Over at The Corner on National Review Online, Ramesh Ponnuru has re-evaluated his initial evaluation (Cold Water on Palin) of the choice of Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate. Nice to see him come ’round.
As for the cons: I did not foresee the way the experience issue would play out. I thought that picking Palin would reduce the salience of the experience question: Any time that Republicans brought it up, Democrats would use Palin to make Obama look experienced. I did not imagine that the Democrats would instead raise the salience of the issue by going on offense against Palin’s inexperience, because it seemed to me such a foolish play. And I don’t think it’s worked out well for them.
Here’s how I explained that very (and not uncommon) initial objection to friends and family at the time of the choice:
Look, McCain has been making the ‘experience’ argument strongly and undeniably successfully in comparison to Barack Obama. And he is still down several points in the polls. The experience quotient cannot be made any clearer or better than the head-to-head comparison. So why are you arguing that he needs a new horse only to go back to the same well he’s already tapped dry?
I think Ramesh – who is one of the most intelligent people you will ever meet – and others like him clearly out-thought themselves here. It’s not that complicated, and it’s the simplicity of straight-forward common connection so many sense with her, even beyond the conservative base.
Life beyond Manhattan. It’s not all double-wides and polyester curtains. And it’s rarely as complicated as we at times try and analyze it being (myself included.) It certainly isn’t nuanced. Two cents from here.