It’s Biden vs. Palin!

Okay, so now we know that it’s Barack Obama and Joe Biden vs. John McCain and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Is this an overall plus or minus for McCain?  I would argue a minus.

The biggest criticism by the Republicans against Obama (aside from the charge that he’s a flaming socialist) is his inexperience.  McCain has a great deal of experience and has shown a willingness (occasionally) to buck the party.  To counter the accusation of inexperience, Obama has picked Joe Biden, who’s been a Senator for over 30 years.  He’s an insider, sure, but he’s also a moderate Catholic, which serves (in my opinion) to attract more than repel moderate voters.

But by picking Palin, the McCain camp can no longer use Obama’s inexperience against him.  McCain’s older’n dirt; at 72 he’ll be the oldest man elected to a first term as President.  There’s a fair chance he won’t survive even his first term.  Is he seriously asking voters to believe that Palin, who’s only 44 years old and been a governor for less than two years, is ready to lead on Day One???  (And while I know little about Palin at this point – who does? – I have a sneaking suspicion that Biden will eat her alive at the VP debates.  If, and it’s a big if, Biden can reign in his tendency toward borderline Tourrett’s.)

Further, while Palin may serve to solidify the Republican conservative base, she will do little to attract moderates and women.  Sure, she brings youth and fresh blood to the party, and it’s hard to argue she’ll screw up Washington any worse than the old white guys who’ve run the show for the last couple of decades.  But, like her geezery WASP counterparts, she’s a staunch pro-lifer and a darling of the religious right.  It’s hard to imagine voters who are concerned about women’s issues voting for Palin with any relish.

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