Palin and McCain.
- Palin's young; McCain is old. Balance.
- Palin's female; McCain is male. Balance.
- Palin's a former mayor and sitting governor; McCain is a legislator. Balance.
- Palin's strongly pro-life; McCain is weakly pro-life. Balance.
- Palin's warm and cuddly; Cindy McCain is powerful, and quiet about her good deeds. Who's really the first lady here?
- Palin's a proved reformer; McCain is a proven reformer. Emphasis.
- Palin's not very loyal to the GOP; McCain is not very loyal to the GOP. The voters are not very loyal to the GOP.
Bottom line: Palin balances the ticket very well and exemplifies the strengths of the next generation of the GOP.
Palin and Biden
- Palin's a reformist governor; Biden is an old-school senator. Palin wins.
- Palin's well-spoken and poised; Biden is your uncle after too many drinks. Palin wins.
- Palin is a woman; Biden is a tough debater. Neutralization of a key Biden strength.
- Palin has a cute family; Biden has a cute family. Neutralization.
- Palin has a working class husband; Biden has working class family. Neutralization.
- Palin's balances her ticket; Biden balances his ticket.
Bottom line: Biden's a bigger, stronger senator than Obama, and there was a risk he could run roughshod over a Romney or a Pawlenty. He can't run roughshod over Palin without looking ungentlemanly; besides, she's spritelier.
Palin and Obama
- Obama's young, Palin's younger.
- Obama has no executive experience, Palin's the only executive in the race.
- Obama's an outsider, Palin's a further-outsider.
- Obama started in dirty Chicago politics, Palin reformed dirty Alaska politics.
- Obama's got a brief record, Palin's got a briefer record.
- Obama has a great public persona, Palin has a great public persona.
- Obama has a great personal narrative, Palin has a good personal narrative.
- Obama has a cute family, Palin has a cute family.
- Obama's a novelty, Palin's a novelty.
- Obama's African-American (13% of the U.S. pop), Palin's a woman (51% of the U.S. pop).
- Obama's a loyal partisan, Palin assaulted the corrupt Alaska GOP from within.
Bottom line: I had to reverse the order of the comparisons here. In sketching this, it quickly became obvious why Palin was chosen: she mitigates almost all of Obama's innate advantages. At the bottom of the ticket, of course, she's can't punch her weight, but Obama's a hard candidate to land good punches on anyway. Palin represents a positive way of running against Obama: she can affirm all his personal strengths, but add to them actual executive experience.
Crucially, Palin can speak from personal experience on a number of issues. She has a son in the military - take that, Michael Moore. She's Alaskan, and her husband is an oilman of the blue collar variety, so she can speak knowledgeably about drilling. She's a woman who gave birth to a Down's Syndrome baby, so she can speak compassionately and passionately about children's right to life and the evils of eugenics. She was a mayor, so she can speak about hometown issues with a fluency the three senators in the race seriously lack. She was a governor and a reformist, giving her more executive experience than the three senators in the race combined.
She represents the future of the GOP. Palin-Jindal 2012, anyone?