Kerry was asked if he was worried that the Palin pick would draw Clinton supporters to McCain. “How stupid do they think the Clinton supporters are for heaven sakes? Do they think Clinton supporters only supported Hillary because she is a woman? For heaven sakes, they supported Hillary because of all the things that she has fought for, because she fights for healthcare which John McCain doesn’t support. She fights for children and children’s health care, which John McCain voted against. She fights for a windfall profit tax on the oil companies, which John McCain opposes. I mean for heaven sakes, the people who supported Hillary Clinton are not going to be seduced just because John McCain has picked a woman. They are going to look at what she supports.”
Kerry said that the selection is almost an insult to Clinton supporters, “The fact that she doesn’t support the notion that climate change is manmade. She’s back there with the flat earth caucus. I don’t see how those women are going to be fooled into believing. I think it is almost insulting to the Hillary supporters that they believe that they would support somebody that is against everything that they believe in.”
He said that McCain is a prisoner of the right wing, “John McCain wanted to choose Tom Ridge. He wanted to choose Joe Lieberman. He wanted to choose another candidate, but you know what, Rush Limbaugh and the right wing vetoed it, and John McCain was forced to come back and pick a sort of Cheneyeske social conservative who is going to satisfy the base. What John McCain has proven with this choice is that John McCain is a prisoner of the right wing, and not a maverick.”
It is my own opinion that if McCain was free to make his own choice, it would have been Lieberman or Ridge. It would never have been a little known governor who he has only met twice in his life. This pick was made only to try to peel Clinton supporters away from Obama. The reason why Obama didn’t pick a woman was because by picking a woman other than Clinton, you risk insulting her base, and I think that is exactly what McCain has done.
This choice does help McCain with his base, but the Republican base is not big enough to win the election on its own. This was a pick that was not based on ability to govern, but political calculus. The buzz in the mainstream has already worn off of this story, so I have grave doubts that McCain is going to see a big running mate bounce in the polls. What the pick did certainly do is open up a whole new line of questioning about experience and judgment that didn’t exist before.