I have to say I’m saddened and kind of surprised to read about the sniping at Sarah Palin within the McCain campaign. Whichever aides are badmouthing their boss’s running mate are betraying him as much as they’re betraying her. He picked her. He stands by her.
It’s clear he really likes her, respects her, is energized by her. When I see John McCain together with Sarah Palin, I’m reminded of how I feel when I’m around one of my older nieces, those smart girls whose age and intelligence allows you to communicate about more than dolls and stuffed animals and whose bright future you can visualize.
Of course Sarah Palin has at least three decades on my eldest niece, including sixteen years of public service. But, you can see the same dynamic between him and her as you would see observing a proud uncle grooming his precocious niece to help run the family business. Not only does the elder man see his relative’s potential, but he has great affection for her as well. She’s more than just an up-and-coming co-worker.
Having learned of her record in Alaska where she, according to Michael Barone’s Almanac of American Politics, “won election to the governorship as a maverick reformer at arm’s length from her party,”* John McCain surely saw a younger version of himself, trying to do the right thing, even if it meant defying party leadership.
There’s a real chemistry between John McCain and Sarah Palin. Media stories of the sniping within campaign cannot obscure what we observe when we watch them together on TV. Or when we see them in person.
And isn’t that as much of a story as gossip about a campaign’s internecine squabbles?
UPDATE: How’s this for serendipity: one of my nieces is dressing up as Sarah Palin for Hallowe’en. That’s sure to scare some angry Democrats.