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Sarah Palin: Telegenic Conservative (South Park Version)

Back in April, blogger Jeff Fecke speculated that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was a possible contender for the Republican VP slot. Why Palin and not Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson or Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice?

Here's Mr. Fecke's take on Palin, Hutchinson, and Rice:

"Palin's an attractive woman, and that's pretty much the only reason why she shows up on these lists. Still, she appeals to the same type of thinker that Condi Rice appeals to -- the folks who think that if the GOP just puts a woman on the ticket, women will vote for them, despite the fact that Palin's primary feminist credential comes from her membership in Feminists for Life.

That's not to say that Palin doesn't have a reasonably bright political future; indeed, in 2012, she well could be on the short list for V.P. But right now, she's served a grand total of fifteen months in Juneau, and Juneau isn't exactly the hub of American politics. Although if McCain could swing Alaska, he could probably gain support in the neighboring Yukon Territory, which would be important if he were running for Prime Minister of Canada. Palin is probably the most likely woman to end up on the GOP ticket -- unlike Rice, she's pro-life, and unlike Kay Bailey Hutchison, she isn't Kay Bailey Hutchison, but her presence on the list does say something about just how few women the GOP has on its bench. It's almost as if you actively attack women for a hundred years or so that women won't flock to your party."

"Hutchison is probably the most qualified woman in the Republican field, at least in terms of time served. And if she was a governor, she'd be a logical pick. But she's a senator, and it's unlikely that McCain will tap another member of the Senate to be on the ticket. Moreover, the GOP finds Hutchison to be insufficiently angry at Mexico and insufficiently pro-life, so McCain isn't going to be able to use her as a balance there, and she's not particularly charismatic or vibrant, two things McCain could use in a veep. She's not out of the question, but she's not really the answer to anything McCain needs."

"Rice starts in the #1 slot because she's got the most juice right now. How long with that last? Until half the GOP discovers she's pro-choice, and the other remembers she's both a woman and African-American.

It's too bad. Because there are many reasons to think Rice would be a great pick for the Democrats. As one of the key architects of George W. Bush's foreign policy, she'd be yet another millstone to hang around the neck of John McCain. As National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, she's been a dismal failure; yes, to a large extent that's because the entire Bush administration's been a dismal failure, but still, Condi deserves her share of the credit for that. And of course, Rice has never actually run for public office before, which probably doesn't augur well for her ability to be an effective attack dog, which the veep has to be.

Of course, she'll continue to be touted by those Republicans who believe that putting a woman and/or minority on the GOP ticket is all the Republican party has to do to mend fences with women and people of color, because clearly, what upsets them about the GOP is that there hasn't been a non-white female Republican on the ticket since ever, especially when compared to the one white woman who's been on a Democratic ticket since the dawn of the Republic. It couldn't have anything to do with GOP policies that let New Orleans drown while denying birth control to poor women. Right?"

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