ABC News; by Russell Goldman; September 12, 2008
John McCain’s Vice Presidential Candidate Talks With Charles Gibson in Exclusive Interview
Gov. Sarah Palin says Sen. Barack Obama just might regret not picking Sen. Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential running mate.
“I think he’s regretting not picking her now, I do. What, what determination, and grit, and even grace through some tough shots that were fired her way — she handled those well,” the Alaska governor told Charles Gibson in her third and final exclusive interview with ABC News.
Palin, 44, took the mantle of the campaign’s only female contender after Obama defeated Clinton for their party’s nomination and picked Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., as his Democratic running mate over Clinton and others.
Palin has praised Clinton on the campaign trail, and when she was first introduced as Sen. John McCain’s running mate last month in Ohio.
“The women of America aren’t finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all,” Palin said as she accepted McCain’s invitation to join the 2008 Republican ticket, referring to a line made famous in Clinton’s concession to Obama.
Palin also cited the performance of Rep. Geraldine Ferraro, a Democrat who ran as Walter Mondale’s vice presidential running mate.
In her June speech ending her historic campaign, Clinton invoked the suffragists who fought for women’s right to vote and civil rights leaders who fought on behalf of equal rights for African-Americans as she insisted, “The path will be a little easier next time … that has always been the history of progress.
“Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling, thanks to you it’s got about 18 million cracks in it and the light is shining through like never before,” she said.
Clinton has been reluctant to criticize Palin on the campaign trail so far.
“We should all be proud of Gov. Sarah Palin’s historic nomination, and I congratulate her and Sen. McCain. While their policies would take America in the wrong direction, Gov. Palin will add an important new voice to the debate,” said Clinton in a written statement as Palin took the national stage.
In her debut on the party’s ticket, Palin emphasized her blue collar roots, describing herself as “just your average hockey mom in Alaska” and her husband as a member of a steelworkers union.
And some female supporters of Hillary Clinton have been slow to accept Obama as the Democratic nominee.
Though many liberal women say they would not vote for Palin, whose positions on issues such as abortion rights and stem cell research contrast sharply with those of Clinton, the McCain-Palin ticket has pulled into a dead heat with Obama-Biden in recent national polls.
Some of McCain’s biggest gains in the most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll are among white women, a group to which Palin has notable appeal: Sixty-seven percent view her favorably, and 58 percent say her selection makes them more confident in McCain’s decision-making.
Among those with children, Palin does better yet. And enthusiasm for McCain among his female supporters has soared.
White women have moved from 50-42 percent in Obama’s favor before the conventions to 53-41 percent for McCain now, a 20-point shift that’s one of the single biggest post-convention changes in voter preferences.
In light of such success, Palin’s nod to Clinton may not be entirely unexpected.