McCain chooses ‘libertarian Republican’ as VP

Seeking to capitalize on the disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporter vote, John McCain has selected half-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Ms. Palin is considered by some to be a “libertarian” Republican and, according to Eric Dondero’s Libertarian Republican blog, she has spoken to two Libertarian Party meetings in Alaska.

Sarah Palin has long been considered to be a libertarian-leaning Republican. As Mayor of Wasila (Anchorage suburb), Palin was friends with local libertarian Republican elected officials, and worked closely with them on tax cut proposals.

She is known to have spoken to two Libertarian Party meetings in 2004/05. She was endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Alaska in the final days of her race for Governor in 2006, even though the LP had it’s own candidate. On election night, Ms. Palin at the Egan Center, went out of her way to acknowledge the Libertarian Party’s support in her victory speech. Immediately afterwards, she embraced then LPA Chairman Jason Dowell in the crowd. Dowell, and other Libertarians had stood on street corners waving signs for Palin the final two days.

This VP selection may have an impact on third-party presidential candidates. Some Libertarians and even Constitutionalists may be somewhat inclined to vote for McCain now, given that his age and health put Palin literally a heartbeat away from the presidency, and it’s very unlikely that McCain would run for a second term, meaning a McCain victory in ’08 would make Palin the presumptive GOP nominee in ’12. Also, Palin’s place on the ballot may dissuade some would-be McKinney supporters, who would be voting strictly on gender. It would seem that only Ralph Nader is unaffected by this selection.

63 thoughts on “McCain chooses ‘libertarian Republican’ as VP

  1. Trent Hill

    Smart move by McCain. She is young, female, pretty, and libertarian–as well as socially conservative.

    Even though I wont vote for either, im not hoping McCain wins over Obama.

    And then Palin has him killed or something. =)

  2. Trent Hill

    for the record: I doubt any Constitutionalists are going to switch their votes to McCain for this…

  3. G.E. Post author

    did you mean “now” when you said “not”?

    McCain will still start a war with Iran.

    Obama might not.

    McCain will still make the rest of the world hate us.

    Obama’s victory will generate international goodwill.

    The latter is why Obama must win.

  4. G.E. Post author

    Trent – Do you have any basis for her libertarianism other than her showing up to two meetings?

    Obviously, no libertarian would accept a place on McCain’s ticket. Ron Paul wouldn’t.

  5. Jason_Gatties

    Given the fact that I will not vote for Bob Barr, I would vote for Palin…if she was running for president.

    As VP…nope, she won’t cause me to vote for McCain.

    Still not real sure who I’m voting for and probably won’t know until I head to the polls November 4th.

  6. G.E. Post author

    for the record: I doubt any Constitutionalists are going to switch their votes to McCain for this…

    Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s going to be a very big number to draw from anyway.

  7. chuckmoulton

    Great move by McCain! Palin is a lot more libertarian leaning than most Republicans (unfortunately that’s not saying too much).

    I would have preferred Ron Paul, Mark Sanford, Jeff Flake, or Steve Forbes, but Palin was certainly in my top 10. She is worlds better than Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, or Rudy Giuliani.

    At this point I’d rather see McCain elected than Obama. The three main reasons are:
    1) Sarah Palin as VP
    2) Jeff Flake could run for the vacant Arizona U.S. Senate seat
    3) an Obama win means government rationed healthcare

    I’m still voting for Bob Barr though.

  8. Fred Church Ortiz

    Obama might not.

    I disagree, so I’m really not swayed that he must win. And I’ve stopped assuming that he would since he tapped Biden.

    But this development will work well to confuse everyone- the inexperienced president and decrepit VP vs. the decrepit president and inexperienced VP, all attacking eachother over their shared faults.

  9. G.E. Post author

    This is irrefutable: McCain will still make the rest of the world hate us. Obama’s victory will generate international goodwill.

    We already have government rationed healthcare. Where have you been, Chuck? And Obama was criticized by Hillary and Edwards for not being socialist enough on healthcare. Furthermore, it’s a statistical fact that government grows more slowly under Democratic presidencies. Give Obama two years in office and there will be a conservative Republican Congress.

  10. Trent Hill

    “Trent – Do you have any basis for her libertarianism other than her showing up to two meetings?

    Obviously, no libertarian would accept a place on McCain’s ticket. Ron Paul wouldn’t.”

    Obviously I was using CATO’s definition of Libertarian.

  11. Ayn R. Key

    For the first time since this race began, I’m actually pleased with something that happened. Not pleased enough to vote for McCain, but still pleased. Palin is the best person on either ticket.

  12. Trent Hill

    Palin is literally one of the best governors in modern history (like being the skinniest kid at fat camp) behind Mark Sanford, Butch Otter, Bobby Jindal, and Gary Johnson.

  13. Fred Church Ortiz

    Maybe the semantics don’t quite work, but my point is I believe he would, and beyond the possibility of the Israelis striking first, there’s no doubt in my mind of it.

    If I turn out to be wrong I will be elated, but also shocked.

  14. Ross Levin

    Someone so inexperienced so close to the presidency for such a small percentage of votes…

    Great move.

    I’ve also heard that Palin is very involved in the corrupt side of the Alaskan political scene.

  15. G.E. Post author

    Ross – You heard wrong. She cleaned up corruption.

    And you think she is more dangerous than McInfuckingSane?

    Her lack of experience is the best thing about her!

    I agree with Ayn, without even knowing a lot about her, that she is clearly the best person on either ticket. But that is saying virtually nothing, since all three of the others are evil men.

  16. G.E. Post author

    I don’t think Obama will war on Iran. I think he’s trying to be the tough guy and will remove troops from Iraq into Afghanistan, but that’s where it’ll end. Something may force his hand, but this is my impression. The alternative = inevitable, guaranteed war with Iran.

  17. Mike Gillis

    Obama doesn’t say it often, but he doesn’t want to really withdraw from Iraq. His own website talks about leaving a “residual” strike force there to “fight terror”.

    Even Dem-backed think tanks say this strike force would be about 60,000 to 80,000 troops. Sounds like a continuation of the war to me.

  18. Old Whig

    I was hoping she would be Ron Paul’s number two. That would have been the only ticket to keep me in the GOP.

    Too little, too late.

    O.W.

  19. G.E. Post author

    The fact remains that the people of the world want Obama to win. That’s good enough for me to root for him. It’s not as if we have a GOOD choice. I wouldn’t give a fig what the people of the world thought of Ron Paul (they love him, anyway) if he were running, but when there is so little to distinguish between the two candidates, one of which will win, this is by far the most substantiative difference I can find.

  20. G.E. Post author

    It just dawned on me to the extent this election is now about Sarah Palin. No one knows who the hell she is. The next two months will be all about her.

  21. G.E. Post author

    Old Whig – Ron Paul has said he would not accept the VP slot if offered to him by McCain. Then again, I take back what I said before: I think Paul should have accepted if offered, since Thomas Jefferson was VP to John Adams!

  22. Mike Gillis

    Not by choice, though GE.

    Back then, the VP was the man who came in second place.

  23. Steven R Linnabary

    This is excellent news for the republican party, a party that seemed to be on it’s death knell. Sarah Palin might revitalize the republicans.

    OTOH, the only thing I know about her is what Dondero has been saying for months. And his list of elected libertarians has far more names associated with it that I considered to be just neocons.

    Speaking of Eric, will he be doing everything in his power to sabotage the LP (again)?

    PEACE
    Steve

  24. langa

    Unfortunately, it really doesn’t matter what Palin’s positions were before, as they will soon morph into a perfect reflection of McCain’s own views. It always happens that way. For example, Bush the Elder talked tons of shit about Reagan in the 1980 primary (it was he, not the Dems, who coined the term “voodoo economics”), but suddenly, once he became the VP choice, all dissent immediately vanished. The same will happen here. Trust me.

  25. Thomas M. Sipos

    I don’t know much about Palin, except that Dondero has fawned over her, calling her “pro-defense” and “very pro-military”.

    Coming from Dondero, that’s not a good sign.

    Despite its reputation for being “a libertarian state,” aren’t military bases one of Alaska’s main sources of income? Which is a sort of federal welfare.

    Does anyone know:

    (1) What’s Palin’s record on pork barrel military projects?

    (2) What’s Palin’s stand on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the overall war on terror, and possible war on Iran?

  26. G.E. Post author

    Palin has never run for federal office, and thus, hasn’t said a lot on these issues.

    Yes, Alaska is a massive socialist welfare state masquerading as a libertarian utopia. It gets way more cash from the feds than it kicks in.

  27. langa

    I haven’t been able to find any direct statements from Palin about foreign policy, but the King of Neocons, Bill Kristol, was on TV a couple of months ago, urging McCain to pick her. That can’t be a good sign.

  28. Thomas M. Sipos

    Dondero claims to be a libertarian on social issues, yet he also keeps calling Palin a “libertarian.”

    Well, here’s what Wikipedia says about Palin on social issues:

    “Palin is pro-life and a prominent member of Feminists for Life.

    A 2006 article in the Anchorage Daily News refers to her as “pro-contraception,” but does not go into detail on the subject.

    While running for Governor of Alaska, Palin advocated the teaching of both creationism and evolution in public schools; but the next day, she said, “Creationism doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum” and that she would not use “religion as a litmus test, or anybody’s personal opinion on evolution or creationism” as criteria for selection to the school board.

    She opposes same-sex marriage, but complied with an Alaskan state Supreme Court order and signed an implementation of same-sex benefits into law, stating that legal options to avoid doing so had run out.

    She supported a non-binding referendum for a constitutional amendment to deny benefits to homosexual couples.

    Alaska was one of the first U.S. states to pass a constitutional ban on gay marriage, in 1998, along with Hawaii.[52] Palin has stated that she supported the 1998 constitutional amendment.

    Palin’s first veto was used to kill a bill that would have barred the state from granting benefits to the partners of gay state employees. She made her decision after she determined from Alaska’s attorney general that it was unconstitutional. In effect, her veto granted State of Alaska benefits to same-sex couples, as was required by law.”

  29. Ross Levin

    Here’s why she’s a bad pick:

    Regardless of her political philosophies and positions on any issue, she does not have enough, for lack of a better word, experience. She was mayor of a town of less than 10,000 and then governor of Alaska – a state with a population less than 1/10 of New York City’s – for a few years. This woman is very close to the presidency if she’s elected, especially with someone like John McCain in the No. 1 spot. It’s like having a lead role in a high school play be the understudy for a Broadway star.

  30. G.E. Post author

    Everything you say is bad is actually good, Ross.

    What do you want? A lifelong parasite like McCain? Is that better? Biden? These guys who’ve never had a real job in their lives? Experience = Establishmentarianism = more failure.

  31. langa

    “It’s like having a lead role in a high school play be the understudy for a Broadway star.”

    Actually, it’s more like having a pickpocket be the second-in-command to a major organized crime boss.

  32. Fred Church Ortiz

    I agree that it’s her weakness Ross, but whether it’s enough to be make her a bad pick remains to be seen.

    Obama’s trying to hit them on it, but he’s effectively using the same arguments that are directed against him – maybe they think there’s a hypocrisy angle there, but meanwhile he’s reiterating those same arguments. For that matter, 6 years as mayor and 2 years as governor gives her exactly 8 years more executive office experience than Obama. I expect both sides to call off the circular firing squad shortly.

  33. Ross Levin

    GE – to be the first in line in case the commander in chief dies, you need to be prepared. It’s not that she lacks experience, it’s that she has had nothing to prepare her for that.

    Fred – executive experience? Being the mayor of a town of 7,000 and then the governor of a state of about 650,000 (a very unique and rural state, I might add) could not prepare you at all to lead a country of 300 million with a mutli-trillion dollar budget. There’s just no comparison there.

    Obama, on the other hand, has at least some experience on a national stage, and has always been involved with powerful people in powerful areas. That’s more than can be said for her. Now it can be argued that too much experience like that is a bad thing, but we’re talking about the president of a superpower here, not a mayor or a Congressperson or even a Senator.

  34. G.E. Post author

    WTF has McCain done to prepare other than fail at everything in life, get shot down and collaborate with the enemy, come home and dump his wife for a rich beer heiress / drug addict, get involved in a financial scandal, and monger for war? Does this qualify him more than Palin? Maybe to mainstream idiots, but not in my mind. Palin is definitely the most qualified of the four.

    Do you know what “executive” means? Obama and Biden and McCain combine for exactly ZERO executive experience. Palin has some. Me, I don’t want a leader — leaders are for Nazis.

  35. Fred Church Ortiz

    Being the mayor of a town of 7,000 and then the governor of a state of about 650,000 (a very unique and rural state, I might add) could not prepare you at all to lead a country of 300 million with a mutli-trillion dollar budget.

    I doubt any kind of experience could. I’m not arguing the point, I’m demonstrating it. Obama can argue to high hell about it if he chooses to, but the fact remains that he’s embracing the same slams that were used against him – and he’s going for the #1 spot, not running for VP. Even if we were to assume McCain’s going to stroke out in his first term, the vice-presidency is a very convenient place to at observe from the front row, and that will probably come up as well.

  36. Spence

    What a foolish argument this whole experience thing is. Experience really accounts for little. Experience matters most to dictators who have to be well-versed in every single subject, and last I checked, this is not a dictatorship yet.

    What matters most in these positions is to have good common sense and judge of character. I’ll reiterate. You can have 20 years of experience running local governments into the ground. Does that make it valid?

    Experience shouldn’t be among the highest criteria for selecting people for office. This is how we got the stale, festering tics we have in D.C. right now in the first place.

  37. johncjackson

    She is being touted in the press for being
    1. anti-choice
    2. anti-gay

    and probably most importantly: female.

    If this is really supposed to attract the pro-Hillary PUMA vote ( supposedly 1/4 already planned to vote for McCain), I guess Hillary supporters are mostly pro-war, pro-life Republicans? WEIRD.

    If Palin is “libertarian” to any degree. I don’t know. She is probably more of an all-around conservative. That is better than what now passes for “conservative” for sure, but there is nothing libertarian about it.

    Dondero is a nut on foreign policy, but he has always come across as socially liberal. I guess he must be single issue voter on “Defense” and/or blinded by Palin’s resemblance to a MILF porn actress.

    The combination of Female and anything resembling libertarianism on even 1 issue really gets guys excited for some reason.

  38. Spence

    I would assume it has something to do with the fact that more often than not, the higher up you go, elected women in office are liberal, collective feminists.

  39. Gary Fincher

    From what I’ve read about her in only the last day, it doesn’t sound like she has the propensity toward enough intellectual application to grasp the total cohesiveness of libertarianism, so I wouldn’t call her a libertarian. She’s staked out some positions that are distinctly unlibertarian, which makes me recoil.

    However, she seems to highly sympathetic to the libertarian movement and to libertarians, has an anti-establishment, nonconformist streak, and enough other libertarian viewpoints to make her light years better than McCain, Obama, Biden or most any other of the major party ilk. She’s no Ron Paul, though.

    My guess is that all that McCanity will rub off on her and, especially if elected, the power will corrupt her absolutely.

    Interestingly enough, McCain came to Dayton, OH, to announce her as his pick, the very city where I am convalescing from my Sean Haugh-inflicted injury.

  40. Thomas M. Sipos

    I never believed that Dondero was libertarian on social issues. I don’t think he much cares. That’s not where his passion lies.

    Dondero is a warmonger, period. He’ll use gay rights as an excuse to support “libertarian” pro-war Giuliani.

    Maybe Palin opposed a sales tax? If so, he’ll use that to support “libertarian” pro-war Palin.

    I’m not sure what his excuse is to support “libertarian” pro-war Joe Lieberman.

    Dondero will grasp at any straw to paint a warmonger as a “libertarian.”

  41. Lance Brown

    I’m still waiting to hear how Palin is a libertarian. I don’t know…maybe you have to be a right-libertarian to see it. She sounds like bad news in a disarming package to me.

    As far as experience goes, nothing can really prepare someone for being president. It comes down to character, judgment, and leadership ability. If those three are in good standing, other missing elements can be compensated for. If one or more of those three is out of whack, then no amount of experience is going to make things right.

  42. MarcMontoni

    The governor firing the state’s commissioner of public safety, because he refused to fire a state trooper who is the governor’s former brother in law embroiled in a custody battle with her sister is not a scandal?

    So let me get this straight. A man who drives his state-issued patrol car while drinking, made death threats against his former wife’s father, tased his 11 year old stepson, shoots a moose when he didn’t have a permit to do so, and threatens a man in a bar and hides like a chicken behind his badge while doing so — all things which would have landed one of us non-royals in the hoosegow — should keep the hefty salary and benefits of his cushy, safe government job? A job where he gets to throw us normals to the wolves if he catches us doing any of those same things?

    The amazing thing is that the cops themselves substantiated many of the allegations against him (Wooten). Usually they just regurgitate the lame old excuse that “no department procedures were broken”. Of course, no one can look at cop personnell records to find out if they’ve had more allegations against them, or even what actions were taken to discipline officers with complaints that were substantiated.

    Not only should abusive officers be fired, but the entire State Police force in every state should be “fired”: their departments should be abolished. If there is any reason at all to have a state police division, officers should have no arrest powers against non-LE citizens. Instead, it should be strictly a detective unit for the limited purpose of *specifically* investigating claims of corruption or abuse against sworn local officers. Complete with big fat bonuses for getting convictions.

    The only legitimate function of government is to protect the rights of individuals. While for the most part it is generally incompetent at even that simple defined job, it would greatly decrease the overall level of violence against the innocent if the state could just weed out its own criminals behind badges. Perhaps by eliminating the perverse incentives cops have to protect their own bad apples, and making the livelihood of some of them dependent on getting the bad officers out of the law enforcement business, we might get closer to the goal.

    It is shameful that the union would stand behind this officer. If anyone doubts that unions encourage their members to be violent, here’s an example in real time. By not distancing themselves from an officer who has stepped over the line a few too many times, the union is encouraging Wooten and others like him to become *more* aggressive with civilians.

  43. Steve LaBianca

    chuckmoulton // Aug 29, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I would have preferred Ron Paul, Mark Sanford, Jeff Flake, or Steve Forbes, but Palin was certainly in my top 10.

    Ron Paul . . . agreed. Jeff Flake, or Steve Forbes . . . Chuck, both are warmongers! I don’t care how fiscally conservative Flake or Forbes are, they believe in war as a necessary, proper, and ready at hand tool of coercion.

    I don’t know much about Mark Sanford, though.

  44. G.E. Post author

    Forbes is also a pro-Fed inflationist who poses as an inflation hawk and goldbug.

  45. Trent Hill

    “I don’t know much about Palin, except that Dondero has fawned over her, calling her “pro-defense” and “very pro-military”.

    Coming from Dondero, that’s not a good sign.

    Despite its reputation for being “a libertarian state,” aren’t military bases one of Alaska’s main sources of income? Which is a sort of federal welfare.

    Does anyone know:

    (1) What’s Palin’s record on pork barrel military projects?

    (2) What’s Palin’s stand on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the overall war on terror, and possible war on Iran?”

    Palin was a Buchanan supporter in the early nineties. She may have even been a Buchanan delegate to the GOP convention in 1996, i’m not sure on that.

  46. Trent Hill

    Steve,

    Sanford seems to be sort “agnostic” on the war. When in Congress he voted very similarly to Ron Paul…

  47. pdsa

    The accusations are detailed in two thick binders, the result of a nearly yearlong investigation by troopers. When the investigation appeared to stall, Palin — more than a year before she was elected governor, and about two months before launching her campaign — pushed trooper commanders to take action against Wooten. At one point, Palin and her husband, Todd, hired a private investigator.

    Wooten recently gave his union permission to release the entire investigative file, all 482 pages and hours of recorded interviews.

    “The record clearly indicates a serious and concentrated pattern of unacceptable and at times, illegal activity occurring over a lengthy period, which establishes a course of conduct totally at odds with the ethics of our profession,” Col. Julia Grimes, then head of Alaska State Troopers, wrote in March 1, 2006, letter suspending Wooten for 10 days. After the union protested it, the suspension was reduced to five days.

    She warned that if he messed up again, he’d be fired.

    Lisa Demer, “Is Wooten a good trooper?“, Anchorage Daily News, July 27, 2008

    Has Palin tried to get other State Troopers fired who have been reprimanded for past acts, but still remain on the force?

  48. Jared

    I know Mark Sanford gets a lot of attention as being a good governor but he was at the last CFR meeting. I think that tells you all you need to know about him.

  49. Trent Hill

    Jared,

    Not really. Im not one of these people who thinks anyone involved in the CFR MUST be bad. I figure most are, but some simply dont understand the nature of the organization they are in.

  50. G.E. Post author

    No. Not everyone in the CFR is necessarily a knowing part of the globalist conspiracy — but they’re all bad. And a politician who’s a member is BAD, no doubt about it.

    When is Ron Paul going to get invited to join the CFR, Trent?

  51. Jared

    Unless he’s going in there to spy and send out secret information to expose them then I take it as a bad thing. If he some day releases a book about the inner workings of the organization I’ll eat crow but until that day comes…

  52. Trent Hill

    Im quite sure that Paul has already been invited–but rejected it. Any politician of any sort of influence is invited, regardless of foriegn policy credentials. Pat Buchanan was asked to join,also.

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