Now, it’s not Joe Biden’s fault that Obama has screwed this up so badly. Obama’s last great chance to mend fences with the Clintonistas was to pick Clinton as veep. Or at least another woman that would ratify the “historic” importance of this year for the feminists who wanted to see the glass ceiling broken at the top of the political world.
Its not Biden’s fault Obama told these same voters to “get over it” in an angry reply.
Its not Biden’s fault Obama, after telling reporters that Clinton would be on “anyone’s short list” did not even vet her (though he vetted a good 15-20 veep candidates).
And it won’t be Biden’s fault that at the DNC next week, their idea of mending fences is a “catharsis vote” which is more likely to inflame the Clintonistas and remind them that they won the popular vote (a sacrosanct benchmark for Democrats as we know from 2000, whatever the rules say). The Clintons have 2 days at the convention to themselves in a row. The floor vote will highlight the Michigan and Florida controversy, especially if they vote en masse for Clinton. And Clinton will not be aiming for making nice for 2008, (though she’ll use some weak geared pretentious rhetoric towards that), but showing her own Presidential stuff for 2012.
And there’s the special jails they’ve built to house protesters in Denver during the convention. And you can rest assured some pro-Clinton disrupters will wind up in there too.
And last, remember that before Clinton conceded to Obama to a few days afterwards, Obama had about a 10-15 point swing in the polls against McCain from 5-10 down to 5-10 ahead.
So how can McCain capitalize and win over these reluctant Obama supporters?While there are many things McCain can and should do, (perhaps an “all of the above” approach works best), the RNC and his comments during the DNC might be a prime opportunity to win over this huge segment of the electorate.
First, and foremost, he should pick Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice President. I think almost every woman voter will be able to relate to her in a way that they cannot relate to most politicians. Palin is an all star Governor and woman. How can fiscal conservatives not love someone who managed to lower taxes in a state that already has a 0% income tax and who has consistently sided on the side of deregulation and free market approach to the economy? How could social conservatives not love a woman with 5 children, the 5th of which has down’s syndrome, belongs to the increasingly popular among Pro-Life youth “feminists for life” (which incidently is a group that converts more Pro-Choice women to a Pro-Life mentality than any group I’ve ever seen). Parents will love her. As Governor, she hasn’t had to speak much on the Iraq war, but with a strong leader at the top of the ticket like McCain, all she really needs to say there is “ditto.”
She’s perfect for all the electoral issues that matter most to independents. She’s got an incredible record on oil production, recently winning a major victory in generating an oil pipeline which will benefit Alaska’s citizens financially, and help reduce the entire nation’s dependence on foreign oil. She an ethics reform champion, having put her own political career on the line multiple times to fight corruption on both sides of the aisle. She is now supporting Rep Don Young’s primary opponent, continuing the important reform process in Alaska. And, she’s got a strong record on opposing wasteful government spending, which highlights another of McCain’s heroic statesmen qualities.
The gender gap in the swing states is pronounced. It doesn’t take a political genius to know that the Democrats have had a divisive year and that Obama has failed miserably at mending fences. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to see how Obama’s errors could translate into big gains for McCain in the swing states. The current gender gap by state, current poll numbers, and corresponding electoral votes are as follows:
CO – 22 pt gender gap (6/19) 9 EVs, dead heat
OH – 3 pt gap after Hilary endorsed Obama but 20 point gap before the endorsement; 20 EVs +1.5 for McCain on RCP avg
PA – 3 pt gap after the Hilary endorsement but 17 points before it; 21 EVs, +4 for Obama
MI – 21 pt gender gap, 17 EVs, +3 for Ob
FL – (as of today) 29 point gender gap, 27 EVs, +2 for McCain
VA – no data on gender gap on Rasmussen, but Survey USA reports a 15 point gender gap, (and the Pro-Life issue being a 2:1 winner for McCain); dead heat, 13 EVs
MN – 15 pt gender gap (7/23/08), 19 point deficit among women; 10 EVs, Ob by about 8
WI – 25 pt gender gap (7/10/08)
IO – 18 pt gender gap (7/14/08)
NH – over 20 points gender gap (7/24/08)
NM – 6 pt gender gap, but McCain trails by 11 among women
NV – 22 pt gender gap
NJ – 44 pt gender gap, 3 pt race 7/9/09, 15 EVs