Palin’s interesting but…
The pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin by John McCain to be his running mate neither wowed nor depressed me. From what I’ve read about Gov. Palin and some of the videos I’ve seen she’s intelligent, speaks convincingly, and is a pure conservative. As expected, some on the Right say this will pull disenchanted Clinton supporters (I really don’t think so) and the Left is in full vetting mode. But I don’t feel this is a bold choice. It makes sense (Clinton supporters and conservative credentials) but not bold. A bold pick by McCain would have been the gentleman below:
The selection of Michael Steele (Chairman of GOPAC and a former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland) would have caused the Obama Campaign to freeze ice cold. Of course people would say McCain is pandering to blacks (like some on the Left are saying today about McCain pandering to women with the Palin choice). But Michael Steele is more than that. Michael Steele sells the Republican Party the way Barack Obama delivers a speech: DAMN GOOD!
I watched Michael Steele at one of Tavis Smiley‘s Black Town Hall meetings this year. Steele was in front of a black, solidly Democratic Party, Pro-Obama audience. When he opened his mouth, he received no boos. Instead the audience listened intently as he wrapped conservative ideas in a way that didn’t condescend or berate. I was ultra impressed. He would have been the perfect weapon against Barack Obama in this election. A black, intelligent, and proud conservative with a down-to-earth persona. McCain would have transformed the Republican Party in one fell swoop and made history even more.
As much as I respect what Hillary Clinton did this primary season (I have two young daughters and I pointed out Clinton’s historic run many times), this election season is framed in the history of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream. And Barack Obama seized it well and true. Obama totally re-framed and re-aligned the black civil rights movement by just getting there with a myriad of American votes. And I thank him immensely for that. Michael Steele could have stepped in, made history, substantial (in my opinion) number of blacks to the Republican Party, while putting an even bigger exclamation mark on how far America has come. This could have galvanized those lukewarm or hostile to the Republican Party to give McCain a good hard look.
Sarah Palin’s a good choice. She may be a game changer. But Michael Steele would have been an election changer in 2008.