As Pablo has been diligently reporting, John McCain has chosen Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. I watched the speech. I wasn't terribly impressed by her, not least of all because of what she represents coming out of the McCain campaign.
The commentary on the cable news channel I was watching described this pick as a chance for McCain to get into the "Change" narrative proactively. Of course, he's trying to win over Clinton supporters who feel slighted because their candidate lost. I'm not sure it will be effective (mostly because I'm not sure there are all that many disaffected Clintonites to recruit) and I can tell you it could turn a lot of women off.
Why Sarah Palin? Because McCain needs "a woman or minority to counter Hillary or Obama and put to rest the idea that America only elects white males".
Well, point one, America pretty much does only elect White males. But moreover, "to counter" Clinton or Obama?
Look, I do look at every female candidate with pride, because it's important to represent a whole spectrum of female experiences--and that includes those of conservative women like Palin--but I don't vote for every one of them.
Sarah Palin is not going to talk about equal pay. Sarah Palin is not going to talk about gender discrimination in the workplace. She isn't going to talk about how the economy affects women differently, and she isn't going to talk about family and medical leave. She's not going to talk about violence against women.
I don't want a woman who isn't going to represent women. I don't want a candidate who isn't going to represent women. I need someone who understands what women my age are talking about when we tell them about the price of birth control, or the problem of sexual assault on college campuses. I need someone who understands that I need medical care that respects me, and not my potential motherhood.
Maybe I'll be wrong, and Palin will stand up for women who don't have the privilege of not caring about those problems. Maybe. But maybe not. It's another 10% chance I'm not willing to take.