by Ray Fleming

JOHN McCain was not spoilt for choice as his Vice Presidential candidate so his selection of Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, is not all that surprising.

The obvious explanation in favour of it is that it might attract those women Democrats still angry at Hillary Clinton's defeat in the primary election by Barack Obama. But that over looks the fact that Mrs Clinton's supporters are also strongly policy-orientated and want the party that will deliver their agenda in power.

Mrs Palin, a mother of five, is opposed to abortion and may well seek to overturn the Roe-Wade “right to choose” legislation if elected.

The response from the Obama camp that “The mayor of a town of 9'000 people with zero foreign policy experience is a heartbeat away from the presidency” was ungenerous and inaccurate; Mrs Palin moved from mayor to Governor two years ago and Alaska has a population of 670'000.

She has a reputation as a tough negotiator and a competent administrator. At least her choice should stop criticism of Barack Obama on the grounds that he lacks experience.

Senator McCain has acquired some kudos for his TV message of good wishes to Obama on his nomination for the presidency. But it also included these words: “How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day” -- a reference to the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's “I have a Dream Speech”.

Rather odd, surely, and certainly open to more than one interpretation.?