Monday, September 22, 2008


There has been much talk about the Republicans surrendering the 'experience argument' by picking Sarah Palin for the VP nominee. The idea was McCain has years of experience, Obama doesn't, choose accordingly.

All that commentary makes a key - and apparently incorrect - assumption. The experience argument assumes the public is primarily interested in actual issues. The public is doing a fair job of suggesting otherwise.

But even in this issue-lite world Sarah Palin's selection surrenders an argument. The 'unusual name' argument.

A certain portion of the electorate will not vote for Obama because of race. Some won't vote for McCain/Palin because of gender. And some folks won't vote for Obama because he has what is to them a strange sounding name.

'Barack'. It sounds like something you'd call an Orc in Lord of the Rings. 'Obama' sounds just a bit like 'Osama'. Scared yet?

The Republican alternative was 'John'. Good old-fashioned hardworking name, John. The Dems tried to soften things a bit by pairing Obama with a guy named 'Joe', but you know what they say. Putting lipstick on a pig ...

Then the GOP go and put Palin on the ticket. 'Sarah' is a common enough name. But the kids. My God look at the kids.

The girls get off fairly easy. I've seen both 'Piper' and 'Willow' used by folks before. 'Bristol' is new to me, but it's kinda pretty and sounds like it COULD be a name.

The boys, though ... 'Track' and 'Trig'? Maybe it's just me, but I find a person named after a branch of mathematics frightening. The name, that is.

On the up side, perhaps the issues will get more play with the stupid stuff being rendered moot ....



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