- First, is the McCain campaign in such serious trouble that they thought they needed to resort to such a blatantly transparent plea for attention. "Gee, Obama's a black guy so I guess I'd better pick. . .uh. . .a woman for my VP. Any woman. At least then maybe someone will notice me." That's how it looks to anyone with more than one brain cell. As far as I knew, McCain and Obama were pretty evenly matched in the polls. But this leads me to believe that the McCain campaign must have some SERIOUS reservations about their candidate's ability to win. The problem, of course, is not that he chose a woman for his VP. The problem is that, of all the eminently qualified and respected women in the country, he chose THIS particular unknown and unqualified PERSON.
- Choosing a woman for your running mate is a great idea. However, a woman who has at least SOME standing in the political world and SOME experience would've been nice. A choice of a woman with limited political experience but a top notch resume and high-standing would make sense. Gov. Sarah Palin doesn't have that and no one can seriously claim that she does. At the risk of offending any potential Alaskan readers, Alaska isn't exactly the center of political activity. Unless they suddenly give trees the right to vote. Palin's entire political resume consists of being mayor of some microscopic Alaskan town called Wasilla, unsuccessfully running for Lt. Governor in 2002 and serving as Governor of Alaska since 2006. In other words, she has been in REAL political office (I don't consider being mayor of your small hometown REAL political office) as Governor of Alaska about 2 months LESS than Obama has been running for president. Since the chance of Palin becoming President if McCain is elected are pretty good, McCain's choice for VP should have been someone with impeccable credentials and experience. In the words of Phil Rosen: "When you're 72 and you have had four bouts with cancer, you ought to choose a qualified VP." Frankly, if McCain becomes (the oldest elected) President , there's a good chance he might die in office. In the words of Joe Quint, McCain is older than Israel, Social Security and Phillips-head screws. Consequently, his judgment that thought Palin would make a good successor President is suspect . . . to put it MILDLY!
- A word about experience: Virtually McCain's entire campaign strategy of late is to try to convince everyone that Obama is not experienced enough to be president. This spurious opinion is not only inaccurate but now out of bounds. McCain can't very well harp on Obama's so-called inexperience while placing a woefully (and ACTUALLY) inexperienced woman as his Vice President; a woman who has a very good chance of becoming President when McCain possibly kicks the bucket during his term. By choosing Palin, McCain has essentially eliminated the only weak card he had to play. Do we really want someone whose strategical thinking is this bad to become our President?!?
- Governor Sarah Palin is known for two (and only two) things in her extremely brief career. As Governor she has striven to push through "ethics laws in politics" as government reform and she is in favour of the Alaskan gas pipeline and drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife refuge. Unfortunately, the so-called "ethical" champion is currently under investigation because one of her personal staff attempted to get her brother-in-law fired as state trooper because he's divorcing her sister. Palin's staffer "implied" he was acting on the Governor's behalf when calling the trooper's boss Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and trying to get him to fire the trooper. The boss refused (obviously because there was no grounds for dismissal other than the trooper was divorcing the Governor's sister). Palin then fired Monegan allegedly because he wouldn't fire the trooper. The Governor insists she never authorized any member of her staff to do any such thing and that she's "truly disappointed and disturbed to learn that a member of this administration contacted the Department of Public Safety regarding Trooper Wooten." Naturally. The only conclusions possible are either that she knew full well what was going on or else she has no control of her own staff and no knowledge of what's going on in her own administration. Neither scenario bodes well for a possible Vice President or future President. As regards the oil drilling, Palin's husband works for an oil company so she obviously has big oil interests at heart and her record shows this. Meanwhile, her support for oil drilling in Alaska's Wildlife refuge is opposed by her very own running mate John McCain.
- If the choice of Palin is meant to somehow woo Hillary Clinton supporters still feeling the sting of Obama's nomination, then that thinking is way off base. Frankly any Clinton supporter who would vote for McCain is out of their minds. Besides the fact that Obama and Clinton agree on almost all political platform points, McCain disagrees with just about all of them. That would be like cutting off your proverbial nose to spite your face. In the words of reporter Jill Porter, herself a Clinton supporter: "no one who shares (Hillary) Clinton's values could vote for anyone but (Obama) in November." So while McCain will gain absolutely no Democratic votes by choosing Palin, he will most certainly lose Republican and conservative votes from this choice.
These are the facts I've been able to dig up on Governor Palin so far today. Naturally since practically nobody has ever heard of her before today, that's what a lot of us will be doing. Being an unknown, Palin will most-assuredly have a lot to prove next week in St. Paul. More than most, in fact. She has apparently expressed in the best a yen for national office. However, is hitching her star to a very weak Republican presidential candidate -- (exactly how many times has McCain attempted to run for president and been summarily dismissed by his own party?!?! I forget) -- who has now I think made his position even weaker the way for her to go? For their sakes, they'd better hope they grow magic wands in Alaska because they'll need it. As I've said several times, the fact that Palin is a woman has no bearing on her qualifications for office; the fact that she has no real qualifications for office makes the fact that a woman was chosen merely a stunt. Don't we deserve better???
UPDATE!!! Um. . .yeah. So they were interviewing her on TV when I got home from work tonight. They asked her what she thought about Iraq. Her answer was -- and I shit you not - - "I don't know. I never thought about it."