Barring a poor performance in debate or a sudden disclosure of grossly damaging information, it seems to me that the presidential election outcome is now clear.
Obama made a fatal error in not putting Hilary Clinton on the ticket. She is strong in parts of the country where he is weak and will remain weak. Her presence on the ticket would have reassured some who might have made a difference. The unfortunate truth is, as I have said before, that there remains a lot of racist sentiment in parts of the United States. It is vice that will not name itself, and it certainly is not all in the South. Appalachia generally, the Mid-West, the Great Plains, and the Mountain West are full of it. Polling has revealed this clearly for all those who do not indulge themselves with wishful thinking. Obama’s obvious status as a member of the intelligentsia exacerbates that prejudice in the "minds" of many. In addition, Sarah Palin’s appearance on the ticket as "just plain mom," churchgoing, ill informed and earnest summons forth a new demographic. That demographic is women who are; not feminists, who cling to traditional values and for whom she is a shining justification of their own lives. In the context of "corporate" politics, and the long standing close red/blue division of the country, these things add up to "a win."
John McCain will be the 44th president of the United States. His need to feel the equal of his "fathers" will be assuaged for at least a few months. Sarah Palin is likely to succeed him as president. He is elderly, fragile, physically much abused in life, choleric, and seemingly in decline. His belligerence grows. He is under the influence of the Jacobin neocons who know no limits to the possibility of the fulfillment of their dreams. Who can say where that influence will take us?
Governor Palin is yet unreadable. Charles Gibson’s first interview with her established that she is teachable, or at least coachable. Gibson tried rather hard to test her. Some of it was ridiculous. "What do you think of the Bush Doctrine?" Come on, Charlie. That’s just chicken shit. You probably had to look that up. More interesting were her responses to the questions about NATO membership for the Ukraine and Georgia. She was unreservedly in favor of that, and, in response to a question as to whether or not it might be necessary to fight Russia over these places she provided her seemingly coached high school Civics class answer. She said it might be necessary to fight Russia. This was later modified somewhat by the rest of her "catechism" answer, She said that it would not be necessary to fight Russia if such things as sanctions or diplomacy worked to dissuade the Russian aggressors. She has a great deal of "catching up" to do. People spend their whole lives studying the subject matter that she must master if she is not to be a menace to the world. She needs to have someone explain the consequences implict in the acronym SIOP. Perhaps she can "catch up." Perhaps she will be a kind "Princess Hal," a marvel for us all. I do not imply that she drinks or carouses.
In the context of a McCain/Palin Administration, the division of the next Congress becomes very important. Not much is being said about that. There has been a kind of assumption that the Democrats will increase their majorities in both houses. That is a result for which to pray (or whatever you do). A veto proof majority in the senate would be a good thing. It would be a bad thing for any party to have as much power as the republicans might have otherwise. The McCain/Palin ticket might have more coat tails than has been thought. pl