The Page blog is reporting that Democratic activist and Hillary Clinton supporter Reba Shimansky has withdrawn her support of John McCain over his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate.
Shimansky said in a statement, “The Palin selection may have energized the GOP base but it hurts him with independents. I would have voted for McCain if he made a sensible choice for VP like Ridge which would have shown that he was willing to stand up to the rightwing crackpots in his party. Therefore I will be sitting out the 2008 presidential election.” The fact that she used the word crackpots to describe the majority of the Republican Party is evidence that she should not have been supporting McCain in the first place.
Back in June Shimansky announced that she was supporting McCain because she was upset with the way the Democratic Party had treated Hillary Clinton, “The Democratic professionals wanted to please Obama more than Hillary because they valued his supporters more than Hillary’s. I have said that I would do anything in my limited capacity to destroy Obama’s candidacy (who I do not like because of his trashing of Bill Clinton and his accomplishments as president) and the best way to do that is to vote for McCain. It is an emotional not rational vote. My loyalty is to Hillary not the Democratic Party.”
If we can put aside the fact that she was supporting McCain only out of bitterness over Clinton’s defeat, she seems like the kind of supporter that Palin selection was meant to target. This defection is not a good omen for the McCain campaign’s argument to women that Palin’s selection allows women to still make history. Early polling has shown that while voters like Palin, a majority of them don’t believe that she is ready to be president, and so far she has not swung female voters away from Obama.
The Palin pick was a cynical one. It has motivated the Republican base and brought a degree of freshness to his campaign, but many Clinton supporters are insulted by this pick, and they are even more motivated to help Obama. Notice that Shimansky didn’t stick with McCain once she that he had picked a fringe right winger. This may come as a shock to McCain, but women base their votes on the issues too. Palin will get loads of support from Republican women, but they were going to support McCain anyway. I don’t think she swings many female votes away from Obama.