Sarah Palin for vice president – an inspirational choice
And Governor Palin is a Protestant Evangelical Christian. Moreover, she is strongly ‘pro-life’, not like the à la carte Catholic Joe Biden who supports abortion. It will be difficult for any ‘pro-choice’ group to attack her on this, not least because she lives every day with the very real difficulties of bringing up a Down’s child – a child which the vast majority of pro-choicers would have denied the right to life. And not only is she pro-life; she is pro-marriage, hunts, fishes, and enjoys dog sledding and drilling for oil.
While she has an undoubted reputation for reform - indeed, she has been called the American Thatcher - it cannot be ignored that the principal qualities she will bring to the Republican campaign are enhanced by her being a young woman of conviction. She is the very antithesis of the old man of relativity, Joe Biden.
A female Republican VP candidate is every bit as progressive as a the Democrats’ Afro-American presidential candidate. Both give a nod to the next generation, and both are the embodiment of change. She neutralises the Obama 'minority' narrative, and also neutralises his youth appeal. She is three years younger than Senator Obama but, unlike him, she has executive branch experience: she heads a highly successful state government and maintains personal approval ratings in excess of 80 per cent.
Cranmer is convinced that this will assure John McCain of victory in November. Not least because her candidacy rather trumps Senator Biden’s bid for the Catholic vote, the majority of which went to President Bush in 2004. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
‘Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life...
‘You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish...
‘The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation...
‘Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being...’
So how will Roman Catholics vote?
A few weeks ago, a survey across a broad spectrum of opinion revealed that, for the first time in US history, a majority were of the opinion that churches should stay out of politics. The results suggest a potentially significant shift among conservative voters in particular. In 2004, 30 per cent of conservatives said the church should stay out of politics while today 50 per cent of conservatives today express that view. Conservatives are now more in line with liberals when it comes to their views on mixing religion and politics.
And yet while there is a constitutional requirement for the separation of church and state, there is still a very significant contingent – made up largely of Roman Catholics and Evangelicals - who do not believe in the separation of faith and politics. And since, for the majority of these, the issue of abortion outweighs all others, it is most certain that they will now flock to the McCain-Palin ticket.