Initial Thoughts on the Sarah Palin Pick
Boy, was I wrong. For about a year now, I’ve been absolutely convinced that if McCain was the GOP nominee for president, Tim Pawlenty would be his running mate. That view formed into conventional wisdom over the last month or two. Um… oops.
I don’t know much about Sarah Palin. She is currently the subject of an ongoing ethics investigation, but it could well be unwarranted. The citizens of Alaska, who are about to throw out bums Ted Stevens and Don Young and already took care of Mike Gravel and Frank Murkowski, certainly like her, so that speaks well enough of her. Perhaps she's "one of the good ones," I don't know. But, aside from my excitement that no matter what, one of the top two spots in the land will belong to either a woman or a black man, my initial reaction is somewhat negative. Here are a few quick thoughts:
1. The right wing talking heads on CNN are trying to spin Palin as more experienced than Obama, but I don’t buy it. He’s been a US Senator twice as long as she’s been a Governor, and spent just as much time in a state legislature that set laws for the nation’s third largest city as she spent running a town of 6,000 people. Sure, her experience is executive rather than legislative, but then again, so was George W. Bush’s, and we all know that turned out. One could even joke that Joe Biden has more executive experience than Sarah Palin, because his committee staff is larger than the population of Alaska…
It will be very hypocritical of McCain if he keeps up the drumbeat that Obama is “not ready to lead.” If experience is so important, why would he choose to put a brand-new governor with such a short resume just one heartbeat – one very old cancer-surviving heartbeat – away from the presidency?
2. In her first speech as McCain’s VP pick, Palin said, “Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America. But it turns out the women of America aren't finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all.”
Really, Sarah? Your run for the VICE Presidency will shatter the glass ceiling? I thought that the Oval Office itself was what women should be shooting for, but y’know, I’m just a guy, so what do I know. Maybe the #2 spot is as high as women can go, and earning it will mean the job is, as you say, “finished.”
3. Is this a little TOO ambitious for McCain? One is kind of forced to wonder, does he really think she’d make the best President in the unfortunate case of his demise, or is he saying, “Well, you’ve got a black guy, so I’ll take a woman!” I’m probably being overly cynical, she is a very popular Governor and from a state where Obama is trying to make inroads, so I won’t belabor this point.
4. My third and, for now, final thought on the Palin pick is not my own, but those of humorist Andy Borowitz:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz)used the announcement of his vice-presidential pick, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, to blast the experience of his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill), arguing that Sen. Obama has never been the mayor of a 5,000-person town.
"The Presidency of the United States of America is the toughest job on the planet," Sen. McCain said. "And my friends, the best testing ground for that job is being the mayor of a 5,000-person town in Alaska."
Sen. McCain unleashed a savage attack on Sen. Obama, claiming that his Democratic opponent would be "at a loss" when faced with the challenges of running a 5000-person municipality in Alaska.
"Let's say a constituent calls you and says that a caribou has wandered onto his front lawn," he said. "My friends, Barack Obama wouldn't know what to do."…
Mr. McCain said that an understanding of foreign affairs, Congress, and other issues that a president has to deal with is "overrated," adding, "That's what Presidency for Dummies' is for."