“6 things Palin pick says about McCain “

From Harris and VandeHei. None of the six are good; #1 is “he’s desperate.”

A headline to warm every Democrat’s heart: and from VandeHei and Harris, no less.

With that question, you know you’re going to like the answer:

1. He’s desperate.

2. He’s willing to gamble — bigtime.

3. He’s worried about the political implications of his age.

4. He’s not worried about the actuarial implications of his age.

5. He’s worried about his conservative base.

6. At the end of the day, McCain is still McCain.

One aspect of the pick that didn’t sink in to my mind right away: it completely backfires as a way to neutralize the age issue.

Not only does she look like she could be his daughter (or, worse, his trophy wife), but her evident unpreparedness for the Oval Office immediately raises the question of how likely she would be to find herself sitting at the big desk if the ticket were to win, and thus on the age-specific mortality table. That’s not where McCain wants the voters’ minds focused, but he just succeeded in focusing it there.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com