Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sarah Who?

Why Sarah Palin Scares MeImage by Jon Person via Flickr

Someone made the mistake of saying they were curious to hear my thoughts on McCain's VP pick. So, here you go.

Let me begin by saying I know nothing about Sarah Palin that I didn't learn in the last 22 hours. And, I mean that literally. I had never heard her name until yesterday. So, I was stunned by the pick. McCain had a plethora of qualified men to choose from. But, let's say he wanted to go with a woman. Why not Carly Fiorina or Kay Bailey Hutchinson?

This pick seemed right out of left field. My research uncovered the following. Her name was tossed around for consideration earlier in the process but once she had her baby (just 4 months ago) and that baby is a special needs baby, I guess most people had written her off as a serious contender for the VP nomination. Here's what a quick fact check I did yesterday turned up. She's young (younger than Obama). She has had zero experience at national politics. She's been governor of the state with the 48th ranking in population in the union for less than two years. She has a journalism degree. The professors at her college don't seem to remember her. She seems to be even more right than Bush and McCain put together. She sued the federal government over the endangered status of polars bears (and not to protect the bears). She's more tied in with big oil than Bush. She's been called George Bush in a skirt. She's "pro-life" (read anti-choice). I read that she's been called a "maverick" and she says she opposed the bridge to nowhere. But, there have been some questions raised about that.

The choice had me mystified. So, after reading the sources I thought would be non-biased, I flipped over to see what the Republicans were saying. I guess the move is supposed to shore up the base that McCain hasn't been able to reach. By having someone so staunchly anti-choice, the Evangelicals are thrilled. They're hoping her blue collar background will play well in the swing states. And, I guess they think some of Hillary's PUMAS will vote for McCain simply because he put a woman on the ticket.

Now, my opinion. It seems to me this is simply blatant pandering by McCain and possibly an attempt to show he's a maverick. A couple of my more right-leaning friends have said they are thrilled with the choice and one of the reasons is the GOP didn't shove their choice down McCain's throat. So, there you go. But, to me, this choice is more insulting to women than it is "historic". Historic would have been to pick the most qualified person. That is a woman, if a woman is more qualified, not to skip over all the more qualified candidates to reach down to choose a woman. To assume that Hillary supporters will vote for this anti-choice candidate just because she wears makeup and a skirt is the ultimate insult to women, IMO. It doesn't show that McCain respects women, it shows that he's trying to manipulate them. McCain has talked about how Obama doesn't have the experience to lead. But, then this 72 year old cancer survivor asks us to elect him to the White House and put a 44 year old hockey mom with a 5 month old baby one heartbeat from the presidency? And, what kind of a "family oriented" mom would accept the position with her infant child at home?

This choice is scary to me for a number of reasons. And, if it wins McCain votes, it'll be from those one-issue "values" voters. Overall, Sarah Palin's story would make a great movie script. But, I don't see what in her resume qualifies her to be the Vice President of the United States, particularly since just a short time ago she said she didn't know what the job entails.

As my friend Jimmy would say "Lord have mercy".

Peace,
Brian

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