Sen. John McCain's pick of Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate is a big "come hither" signal to former Clinton supporters to defect to the Republicans. Yes, Sen. Clinton is strongly pro-choice (although she talks more these days about dampening the need for abortion) and Gov. Palin is avidly pro-life, but both are successful female politicians.
And Gov. Palin is a heroine to supporters of strong ethics in politics, an area where Sen. McCain is clearly challenged:
As the Weekly Standard wrote: "She resigned in January 2004 as head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission after complaining to the office of Governor Frank Murkowski and to state Attorney General Gregg Renkes about ethical violations by another commissioner, Randy Ruedrich, who was also Republican state chairman. State law barred Palin from speaking out publicly about ethical violations and corruption. But she was vindicated later in 2004 when Ruedrich, who'd been reconfirmed as state chairman, agreed to pay a $12,000 fine for breaking state ethics laws. She became a hero in the eyes of the public and the press, and the bane of Republican leaders."
Also, like McCain, Gov. Palin is not afraid to take on the party establishment. She ousted long-time powerhouse Gov. Frank Murkowski in a three-way primary race for governor in 2006 and was one of the few Republicans nationwide to perform above expectations that year, when the Democrats re-took control of Congress.
By Bonnie Erbe