Ballot Box

Now's that everyone's recovered from their convention hangovers, the real political season is underway -- just mind the birdshot. Today's buzz is mostly about McCain, Palin and general malaise engendered by partisan politics:

  • Surprise! Surprise!: The New York Post endorsed McCain and dubbed running mate Sarah Palin "charming, but rock-solid." The Post, which tepidly endorsed Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries, called his resume "tissue-paper thin. Take away: "The Post enthusiastically urges the election of Sen. John S. McCain as the 44th President of the United States."
  • Don't let Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hold you back from voting for McCain, writes NYT columnist Bill Kristol. Palin is inexperienced and young, yes. But so were Teddy Roosevelt, Gerald Ford and Lyndon Johnson when they succeeded to the presidency. Takeaway: "Character, judgment and the ability to learn seem to matter more to success as president than the number of years one's been in Washington."
  • Watch out -- "McCain Palinization" is in full effect, writes the WaPo's Sebastian Mallaby. Palin is a symptom of McCain's new wily style and his policies -- increasingly unrealistic -- are following suit. Mallaby wonders when McCain hopped off the straight-talk express when he calls on Americans to sacrifice but not when it comes to taxes. Takeaway: "The straight-talker flip flops."
  • McCain bombards us with personal anecdotes and shies away from policy but he can't win on the issues, writes Cynthia Tucker in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Take away: "The aging war hero apparently believes that he is still the 'maverick.'"
  • The USA Today editorial team has drawn one conclusion from reflecting upon the political events of the past two weeks: conventions are depressing. All this talk of change, and it's politics as usual. Take away: "The two conventions showed discouraging signs."
  • Why can't we all just get along? In another retrospective on the conventions, Michael Goodwin of the NY Daily News' laments the divisiveness of party politics and writes that conventions just serve to drive the wedge further between the parties. Takeaway: "It's as though somebody took a knife and cut our political soul in two and distributed half to each side."
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