A different take on the Palin choice

Like it or not, John' McCain's age, and worse, the fact that he looks old is a factor in this Presidential campaign. Intellectually I can see that he's tough and his ploy of bringing his mother to show that he comes from long-lived stock out was clever. But our intellects are built on top of some pretty raw, primal primate instincts.

Reagan at his age was much more graceful. McCain's shoulders are stiff and painful from years of North Vietnamese torture, and he doesn't deliver a speech that well.

At the instinctive level with the contrast between McCain the stove up old codger and Obama's lithe articulate just old enough youthfulness, it's no contest. The ideological pros and cons of the people McCain considered have been done to death. But how about this totally non-ideological analysis:

McCain/Lieberman--two old farts. Sure losers against Obama.

McCain/Romney-- no chemistry, makes McCain look old, Romney himself is classy but sort of a stiff.

McCain/Pawlenty-- another lose/lose proposition. Pawlenty points up McCain's age without bringing much pizazz.

I could go on, but you get the idea. A younger man would constantly, unconsciously highlight McCain's worst negative. Another old guy would be terrible. The logic is inexorable. Younger, definitely; a man, no way. A younger woman was the only thing left. The list of possible candidates was pretty short and Sarah Palin had to have been at the top of it. The fact that it was a daring choice helps downplay McCain's age.

Everything now hinges on Palin's ability to rise to the occasion. It's going to be an interesting nine weeks.

Peter Borregard
El Cerrito, California
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