Friday, August 29, 2008

Some Thoughts On Sarah Palin As McCain's VP

I am somewhat shocked with McCain's choice for VP. Sarah Palin has done some things in Alaska which bear watching, but the thought of this basically inexperienced woman as a potential president is terrifying. The following is an editorial from Stephen Henderson of the Detroit Free Press. It's worth reading.

This is why people don’t like politics. And this is why people so deeply distrust politicians.

For months, the Republican party and its presidential nominee, John McCain, have been absolutely hammering Democratic nominee Barack Obama as inexperienced, and unready to be president.

The theme at their counter-convention tent in Denver last week, where the Democrats nominated Obama, was “A Mile High, an Inch Deep,” a clever but nasty allusion to the idea that Obama’s scant government experience is not sufficient to be commander in chief. But now comes Sarah Palin as McCain’s vice presidential choice. Sarah Palin? For 20 months, she has been governor of a state whose population is smaller than the City of Detroit’s. Prior to that, she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a town whose population is about 8,500 — about two-thirds the size of Berkley, Mich. Before that, she was on the city council in Wasilla for four years. That’s it.

On what planet is this pick not an example of a stunning — and galling — hypocrisy? By McCain’s own terms, Palin is an indefensible choice. And this is the problem with modern politics. Politicians say what they think they need to say to win votes, exploiting any advantage they can in the polls, and then they turn around and do exactly the thing they’ve criticized others for doing if it works, again, to their political advantage.

I’ve long said you wouldn’t take that kind of disingenuous kind of behavior from a friend, or an employee, or even from a dog; why on earth ought we to accept it from those who would lead us — into war, into the financial abyss, into the future?

The most disappointing aspect of this is that it comes from John McCain, whose reputation over three decades in Washington has been that of a straight shooter, someone who says what he means, and does what he says. Some are saying his choice of Palin shows boldness, and exemplifies his streak for doing what he thinks is best, regardless of what others might believe, or tell him. But if this is how that streak manifests itself, in a decision that makes no sense by the very criteria McCain set for himself, and the country, to judge his opponent, then perhaps his independence is more reckless than what we can afford in the Oval Office.

Perhaps his judgment suffers when confronted with political opportunity. That’s not to say that Palin, herself, won’t impress along the campaign trail. By all accounts (and there aren’t very many intimate ones, given the remoteness of her political career) she is smart, tough, and something of a maverick herself. They say she has stood up for ethics reform in Alaska, which is a political backwater whose corruption rivals Louisiana’s, and that she was committed to energy independence way before gas hit $4 per gallon. That’s all fine. It’s also fine that the political calculations — the need to woo Hillary Clinton supporters, the appeal to the far right wing that is gained by adding Palin’s strong pro-life credentials to the ticket — cut strongly in Palin’s favor. But you could say the same thing about Barack Obama, that his other qualities shine brighter than the shadow of his inexperience; Republicans have been telling us for months that argument doesn’t wash. Now, with Palin, what are they saying?

On principle, this pick is a slap in voters’ faces. It either assumes their stupidity, or exposes a disturbing lack of integrity on McCain’s part. Maybe both. That’s worth remembering in November.


Placing Sarah Palin's legitimate credentials for a Vice Presidential candidate up against Joe Biden's is almost ludicrous. How stupid does McCain think Hillary supporters are? I have gotten into my share of arguments with Hillary supporters, but I can't think of one of them who would vote for McCain on the basis of Sarah Palin being on the ticket. If anything this would be considered a blatant political move having no basis in any appreciation of Palin's abilities. Most of the Hillary supporters I know weren't completely about Hillary being a woman, but about the Clinton legacy and her legitimate experience. They saw her as a VALID female candidate in her own right, not a token bone in a lost election ala Geraldine Ferraro.

To be honest, I'm actually stunned with this choice. Does McCain have any integrity left?


  1. Perhaps the reverberation of last nights "more of the same"... pushed McCain over the edge but isn't that what he's known for. I have never seen him as a cookie-cutter Republican type. He's not in with Bush and his cronies..and they are probably sick at the thought of this "Palin-who-ever-the hell-she-is".... lol!!! Let the games begin!! Whew-ee!!
    I wonder if Obama wished he would have gone with Hillary now... yea, he really might of locked in those 18 million REAL voters who trusted a SMART person, who happens to be a woman to be #2 in charge. Biden is boring quite frankly, and he's more of the same ol' same ole... not too much for a campaign promising CHANGE up. Obama gambled on Biden... McCain was just being McCain, true to his Maverick ways... now, lets see what happens.

  2. She was a Buchanen supporter.. sigh.

  3. The more I read about Palin, the more I like her ... HOWEVER

    McCain is still going to be the one sitting first chair, and when I remind myself of that fact, when I remember that in reality the VP is only a key player IF the President is dead or incapacitated, then my choice is still clear, and it is a no brainer.

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  5. Obama really should have gone with Hillary... after all she did have more votes than he did... he just got the delegates that were strong armed by Kennedy and Pelosi..

  6. Palin is an interesting choice for McCain. She has not been Governor long enough to really insult, annoy or anger many of her Alaskan constituents, however there may be a case that was being developed against her which was mentioned on the MSNBC's Olberman last night. She supported the bridge to nowhere in Alaska, but the Republicans are spinning this in a way we know is a fabrication. In fact, she has really no history politically or personally that would raise eyebrows, at least on the surface, when it comes to pro-life issues. I believe she was chosen by McCain to pick up some female votes, as well as play on the family values theme again to pick up some die hard fanatical single issue pro-life fans on the religious right.

    McCain's choice of an ex-beauty queen is interesting too and he reminds me of Donald Trump in that way in how he prefers his women to look.

    McCain, whose age can not to be overlooked, is banking that he will survive a first term in office and that his VP running mate will not have to fill in for him in his absence. It doesn't seem to me, that Palin has what it takes to lead this country, but what she lacks in experience and substance she has on the surface for good PR to a lot of voters wishing to illegalize abortion who are easily swayed and deceived in the political games of presidential elections. With this selection of Palin, I think it strongly suggests that they are banking on the religious right-wing vote again - just as GW Bush had done to win the election.

  7. To anonymous - perhaps Obama has a cabinet position for Hillary and maybe she did not want to be the VP candidate. I think they worked out some sort of deal. I think if she had pushed Obama hard enough that she would have been the VP candidate.

  8. Perhaps you are right butterfly!
    ...then he should say so, to wrap up this election! :-)

    - delizza

    the darn google password keeps changing...

  9. I would really like it if both candidates would announce their cabinet choices before the election. It would be nice to know who was to be secretary of state under Obama, and how many of the Bush/Cheney crew would be in McCain's cabinet.

    I'm beginning to think McCain's choice of Palin is to fast track her to the top of the Republican pyramid similar to what the Dems did with Obama in 04. No question she represents a different face for the party even if her politics are to the right of McCain.