Jennifer Rubin has an article up at Pajamas Media promoting Former White House Budget Director Rob Portman and SEC Chairman Chris Cox as VP candidates while slamming Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin. She uses the worn out argument about Palin undermining McCain's experience-based campaign (to be refuted below), which I usually find annoying. So, why am I bouncing off the walls?
Well, if you think about it, this is a big victory for our movement. If you are trying to promote an unlikely VP choice, you must first shoot down the perceived frontrunners. A few months ago, the task was to argue against Tim Pawlenty, Charlie Crist, Rob Portman, and Mitt Romney. Today, however, Rubin felt compelled to argue against only two people: Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin. This is the first tangible evidence of a trend that several of this site’s commenters have seen developing: an emerging narrative casting Romney and Palin as the two leaders in the GOP Veepstakes. Now, whether or not this narrative is actually true (and it well might be), it certainly is good for our movement to have Gov. Palin seen as a frontrunner. And the icing on the cake is that most of Rubin's own comments section seems to disagree with her assessment of Palin.
Now, to address Rubin's criticisms: She claims that Gov. Palin's "thin resume" would undermine McCain’s strategy of portraying Obama as inexperienced. This is wrong on many, many different levels. First off, the experience argument alone cannot win the election for McCain. This is a "change" election, and McCain's best argument is that he is a more competent change agent than the inexperienced Obama. Palin actually reinforces that message, having upended Alaska’s entire political establishment. Obama can only talk about change, Palin made it happen. Furthermore, she has held elective office since 1988 (nine years longer than Barack Obama) and all but one of her positions have been executive (Obama's have all been legislative). Hence, as our "inexperienced" VP would have much more gravitas than the Democratic presidential candidate. Attacks on Palin's "inexperience" would ricochet back into Obama's face, sabotaging his candidacy. So, Gov. Palin not only adds youth to McCain's ticket, but also sets a booby trap for Obama on the experience issue. It's a ticket that just can't lose!