Not only is she a woman (which, like it or not, is an issue for some voters), but she also puts a fresh, future-oriented face on the McCain campaign. By upending Alaska’s corrupt political class, Palin has actually produced the type of change that Barack Obama can only talk about; and her collar is far bluer than Joe Biden’s ever was. Furthermore, she is arguably the only candidate who has the necessary expertise to address the single most pressing issue in this election: gas prices. As Governor of Alaska, Chair of the Interstate Oil
and Gas Compact Commission (America’s largest interstate organization), and a former Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Sarah Palin can run rings around almost anyone when it comes to oil.
Nothing is official at this point, but all signs point toward John McCain’s vice-presidential pick being Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. In the past few weeks I’ve seen Pawlenty more and more as the likeliest choice to be second man on the Republican national ticket. Once in awhile, my prognostications actually approach something near accuracy. Though I’ve never had a really strong feeling about this one.
In my estimation, John McCain could have done better, but he also could have done a lot worse. Tim Pawlenty is pro-life, has held the line against tax increases, is strong on education reform, and has some other assorted strong points. On the other hand, he’s gone a little too far onto the Green bandwagon and isn’t all I’d like to see from a fiscal conservative point of view. (But then again, we now have FRED PAC to rally around if we need to vent our frustrations and build for the future.)
All in all, the second-term Minnesota Governor is probably the best we could hope for in the current political climate. For those who have been championing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be McCain’s running mate, Pawlenty should be an acceptable second choice.
What are others saying? Red State’s Erick Erickson is happy, and has a good rundown of Tim Pawlenty’s positions and record (H/T Campaign Spot). The Next Right’s Soren Dayton is “excited that Pawlenty will be one of our leaders in this period.”
For now, one overarching question remains: If the Tim Pawlenty “Sam’s Club” Republican is the direction the GOP is headed, how long can I keep my Costco membership?