Is He Saying What I Think He is Saying?
Ok – so my hubby and I have been wondering why everyone keeps saying Palin is a historic pick for veep. After all, the Dems chose a woman for the veep spot 24 years ago. The only way that this nomination is historic is because the Republicans have now done something no one thought they would do until hell freezes over. It is nice to know the Republicans have finally joined the 20th century. It is unfortunate for them that the rest of us are now living in the 21st century. Don’t worry. They will get here eventually.
Anyway, as it turns out, the reason they think it is historic is that they are apparently running under the delusion that McCain will win this election and that for some reason, Palin will not only be veep for a while, but will actually become president as well. (See weird blog at Washington Post for an example of this) The important bit is in point 2. And I had to do a double take when I read it. I really couldn’t believe he was saying what he seemed to be. If you have read my other post on Palin (whom I clearly don’t like), you know I am concerned with either candidate being elected then dying. Apparently, the Republicans are planning on that happening to McCain.
There are only a couple of ways Palin could become president after being elected as veep. The first way is that McCain dies or is incapacitated and then she takes over. The 2nd is that she runs for election after McCain’s term and somehow wins. Didn’t work for Quayle, but hey – she is much better looking and can actually put a sentence together. I am hoping he meant the 2nd way and just didn’t write it out clearly. My first thought though is, given McCain’s age and the religious right’s dislike of McCain, they may actually be hoping for the first option. Ouch! I am no expert, but I don’t think it is good when your base is only voting for you because they want you to die so your veep can replace you.
Now – onto why Mr. Gerson’s post is so delusional. First, the polls taken in the aftermath of McCain announcing Palin as his veep choice aren’t all that great for McCain. As Andrew Sullivan points out, this choice has made independents less likely to vote for McCain. And, I haven’t met any women yet who are happy with the choice aside from the fact it is always nice to see a woman on the ballot. Doesn’t mean we are going to vote for her, but it is nice for a change.
Now, for the real reason why anyone who thinks Obama and McCain are running neck and neck, or that McCain has the advantage are deluding themselves. You only need to look at the current state of the electoral map to see that McCain has a huge hill to climb and it is unlikely he will succeed, even in a best-case scenario and assuming the planned October Surprise actually benefits Republicans and doesn’t cause yet another backlash. And yes, I am cynical.
Anyway, Presidential elections are decided not on popular vote, but by the electors. You need 270 electors to win the presidency. Electors are awarded by the states in winner take all elections. So, if you win the state, you win all the electors. Simple enough. The best place to see this math is www.pollster.com Based on current polling, Obama is expected to win handily 260 electors to McCain’s 176. Of those states that are already leaning to or solidly in one or the other candidate’s column, Obama has nearly double the amount of solid electors then McCain has.
The remaining 102 electors are in states that are too close to call. Yet, Obama holds the advantage in those states as well. These electors are in 11 states and Obama has a slim lead in 6 of them, which would give him another 52 electors. In case you aren’t good at math, which would put him 42 electors over the number he needs to win the election. In other words, regardless of what the Gallup daily is showing, Obama is ahead by a wide margin.
As it stands now, McCain needs to pull all 11 swing states into his column while Obama only needs 1. Again, barring any unforeseen blooper or an October Surprise that actually benefits Republicans, Obama will most likely win this and not by a slim margin as the daily national poll suggests.
Ok – so whenever you hear a Republican waxing delusional about how wonderful it will be for Palin to be president – ask them if they are actually hoping that McCain will die. Inquiring minds want to know. And try to break the news to them gently that at the moment, it looks pretty bleak for their candidate.
Finally. One last thought about McCain and what he is doing. I swear, it seems like he knows he is going to loose this. How could he not? The Republicans only nominate guys like him when they know they are going to get their behinds handed to them on a platter. Remember Bob Dole. He was so cute. Anyway. It is entirely possible that McCain knows he is this year’s sacrificial lamb, put up by the Republics as both a way for them to say thanks for all his years of service without actually risking him winning.
If that is true, and I have no way of knowing if it is or not, this is just a bit of wild speculation, then McCain must be having a ball. His only real job is to keep the Republican base basically happy so that they don’t splinter off to the Democrats this election so that the Republicans have some hope of gaining some ground back in the midterms. It would certainly explain a lot. For instance, it would explain his bizarre anti-Obama ads. Lets face it. As funny as they were, they were weird, but judging from the right wing blogosphere, the Republican base ate it up.
It would also put the Palin choice into perspective. If he thinks he doesn’t have a chance at becoming president, then his choice could be anyone. Won’t actually impact the country, except perhaps to bring the Republican party into the 20th century which is a good thing.
Anyway, those are my thoughts for now. Good night and happy Labor Day everyone!