John McCain had his two surprise running-mates, Sarah and Gustav, on hand yesterday as the Convention almost got underway. The former had next-to-zero capital value, so he for sure had to capitalize on the latter. Problem: not enough dead bodies. Sangfroidly speaking, he just didn't have close to a Katrina-size disaster with which to show off his latent POW heroism. (I don't know...hopping in a boat looking for floaters in the bayou?--his team would have thought of something.) TV viewership was down to what one might have expected the Convention to be. Low. Not the minute-to-minute attention that Katrina commanded, where otherwise he might have had media exposure that even Convention coverage wouldn't have afforded.
It was a cynically grand-stand play, Plan-B-wise, but couldn't match Obama's 80,000 fans a week before--which, ironically, should have been the one RAINED OUT if a bunch of evangelical(=Republican) god-nuts had had their very public prayers answered...I kid you not. (They should've stuck to praying for lower gas prices, where they've obviously had more success with The Deity. What century is this again? Their public prayers for rain here in the drought-ridden Bible-Belt, on the other hand, may have a released a bit too much of His watery puissance--lots of flooding in NC and GA, and now some very moist hurricanes.)
Also not without some irony, McCain has chosen a wannabe VP with strong evangelical, creationism-in-science-class-prayer-in-school credentials. A mistake, because this is the ONLY constituency Gov. Palin will appeal to. Independent women-voters? Angry sisterhood-of-the-pant-suit Clintonites? No. Again, what was he thinking? Ms. Palin is not only anti-Roe-v-Wade; she's against abortion even in the case of rape or incest. Not so keen on contraception, either, it seems. Her teen-age daughter is out-of-wedlock pregnant. And here Palin may even lose the evangelicals. "Couldn't she have prayerfully controlled her daughter's hormones?...Didn't she enroll her daughter in the the Bush administration's faith-based abstinence-only program at school?..." you hear them asking. No doubt she did. Good luck. I wonder how her adamantine position on abortion might have shifted (or at least effected major soul-searching) if her daughter's pregnancy were NOT caused by the rather comfy-cozy, sort of keep-it-in-the-family, consensual, adolescent sex (as appears to be the case)? But rather, say, rape or incest?