09 September 2008

What We're Not Hearing from John McCain and Sarah Palin

Jeralyn Merritt reports that some topics were noticeably missing from the McCain/Palin appearance Saturday in Colorado Springs.

All of the speakers . . . made it clear that Colorado (and El Paso County in particular) are critical to the November election. Yet they ignored the elephant in the room: the conservative social issues of abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage, and even abstinence-only education.

It was a smart move. The evangelical voters are already aboard the McCain-Palin ticket. The McCain campaign didn’t need their issues being replayed on the evening news, potentially alienating non-evangelical female and independent voters.

Emphasis mine. If that's right and it's a calculated move (and what's not, in politics?) then it strikes me as a very shrewd one. McCain seems to be getting a bounce among white women, a key demographic. These are many of the same voters who would likely be put off to learn that a McCain/Palin administration would take away their right to choose, would restrict available methods of birth control (because, according to a policy-watching friend of mine, if pregnancy begins at conception, then any form of birth control that interferes with implantation of a fertilized egg, such as the pill, the patch, IUDs, the Nuva Ring, etc., will be considered abortion; more on that subject here) and would make it harder to reduce unwanted pregnancies in America by teaching abstinence-only reproductive health education in schools.

Fortunately today the facade is beginning to crack just a little. A CNN poll shows that men and women have differing views on Sarah Palin's readiness to lead, with a majority of women stating that Palin is not ready to be president (her sole Constitutional duty as VP). And yesterday showed that the regularly repeated, McCain/Palin lies about the Bridge to Nowhere are finally being flagged by almost every major news outlet, albeit not aggressively enough.

McCain seems to know that his poll numbers are dependent on the popularity of his co-star. That's why the American public has had little opportunity to hear anything directly from the mouth of Sarah Palin. It will be worth listening very carefully over the coming weeks for what we don't hear from the McCain/Palin campaign. The issues they don't aggressively stump for may be the ones that affect us most.