McCain lost when he brought Palin on to the ticket. Sorry. The problem isn’t really her inexperience (being able to spit at Russia is not qualifying experience). The problem isn’t that she’s a woman. The problem isn’t even $150,000 at Niemen Marcus. Let’s face it: we are all judged on how we look and if she had gone anywhere near a stage looking like Janet Reno, she would have been ripped to shreds.
The problem is as follows: McCain’s strategists failed to recognize or make McCain recognize that he is, in fact, old. People like me – an independent voter – are looking at his 72 years and thinking “dude could stroke out at any time.” Which has huge implications when you are considering a Veep making the transition to PODUS. Would the majority of Americans vote for Sarah Palin for President? I bet she’ll try it in 2012, but I don’t think she’ll make it. Personally, I would never vote for Sarah Palin, and I’m a fellow XX.
Why? Because I don’t want my government in my bedroom. I don’t want my government making laws over things that are between my conscience and me. I want a public sphere where science and reason take precedence over faith and fear. My government does not own the territory between my ears. It isn’t that conservatives don’t want freedom of speech, they just don’t want anyone who disagrees with them to be free to speak. It doesn’t work like that around here. Sorry.
[Tangent: If you are going to make a fuss over the laws laid down in the old testament (the rationale given for the anti-gay sentiments) then your narrow little XX ass better cover your head in public, refuse to eat shellfish, pork, and any meal that has both milk and meat in it. Sorry boys and girls, according to the same book that says homosexuality is verboten, your cheeseburgers are highly illegal. If you are going to hang on so tightly to your homophobic beliefs, you had better give up your Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches too.]
Long story short. Most of us were terrified of the prospect of a President Palin. Independents might have voted for McCain had the man who has thoroughly pissed off everyone in Washington at some point or another shown up to the race. If McCain had chosen someone brave, credentialed, and unexpected, he would have had a real shot at siphoning off the independents.
(But his loss is history’s gain: it is way cool that we have finally elected someone who is a product of the best of America – the melting pot.)