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.