A Brilliant Pick

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The New York Sun

With his choice of Governor Palin of Alaska as his running mate, Senator McCain reshapes the presidential race in a way that will be felt all the way through November. He’s already set a new bar by running about even with Senator Obama among women, closing the “gender gap” that traditionally favors Democrats. Now all the women wondering why Senator Obama passed over Senator Clinton, who won more than 18 million votes in the Democratic primary, to choose a man, in Senator Biden, who came nowhere close to the top of the field, can choose a candidate who isn’t afraid to have a woman as his running mate.

Nor can we expect the Democrats to do much sniping about Ms. Palin’s lack of experience. After all, the Democrats have their inexperience at the top of the ticket. Now it won’t only be Democrats who would make history by electing the first black president; Republicans would make history by electing the first woman vice president. Ms. Palin can help make the case we have been making in our editorials that Mr. Obama’s income and payroll tax increases amount to a war on educated working women.

What’s more, as an energy expert from Alaska who is involved in administering pipelines and revenue, Ms. Palin can authoritatively make the case for more drilling, putting Mr. Obama in the box of either essentially favoring higher gasoline prices or alienating the key Democratic constituency of rabid environmental activists. One gets the sense that Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin are compatible. They share an aversion to wasteful government spending — she stopped the “bridge to nowhere” — and a love of the outdoors. They are both parents of American soldiers. The other picks all had their problems. Governor Pawlenty was a predictable, safe choice. Governor Romney has little personal chemistry with Mr. McCain and turned demagogic against immigration during the primary. Governor Ridge favors abortion rights. Senator Lieberman, who had been our favorite, could have alienated some Republican conservatives, and would have been, with Mr. McCain, a ticket of two longtime Washington politicians. Senator Obama may talk of “change,” but when it came down to his first presidential-level decision, he went the safe route with a white male who has been serving in the Senate so long that he was in office while John McCain was still a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Mr. McCain, on the other hand, showed he is a maverick.

The New York Sun

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