McCain-Palin ticket keeps his hope alive

Published 9:50 am Tuesday, September 2, 2008

In recent weeks, Sen. John McCain has been overshadowed by Sen. Barack Obama. Whether it’s been from Obama selecting his vice-presidential nominee to this week’s very scripted Democratic National Convention, McCain just hasn’t gotten anything to go his way.

Finally, McCain has done something to help not only energize his constituents but also to help his chances of winning the presidency. That decision was to choose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential nominee. While Obama’s selection of Joe Biden for vice-president probably won’t significantly improve his chances of getting elected, McCain’s choice of Palin has likely resurrected his campaign.

Palin was the smart choice for McCain because it will guarantee that either a woman or an African American will hold one of the two jobs in the nation. And now, that could split the votes of those who were voting for Obama because he is a minority. Now, those folks have a difficult choice. This probably wouldn’t be an issue if Obama had chosen Sen. Hillary Clinton instead of Biden.

Also, many of McCain’s conservative base were beginning to drift away from him because of his record on Capitol Hill and his stance on issues such as abortion. Palin already has energized conservative religious leaders who had fretted that McCain would pick an abortion rights supporter as his running mate.

To Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religion Liberties Commission, Palin is “straight out of veep central casting.” Land said he had urged the McCain camp to consider the political unknown.

Gary Bauer, one of McCain’s most enthusiastic evangelical supporters, said the Arizona senator had hit a “grand slam home run” and that adding Palin to the GOP ticket is “guaranteed to energize values voters.”

Usually, a vice-presidential nominee never helps nor hurts a presidential candidate very much, but this year it could. The vice-presidential position appears to keep McCain in the running, but Obama could have sealed the deal with another selection.