Opinion: First town hall together, Sarah Palin and John McCain mesh well

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Back together again on the campaign trail, the talking Republican duo of Sen. John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin showed an easy camaraderie tonight in their first joint town hall meeting here.

McCain deferred to Palin, Palin deferred to McCain and both sang the praises of the other in front of an attentive, adoring crowd at Grand Rapids Community College.

So well are the two working together that campaign officials are considering keeping them as a political pair at many more events in these last 48 days before Nov. 4. As The Ticket reported earlier this evening, Palin has also shown considerable skill on her own as a party fundraiser.

It was the first time Palin, the brand-new running mate, took questions from voters. For the most part, those questions were softballs. And they were handled with ease.


One woman said her question was for Palin, not McCain, and she wanted to know ‘your response to people who have said you can’t be a mother and a vice president, which of course you can.’

Said Palin: ‘Well, let’s prove them wrong.’ And then she launched into praise for McCain, ‘the maverick,’ who decided to put her on the ticket as the first female in the GOP’s 154-year history.

When a voter asked Palin if she’d been able to persuade McCain to support drilling for oil in a corner of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, she said, ‘I’m still working on it.’

Joked McCain, ‘This town hall meeting is adjourned!’

Another voter asked Palin if she would respond to critics who say she is not ready to deal with foreign policy questions.

‘I think because I’m a Washington outsider, opponents are going to be looking at a whole lot of things to tear down the ticket,’ the governor responded, adding that she has the confidence to serve.

‘You can ask me; you can even play stump the candidate if you like,’ invited Palin. Our Tribune colleague Jill Zuckman has more details on tonight’s event over at the Swamp.

-- Andrew Malcolm