This morning as I prepared for the day and reflected on the speeches of my party’s president and vice-presidential nominees, I wondered if ever before the running mate had been more charismatic than the man at the top of the ticket.
All of a sudden, I remembered what I read about the election of 1900 when Republican WIlliam McKinley, running for reelection, needed a new running mate, Vice President Garrett Hobart having died in office. The Ohio Republican tapped Theodore Roosevelt, elected Governor of New York just two years previously.
The brash New Yorker was far more outgoing and energetic than the staid McKinley. Rather than travel the country and speak in front of large crowds, delivering a populist message, he, in his 1896 pioneered the “front porch” campaign where supporters and press came to his home in Canton, Ohio to hear him.
While I would hardly call John McCain staid, he does not show the same vigor on the stump as does Roosevelt, one of his political heroes. In his address last night, he referred to ours as the party of Roosevelt.
Sarah Palin has a lot in common with the 1900 GOP Vice Presidential nominee. She’s two years older than her forebear was at the time of her nomination. She loves the outdoors and hunts.
No wonder John McCain picked Sarah Palin. She reminded him of one of his great political heroes.