A Post on Palin (with apologies to Dave)

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4 Responses

  1. Being a “hockey mom” doesn’t by itself say anything about her character, and neither does winning the gubernatorial election. There are good and bad mothers, and good and bad governors. So far, I read your analysis merely as pointing to things that McCain could claim as positive character traits, not things that actually are.

  2. Deven says:


    Do you really think the V.P. complements any President?

    And how do you explain the evidence that Leiberman was McCain’s choice so much so that there was little internal vetting of Palin at all?

    As I stated in my post, both sides make tactical and perhaps cynical moves. You are suggesting, I think, that this choice is somehow pure. There seems to be no evidence for that position.



  3. Nate Oman says:

    Deven: I certainly don’t mean to suggest that the choice of Palin was “pure” in the sense of being unconnnected to considerations of poltical tactics, etc. For example, Palin’s choice clearly is meant to help McCain with religious conservatives. On the other hand, I do think that it reveals something about the status of the “experience” argument in McCain’s own political conception, namely its largely accidental character.

    To put it is simple terms, Palin reminds us that McCain was a personal narrative politician before he was an I-have-experience politician.

    (For someone who was an I-have-experience politician in their core see George Herbert Walker Bush.)

  4. Guessed says:

    “The important thing to see here, I think, is that the whole I-am-the-tested-and-seasoned-candidate narrative was thrust on McCain by accident. It is not, I think, all that central to his self-conception. It is a good argument to make given Obama’s resume * * * ”

    “To put it is simple terms, Palin reminds us that McCain was a personal narrative politician before he was an I-have-experience politician.”

    Presumably you’d accept that we’re entitled to take a politician’s statement of their values at face — or you’re about to provide us with a template for determining what is sincere or genuine, and how far back we need to go to get at the roots (before our reaching is dismissed as missing vital aspects of the candidate’s evolution).

    In any event, with due respect, your account is hard to square with the facts. McCain himself has been muttering about Obama’s experience, so that it isn’t just the party, AND his preoccupation does not seem simply to have an accident of Obama as you suggest. (E.g., on January 30, 2008 McCain attacked Mitt Romney at a Republican debate by saying: “We’re in a time in our history where you can’t afford any on-the- job training.”) And as noted above, McCain’s genuine self seemed to motivate him to selected Lieberman, and the conventional wisdom is that he received too much pushback from the party — so much for the rival, maverick depiction.

    I think it’s still fairer to see that he sees himself as an experienced maverick to be preferred on those hybrid terms, or doesn’t have a pure conception of himself. (Who does?) Beyond that, the only things you can say are that the Veep is different, or that McCain was convinced of Palin’s experience (and was right), or that he changed his mind because of electoral considerations. Who could differ, though, with the claim that this is “a choice that reveals much about his authentic conception of himself and of politics”?