McCain's VP pick creates uncertainty in disciplined Obama team

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London, Sept.5 : Senator Barack Obama's team has built a reputation for discipline over the past 20 months, but Republican rival John McCain's maverick selection of 44-year-old Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, has reportedly created an atmosphere of uncertainty about what lies ahead in the run-up to the November 4 presidential poll.

The Palin phenomena, a prominent Democrat said on Thursday, would make the presidential race closer.

He suggested that the Obama campaign has walked into a Republican mousetrap by demonstrating class and gender prejudice against a modern, middle-class woman.

According to The Guardian, the initial reaction from the Obama team was to criticise McCain for picking someone with so little experience, but a few hours later there was a joint statement from Obama and his vice-presidential running mate, Joe Biden, welcoming as historic the Republicans' first woman vice-presidential candidate.

Obama's team then joined in the trawl through her background and Biden went on to call her "good looking" - a comment many could regard as patronising - before saying her speech lacked substance.

The latter is the approach many Democrats thought the Obama team should have taken from the start, presenting the Republicans as the tired old party, short of ideas, in contrast to the Democrats.

Tad Devine, chief strategist for the unsuccessful 2004 presidency run by Democratic John Kerry, thinks the Palin impact will wane quickly.

He is of the view that vice-presidents normally are only prominent at three points in a campaign: when chosen, at their convention speech, and during the vice-presidential debate.

The prime task for the Democrats is to stop Palin winning over women.

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