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Politics

INSTANT VIEW: McCain picks Palin as running mate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain has picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.

Following are comments on McCain’s choice:

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH ACTION PRESIDENT BRENT BLACKWELDER

“She opposed the listing of polar bears as a ‘threatened’ species. She supports the brutal aerial hunting of wolves. And she has been a friend of Big Oil, opposing a windfall profits tax on the oil industry that could fund affordable clean energy for more Americans.

Palin’s addition to the ticket underscores the difference between the candidates on environmental issues. The McCain-Palin ticket is a recipe for energy disaster.”

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT JAY TIMMONS

“A consistent economic conservative, Gov. Palin understands first-hand the complexities and challenges of stimulating economic growth and job creation ... The job of a governor is perfect preparation to helping run the federal government.

REPUBLICAN SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON OF TEXAS, INTERVIEWED ON CNN:

“The fact that she’s not a Washingtonian, that she is a reformer, that she’s outside the Beltway is, you know, a point in her favor. The fact that I don’t know her, the fact that others maybe in Washington haven’t known her and she doesn’t know the ways of Washington might be the very best thing of all.”

MICHAEL LINDSAY, DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY, RICE UNIVERSITY, HOUSTON

“This has to be the biggest surprise in this year’s presidential campaign drama but it’s a strategically brilliant development for McCain. He needed a reformer ... But he also desperately needed to woo evangelical voters.

“Governor Palin’s involvement over the years with groups such as Feminists for Life and Fellowship of Christian Athletes sends all the right messages to these evangelical supporters.”

CHIP HANLON, PRESIDENT DELTA GLOBAL ADVISORS INC., HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA

“This was a fabulous pick. Not just strategically, because it sets up his ticket to be historic but also because this lady is really sharp.

“People who haven’t seen Governor Palin before will be blown away by her personality and her communication skills are going to make Joe Biden look even more boring than he already does.”

SUBODH KUMAR, CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST AT SUBODH KUMAR & ASSOCIATES, TORONTO

“An issue in the election is predictability and reliability. The election is likely to remain close because both tickets have elements of uncertainty.

“At the margin however, the Democrat team come out as clearer and more cohesive now so the selection of a relative unknown Palin as McCain’s VP pick is likely to hinder the Republicans.

“One positive for Palin is that as a governor, she does have experience running an administration while all the others are senators, which tend to be lone positions.”

DENNIS GOLDFORD, PROFESSOR OF POLITICS, DRAKE UNIVERSITY, DES MOINES, IOWA

“She brings an excitement on the part of the Republican base. The strong conservatives really like her and you have to activate the base. He is also clearly trying to attract Clinton supporters who want to see a female in the VP’s office ... On the down side there is no way in the world she passes the commander-in-chief test. Obama looks like the grand old man of American politics compared to Palin ... And she makes it look like McCain and his daughter are running.”

GEORGE SCHWARTZ, PRESIDENT AT SCHWARTZ INVESTMENT COUNSEL, BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICHIGAN

“The markets are not going to be happy with an Obama presidency ... and McCain is not particularly loved by Wall Street either. But if he picks Sarah Palin, I think the conservatives are going to come out roaring in favor -- it’s going to be a positive influence on economic activity.

“She’s a conservative, pro-life. She’s a Republican obviously, for drilling even in Alaska and also off-shore for increasing supply, she’s for alternative energies, including nuclear power -- all of the above when it comes to increasing energy independence.”

AL GOLDMAN, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, WACHOVIA SECURITIES, ST. LOUIS

“One of the biggest problems the GOP faces is being a good ol’ boy, not sensitive to women. Here you’ve got a very vivacious, young, pretty experienced woman -- more experienced than Barack Obama. I think she’s going to bring a lot of disenfranchised Clinton women to the GOP.

“As someone else said, ‘You can’t be further from Washington than Alaska.’ So she’s going to bring freshness, youth and women’s rights and women’s opportunities right to the forefront. Meanwhile, Obama picked the standard guy, Joe Biden.”

AL KUGEL, CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST AT ATLANTIC TRUST, CHICAGO

“I thought he would do well to pick a woman on the ticket but I thought he would pick someone with more experience in the Senate. I don’t think this has much market impact.”

TEXAS REP. RON PAUL, FORMER 2008 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

“I would say that’s pretty shrewd,” Paul said of McCain’s pick.

GERALDINE FERRARO, 1984 VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ON THE DEMOCRATIC TICKET WITH WALTER MONDALE, ON FOX NEWS

“It’s going to be a very interesting campaign. ... There are a lot of women who are disaffected by how Hillary (Clinton) was treated by the media, by how she was treated by the Obama campaign, by how she was treated by the Democratic National Committee, (DNC Chairman) Howard Dean not speaking up when sexism raised its ugly head.”

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