According to the BBC, John McCain has picked Alaskan Sarah Palin for VEEP.

…John McCain has picked Sarah Palin, the female governor of Alaska, as his surprise … mate.

“She’s exactly who I need .. to help me .. turn … old … head.”

Thanking Mr McCain, Ms Palin said she would be honoured to serve … him.

She introduced her … husband … saying:

“My husband… is now … up in the oil fields up on Alaska’s north slope….”

The Obama campaign suggested Mr McCain’s choice was irresponsible, referring to Ms Palin’s former role as mayor of the small Alaskan town of Wasilla.

“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” said spokesman Bill Burton.

Analysts say she may have been chosen by the McCain campaign as a tactic to win over Democratic women voters, …

“She will be his partner in … Washington,” a senior McCain official told Reuters news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.

… Ms Palin is a strong conservative, fiscally and socially.

She also opposes abortion …

Ms Palin lacks foreign policy experience and while being a Washington outsider can be an asset for the McCain ticket, it also means she has not been tested on the national stage, our correspondent says.

… she is currently … under investigation by state lawmakers over the dismissal of a state public safety commissioner.

She is alleged to have sacked him because he did not dismiss a state trooper involved in a contentious divorce and child custody battle from her younger sister.

The governor told US network CNBC she had “nothing to hide”


  1. #1 Stephanie Z
    August 29, 2008

    At least she’d be able to fill in if McCain couldn’t fulfill his duties as sportscaster-in-chief.

  2. #2 Jon
    August 29, 2008

    Quote miner! 🙂

  3. #3 Ghost of Minnesota
    August 29, 2008

    I am truly in awe of this spectacularly bad choice.

  4. #4 Zeno
    August 29, 2008

    I think this is a Hail Mary pass.

  5. #5 megan
    August 29, 2008

    is the fact that she was or was not a beauty queen relevant at all? she was also a basketball star in high school.

  6. #6 Samia
    August 29, 2008

    Who cares that she was a beauty queen? She’s a governor now. Jesus.

  7. #7 Rev Matt
    August 29, 2008

    I think there is a high likelihood that this is a fake out. Get a lot of attention, defuse the novelty of a minority being the Dem nominee, try to woo women (who surely will vote for someone who supports every political view they oppose simply because she has a uterus.) then in a week or two she cites some personal reason (child with Downs is pretty hard to criticize as a reason) that she must bow out and bingo, Pawlenty is in. Or Cheney.

  8. #8 Samia
    August 29, 2008

    Rev Matt:

    Some folks on Pharyngula think that her decision to have a child later in life is a strike against her mental faculties. I really should stop going there. I get angry every time.

  9. #9 Stephanie Z
    August 29, 2008

    The fact that she was a beauty queen is relevant in that so little is known of Palin that in order to produce a profile of any length, the news outlets all had to reach into puff-piece territory. Her entire public career is listed in that piece. Had it been a profile of, say, Clinton or Dole, it would have read very differently.

  10. #10 Samia
    August 29, 2008

    My hypothesis: if she were a man, they wouldn’t have gone into high school quarterback territory.

  11. #11 Stephanie Z
    August 29, 2008

    She was a mayor of a small town who’s been governor for a year and a half. I think they’d have had to, at least with no notice whom McCain was going to pick. I am hoping the coverage improves dramatically in the next couple of days.

  12. #12 llewelly
    August 29, 2008

    Palin’s being a former beauty queen ought to be irrelevant. More important to this blog is the fact that’s she’s a creationist and she’s rabidly anti-environment.

  13. #13 KYJurisDoctor
    August 29, 2008

    John McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin is a SOLID one for REAL Conservatives, and announcing the pick today is a strategic masterpiece, knocking out Barack Obama/Joe Biden’s after convention euphoria!.

    Did I mention that I loved EVERYTHING she said after being introduced by John McCain?

    EVERYTHING!! OsiSpeaks[dot]com

  14. #14 Stephanie Z
    August 29, 2008

    KY, if you mean by “knocking out Barack Obama/Joe Biden’s after convention euphoria,” interrupting it with a brief moment of “WTF?!?” then perhaps. But no, you didn’t mention anything like that, because you’re not actually here to engage in conversation.

  15. #15 Mike
    August 29, 2008

    This post by Greg proves that Hillary Clinton was right. The overt sexism is far worse than the overt racism in this country.

  16. #16 Rev Matt
    August 29, 2008

    I don’t think this is about sexism, but about qualifications. There are plenty of experienced, qualified, conservative women who would have been much better choices. Hutchison, Whitman, Snowe, Collins, Dole, just to name a few. All of whom I have ideological complaints about but every single one of them would be unassailable from an experience/qualification perspective.

    Then again my biggest complaint about Palin is not about her experience but rather about her support of Creationism.

  17. #17 Phil
    August 29, 2008

    Who? Never heard of her.

  18. #18 barbie123
    August 29, 2008

    nice cut and paste job and headline. . . maybe your points would be better made without your selective editing of the report? just a suggestion. . .

  19. #19 eddie
    August 29, 2008

    If this is a HMP, then at least Rice would have a chance.

    Not that Rice, the other one.
    But they’re probly both pro choice.

  20. #20 Stephanie Z
    August 29, 2008

    Barbie, she’s a teach-the-controversy creationist. Quote mining and irrelevant distractions are the point.

  21. #21 Ace of Sevens
    August 29, 2008

    Think about the tone here. Some of it comes off as implying she shoudln’t be taken seriosu because she’s an attractive woman (along with a bunch of legit reason). If a Conservative blogger had written something like the first two paragraphs about a female democrat, how would you react?

  22. #22 BJN
    August 29, 2008

    While describing Palin as a “former beauty queen” is snarky, I don’t think it’s necessarily sexist. Would it be sexist to describe Swarzengger with derision as a “former body builder” if he was selected as the GOP veep candidate? What’s feminist about beauty contests?

  23. #23 Virgil Samms
    August 29, 2008

    My Palin of choice is Michael.

  24. #24 Reggie Von Schtickittuem
    August 29, 2008

    …and so continues the most incredible election year of my lifetime! Ya gotta wonder what, in the vetting process, was discovered that ruled out various other choices…?

  25. #25 Mimi
    August 29, 2008

    I love your editing technique!

  26. #26 clinteas
    August 29, 2008


    //Some folks on Pharyngula think that her decision to have a child later in life is a strike against her mental faculties. I really should stop going there. I get angry every time.//

    is incorrect.
    The point here was her anti-abortion stance,that made her carry a known Down child to term after getting pregnant again in her forties.

  27. #27 eddie
    August 30, 2008

    I am so sorry about this but I just had a moment of clarity. It all fits.

    It’s been mentioned that the age of the parent is a contributing factor in the risk of a baby having development problems. It’s also been mentioned that McCain is a known unfaithful husband. Did Palin demand “make me veep or I blow your campaign away”? What will she tell her poor husband?

    Please moderate this if it’ll get you in deep shit. I’m just making connections.

  28. #28 Joel
    August 30, 2008

    The fact that she was a beauty queen is relevant

    Apparently it is the most important and relevant fact about her. That and the idea the only reason a man would choose a woman is to mate, as implied by this …John McCain has picked Sarah Palin, the female governor of Alaska, as his surprise … mate.

  29. #29 greg laden
    August 30, 2008

    Goodness. Clearly, I’ve mad an error in judgment. Thanks for calling me out and educating me and all that shit.

    You see, there were four things known about this candidate: 1) She’s been a governor for a few months; 2) She was the mayor of a tiny town; 3) She’s being investigated for a couple of things and 4) She’s a former beauty queen. Given this, I thought it would be the appropriate thing to attach her name to the one thing that seemed to be an unqualified success … the beauty queen thing.

    (Surly, those complaining about this do not have anything against a woman choosing this as a route to public service, yes? No?)

    Anyway, this was clearly an error, because on more careful reading of the situation, I see that she was not successful as a beauty queen, so perhaps the kind thing to do would have been to just let that slide and be nice to the woman. Be nice to her because, after all, she is an anti-feminist right wing Republican Yahoo, exactly the kind of person that I just LOVE to be nice to. Love it.

    And yes, Joel, I feel so badly about implying something negative about John McCain, who is, after all, a former ‘Nam POW and therefore must always be doing the right thing. Shame on me! Shame shame shame…

    Oh, by the way, everybody. Do you’all know that Michelle Bachmann will actually be speaking at the RNC in Saint Paul!?!?

    I only mention this because of the very interesting parallel comparisons that must come to mind. Yes, indeed, Sarah Palin is to Hillary Clinton what Michelle Bachmann is to Patty Wetterling. Or, at least, that will be the case if Sarah is elected Vice President.

    That would be about the time I slit my own wrists.

    Get real, people.

  30. #30 clinteas
    August 30, 2008


    I thought the quote mining was hilarious….
    Beauty pageant runner up that loves killing polar bears ,kinda kills the romance tho,doesnt it lol…

  31. #31 decrepitoldfool
    August 30, 2008

    The fact that she was a beauty queen is definitely relevant; it speaks volumes about her take on gender issues. I find “beauty contests” revolting; trivializing women and demeaning men. They’re like taking one piece of a puzzle and saying; “This is the whole picture”.

  32. #32 Stephanie Z
    August 30, 2008

    But the important question is who will Michele Bachmann be kissing at the convention? Will she ennoble McCain with the tongue of approval?

  33. #33 Joel
    August 31, 2008

    And yes, Joel, I feel so badly about implying something negative about John McCain

    Your quote mining didn’t imply anything about McCain. It was a statement about how you view the usefulness of women.

  34. #34 AliceB
    August 31, 2008

    Joel, I think you have missed Laden’s point by ten miles. How can you see this post as anything other than a scalding parody?

  35. #35 Joel
    August 31, 2008

    A scalding parody, in bad taste.

    I’m not the only person who took these comments as sexist, so maybe I’m not so far off base. Just as I do not find racist jokes funny, I don’t find sexist jokes funny.

  36. #36 Stephanie Z
    August 31, 2008

    Joel, scalding parodies are, in fact and by definition, not very funny. They use “bad taste” as a tool to point out things that are socially accepted but not acceptable. That’s why they exist–not to make you laugh but to make you think.

  37. #37 greg laden
    August 31, 2008

    Joel: Don’t come to my blog for good taste!

    Also, don’t come here if you want to read sexist anti-feminist rhetoric or racism, or anti-guy rhetoric, because you won’t find it. I’m an anti-racist anti-sexist anti-anti-gay feminist liberal person, explicitly, intentionally, implicitly, formally, and officially. I’ve been that way forever, I’m strong on these positions, and I assure you that any inkling to the contrary is a misinterpretation, and any rumors or statements to the contrary are incorrect, or perhaps part of a Vast Conspiracy of some sort.

    I do not need to be corrected, called out, educated, or spanked in regards to any of these issues. As far as you are concerned, you can think of me as perfect.

    Of course, I’m not perfect, and neither is anyone else. To engage in these political and socially responsible endeavors one must always be learning and changing. So I do appreciate critical comments and it is the case that I exist in my own network of communication about these issues, both in my professional setting and socially.

    Yes, some people don’t get me, or don’t get everything I say. There are those who claim that this would be my problem, but guess what. They are wrong. I don’t mind being misread, that is going to happen now and then. Misreading can be followed by any of a number of alternative outcomes, including going away, learning something, complaining to me on my blog, etc. All those are acceptable and happen now and then. But ultimately, I do not appreciate being accused of having nefarious traits or sexist, racist, or anti-gay positions because of such misreading. THAT is just stupid.

    One of these days I’m going to write this philosophy up and put it on my about page and save the typing.

    (I must say that in this case, I’m rather astonished to read over some of these comments. How can someone read this blatant, sophomoric quote mining that I have used to underscore the absurdity of McCain’s choice, and the absurdity of Republicans in general, and think this is anything other than parody meant to be insulting? I guess this is one way to smoke out the DINO’s and other forms of Republican Symps!!!!!!)

  38. #38 SKM
    August 31, 2008

    scalding parodies are, in fact and by definition, not very funny. They use “bad taste” as a tool to point out things that are socially accepted but not acceptable.

    Yup. The scary thing is that I have seen so much rank misogyny thrown around the last year or so of campaigning that Greg’s send-up of sexist sensationalism comes off as almost too subtle!

    Karl Rove is counting on progressives to use sexism to attack Palin instead of focusing on the issues. If just enough women are so disgusted with the whole spectacle that they stay home, the race will be close enough to steal. And so far, The “left” (HuffPo, AlterNet, Kos, etc.) seem more than happy to do Rove’s work for him. You’d think the creationism, anti-choice, anti-environment stuff would be enough for all of us to sink our teeth into. But some people just can’t resist the whole “Bimbo!” Slut!” “Bad Mommy!” approach. The thought of Rove playing them like a fiddle makes me sick.

  39. #39 greg laden
    August 31, 2008

    Just so we all understand the truly cynical nature of asking an inexperienced individual who in many ways aside from her politics is a highly questionable choice for veep … in other words, a conservative republican looking for a qualifie woman would not pick this person …

    the point of all this is that to McCain and the other republicans, you turn them upside down … you know the rest of the story. This is the view that we are seeing revealed by McCain’s choice.

    And by Rush Limbaugh’s comment on this choice: “Now, WE are the ones with the babe on the ticket…”