Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin for VP is McCain's gamble

Chuck Todd couldn't keep reminding us how much McCain loves craps and to gamble. I think the American Voter would do well to keep this in mind.

The entire media world is a buzz and in shock over this announcement. I think there are various comments floating to how "cute" she is and about her inspiring family story. As a story, you can't deny the human interest story where she recently gave birth to a baby who has Down's Syndrome. However, I don't believe this warrants justification as qualification to be VP of the United States. Pundits and politicians alike are critiquing McCain's choice, and the opinions range from the ecstatic to the perplexed.

I think this is all a circus, and of course this acts like catnip for the MSM. So they will be discussing and analyzing this to death.

Speaking of circus, I almost fell out of my chair when I saw the forum at the Nutter Center, which is where my high school graduation took place. I think about when Obama made his VP announcement in Springfield, outside the steps where Lincoln once made great speeches, and was speechless to see McCain's pep rally to announce his VP choice. I kid you not, there were cheerleaders to get the crowd excited about McCain's arrival, as it did not start promptly at noon, unlike Obama's rally which did. I couldn't believe it, for a "historical" announcement, we might as well have been at a basketball game!

There are those who will say it's a great choice, and a gamble for McCain to pander to Hillary voters and answer the call of change. Clearly, McCain, like Hillary, has realized the argument for experience for Obama is not working, given the high caliber of his intelligence, and his fast rising experience on the national political stage. So now, McCain is on the "change" bandwagon.

The problem I see for McCain, is that this was never about change for change sake. Furthermore, if McCain thinks that sticking any woman to the VP slot is what women want, then he is seriously mistaken. To compare Sarah Palin as being more qualified than say Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Christine Whitman, or Hillary Clinton, is laughable.

The election has always been about the disgust of the American voter with the economy, and that "change" is required to bring about new leadership. If McCain wanted to regain his "maverick" brand, I would have respected him more if he had selected Lieberman. Palin does not represent change, rather she is just a female version of George W. Bush. So from my perspective, McCain STILL does not get it.

Both were relatively new comers to the political scene, very homey and western, loves hunting, and have very conservative social values. Neither are known for their keen intellect, although to be fair to Palin, I don't know how intelligent she is, so I guess I will have to see her in action. What I know of her, is that she has a B.S. in Journalism, so I assume she can write and speak publicly to some reasonable ability.

Sarah Palin, a former runner-up Miss Alaska, has NO experience on the national level, nor does she have any exposure to foreign policy. Now I am sure this self-professed "hockey" mom is a great family person, however, I am not confident of her leadership skills not knowing how her term as Governor has gone. In addition, prior to being a governor of only 18 months, she was a mayor of a small town with a population of less than 7,000. This is not to disparage small town mayors or governors, but I struggle to see how with her background and education, she will stand toe to toe against the likes of Putin or Chavez.

What's laughable is that they are trying to beef up her credentials by giving her Governor's title a make-over. They are saying she has Chief Executive experience. Chief Executive experience for all of 18 months??? This is supposed to reassure us that she can step in as President of the United States?

Ironically, the pundits and reports are asking for opinions about her, and saying "we should be fair". So wait, we are supposed to baby her because she's a woman?? How insulting, if she can't take the criticisms, and if she isn't tough enough to stand on her own merits, she has NO business being a VP Candidate.

For the Republican party who tried to paint Obama as risky, this is beyond the pale, and typically hypocritical of the party. And to try and compare Palin to Obama is insane. Obama had more experience and political awareness than Palin before he has even run for President of the United States. Four years ago, Obama was the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, and he has 6 years experience in the Senate, and voters have been aware of Obama for almost two years - about the same amount of time she has spent as Governor.

In addition, she herself is under legislative investigation for abuse of power. What is it with these Alaskan politicians who seem to think they are above the law? What's interesting is that the Anchorage Newspaper made this observation:

But there is something in Sarah Palin's personality that prohibits her from saying, "I screwed up." She seems to obsess on something and will do almost anything to get her way.

The sad part of it is if she would at any point just come clean, Alaskans would forgive her... But nobody likes someone who cannot admit when they are wrong. Sarah Palin is a classic example of that.

As a female voter, to select this woman who's political platform goes against every single modern woman's concern, I am in disbelief over McCain's out right patronization. After Obama's brilliant speech last night, which was seen by more than 38 Million Americans, those Independents and Hillary supporters who kept an open mind, clearly saw what's at stake, and for those I think Obama has been able to reach out to them.

For the few remaining die-hard PUMAs, this choice doesn't change anything for the Obama. If they were unwilling to vote for Obama after his speech, this VP announcement doesn't really take anything away from the voters that Obama was able to reach. However, the risk for McCain, is that the die-hard PUMAs may take a look at Palin's clear social conservative values, and realize that this is not for them.

The very fact that this VP Candidate is a heart-beat away from the Presidency, for a 72 year old candidate, disturbs me greatly.

Frankly, I don't mind if McCain goes to Vegas to gamble, I just prefer he does not do this with America's Future with a clearly inexperienced, untested, and unqualified candidate such as Palin.
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