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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Sunday, August 31, 2008
Ut Veniant Omnes

Yes McCain's selection of Palin to ticket was the biggest news on Friday but the second biggest story was the reaction to the pick. Palin was presumably the surprise pick; few people besides those deep in conservative corners saw this one coming and the latter only in a wish and prayer sort of way.

That surprise, that lack of information beyond the sketchiest of bios, didn't stop the immediate analysis of "brilliant" or "inexperienced" or "desperation pick" or "couldn't attract Hillary voters" and son. Even the Obama campaign stepped in with an initial, same-day reaction that slammed her for being a small-town mayor that the big man himself had to later retract.

In fact the reaction to Palin was a political Rorschach test where the only value gained by the initial reactions was the revealing of how the given speaker or writer saw the world rather than any objective analysis. In short McCain got inside their OODA Loop As I wrote on Friday, I think the pick was made to address certain vulnerabilities in both in the McCain and Obama campaign and whether that works in the long term depends on Palin herself.

It's a high-risk gamble but I've been thinking for a while that McCain needed to shake up the election in order to win, the long-term fundamentals in terms of the weak Republican brand and the Obama media advantage are just too much to overcome in a straight-up fight. If Palin falls, then she becomes another Quayle but with more devastating consequences; however if she succeeds then the commentary barrage over the past few days will resemble nothing but the war movie cliche of the ambush prematurely opening up on the target, expending all of its rounds, only to find the target still standing and ready-to-fight.

Palin is the former small town mayor and mid-way through her first term as governor of Alaska. For Pete's sake, while Palin was on the Wasilla City Council, Joe Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. So why do some Democrats feel this?

“We may be seeing the first woman president. As a Democrat, I am reeling,” said Camille Paglia, the cultural critic. “That was the best political speech I have ever seen delivered by an American woman politician. Palin is as tough as nails.”

Maybe because experience is more than just filling time. Let's see what happens.