True Grit, I hope

Like John and Paul, I was disappointed when I heard this morning that Senator McCain had called on Sarah Palin to be his running mate. I was disappointed mostly because I thought that Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was the right man for the job.

Watching Governor Pawlenty up close over the last 10 years or so, I was impressed by his personal story and likability. Tim is virtually impossible to dislike. Even those who disagree with him politically don’t hate him. He has the kind of political skills that are in short supply on the Republican side, which is one of the reasons that McCain’s short list was so short so long. Governor Palin’s short resume also tends to undercut one part of the case against Obama.

Watching the announcement of Governor Palin’s naming in Dayton, it strikes me that she may have the same kind of likability in her favor as Governor Pawlenty. Her personal story is compelling and she comes across as an authentic person. Standing next to John McCain on stage, Governor Palin looks like Mattie Ross to McCain’s Rooster Cogburn. They could make a good team.

Judging by our email, Governor Palin’s selection has electrified conservatives. I think this is in part because of the way she is living out the prolife credo. She sets a powerful and inspiring example. In part the excitement also derives from her stands against the corruption that has tarnished the Republican Party. It seemed unlikely that McCain’s vice presidential selection would at the same time excite party regulars and serve to attract independents, but it may well do so. Anyway, here’s hoping.

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