all of this with her tough background as a union fisherman’s wife and as a normal mom before she got into politics a few years ago. Or maybe this is just the revival of the Republican Party- which seemed impossible only a few months ago due to the hideous legacy of Bush and Cheney- but now seems possible with a national ticket of Bush’s chief rival in 2000 and a Governor who took on the Republican establishment in a primary and won.
Now with polling indicating that Barack Obama has achieved very little bounce out of his Democratic convention (but Hillary may have)- the question will turn to Minneapolis this week. John McCain may already be catching a huge break- with a hurricane approaching the south this weekend President Bush is likely to skip his traditional role on the first day of the Republican Convention. This is McCain’s dream come true- without upsetting his base for asking Bush not to speak he is still managing to avoid having him featured in front of the American people. Could Dick Cheney stay home too?
This election might be over soon, and not in the way we all thought it would be a few weeks ago.
Could we see a battle of pantsuits in 2012 between Vice President Sarah Palin and Senator Hillary Clinton? It’s quite possible- especially if the Democrats are dumb enough to attack Palin as a small city elected official who isn’t ready for this job- making the same mistake they did in 2000 by setting expectations so low for President Bush that even he could jump the hurdle.
I can’t wait to see what this does to the gender gap.