McCain tries to court the women's vote

August 30, 2008 12:29:39 AM PDT
It's John McCain's surprise that left almost everyone outside Alaska saying "Sarah who?" Sarah Palin is the 44-year-old mother of five. Her fifth is a Down syndrome baby born just last April. Palin eloped with her high school sweetheart, Todd, in 1988 to save her family the cost of a wedding.

Back in high school in 1982, she was a guard on the state championship basketball team, where she earned the nickname Sarah Barracuda. In two short years, she went from small town mayor to what Alaska Magazine called the hottest governor in America.

"She's not from these parts and she's not from Washington when you get to know her, you're going to be as impressed as I am," said Senator McCain (R) from Arizona.

Within moments of her introduction, Governor Palin (R) from Alaska paid tribute to the women who preceded her like Former Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro and Senator Hillary Clinton (D) of New York.

"It turns out the women of America aren't finished yet and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all," said Palin.

With Palin as his running mate, it is clear that McCain is hoping to win over Hillary Clinton supporters who feel disenfranchised by the Obama-Biden ticket. It's a game-changing move that really shakes up the campaign and is a strategy that could work. Analysts think that McCain has a real chance at attracting white, middle-class, Catholic, women in their 40's. Essentially going after the group that supported Hillary Clinton.

Governor Sarah Palin made history on Friday. John McCain's decision to make her his running mate proves Democrats aren't the only ones in this game of firsts. Last night, Senator Barack Obama (D) Ill. became the first African American presidential nominee from a major party, beating out Hillary Clinton.

"This is a response from the Republicans to say, 'Look we've got women too. Women voters out there, take a look at us,'" said Melinda Jackson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of political science at San Jose State University.

Jackson thinks McCain's choice in a running mate is a deliberate play for disgruntled Clinton supporters and moderate women, but it could backfire.

"I think he runs the risk of alienating women who might feel a little offended, like they're being condescended to, that one woman is just as good as another," says Jackson.

"Nobody's like Hillary, she's on her own!" said Loreto Dimaandal, a Hillary supporter.

Dimaandal has been a Hillary Clinton supporter since day one. She's not changing parties just because Clinton didn't get the Democratic nomination.

"We're moving forward, we need a Democratic president in the White House," said Loreto Dimaandal.

"It's time for the men to move over and let the women in," said Connie Beech, a Clinton supporter.

However, Connie Beech is considering it. She's a lifelong Democrat and an outraged Clinton volunteer. The exact person, analysts think, McCain is trying to attract with Palin.

"Even if they aren't the best on women's rights, they are recognizing that having a woman on the ticket will help them to win in November," said Beech.

Beech is still learning more about the governor from Alaska. So far, she likes what she sees.

Still the fight for Hillary for president is not over. Some supporters are already loosely organizing a Hillary in 2012 group.


Load Comments