Local reaction to Palin's VP nod


Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is an abortion rights opponent and against same sex marriage. She is also a life-long member of the National Rifle Association.

"She's a maverick in terms of her style in Alaska, but she is also very conservative on social issues; she is also a very big supporter on ANWAR [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] drilling in Alaska," Bill Whalen said. Whalen is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Duff Sundheim, former chairman and current board member of the California Republican Party, believes a female running mate will help McCain appeal to those disgruntled Clinton supporters.

"The Democrats have been trying to say this is going to be four more years of the same if we have McCain," Sundheim said. "I think it shows MCain's bold leadership and that things are going to be very different and women are going to be a very important part of the future of the Republican Party."

But some believe it is a risky proposition.

"It sort of looks like pandering a little bit," San Jose State University political scientist Melinda Jackson said. "Not every woman is interchangeable with every other and Sarah Palin is a very different woman than Hillary; she had far less political experience."

Palin is a first-time governor that has been in office for less than two years.

Ironically, McCain has criticized Obama for his lack of political experience.

Palin appeared with McCain Friday in Dayton, Ohio. At 44 she is a generation younger than McCain, who turned 72 Friday. If McCain wins, he would be the oldest president to be elected to a first term.

"For a president who has had recurring bouts of cancer, that is of a certain age and the vice president is a heart beat away, you would think they would want someone like a [Sen.] Joe Biden who could step in immediately -- that is not the case with this vice president, so it's very puzzling to me," Sen. Dianne Feinstein said.

Following the announcement, McCain and Palin began campaigning in Ohio. At one of the stops, reporters noticed people were very excited to see McCain, but did not seem to know who Palin was. Several times she had to introduce herself. From Ohio, McCain and Palin will travel to Pennsylvania and Missouri, then to the Republican Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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