What was John McCain thinking?
Clearly, his advisors and pollsters told him, if he wanted a serious shot at being president, his VP pick had to excite:
- the Republican base (read fundamentalist Christians)
- and women who wanted Hillary for president
This meant that McCain was put in a “double-bind”—because these two constituencies, on many of the issues that matter to them, are mutually exclusive (anti-choice v. pro-choice, anti-gay rights v. pro-gay rights etc).
So he had to pick someone who was GENUINELY in one of the two camps, but who could maybe FAKE or pass for being someone in the other camp as well.
So he picked Sarah Palin—a real, live young earth creationist, anti-choice, Second Amendment, anti-environmentalist, anti-gay rural conservative.
And he decided to bank upon moderate and liberal women voters not noticing—and voting for the McCain-Palin ticket primarily because there is a woman on it!
In other words, if women voters aren’t paying close enough attention, and if a sufficient degree of obfuscating rhetorical pipe smoke can be cast into the air (think Fox News and talk radio), Senator McCain and his advisors hope confused women voters will carry him to victory.
How patronizing is that?