Saturday, August 30, 2008
By Allen Bacon
We've had about 24 hours now to pick our collective jaws up off the floor as a nation after John McCain announced Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice President candidate.
First of all, if you are thinking in terms of her being the first woman VP candidate on the Republican side and you want an argument about that don't read any further. I'm not going there. That's because it is irrelevant.
Why do we get all excited about the fact that she is a woman and she may be a heartbeat from the president? Aren't we beyond that? England and India were way ahead of the curve on this. Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meier ran their respective countries pretty effectively. And that was a long time ago.
I question John McCain's motives. Is he trying to get Hillary Clinton's supporters vote? Does he really think that after the events in Denver this past week that the Clinton supporters, after hearing rousing endorsements from both Senator Clinton and Former President Bill Clinton and after listening to motivating pleas from Senator Obama and Senator Biden that they are going to jump ship and become Republicans all of a sudden? If that is his reasoning for choosing Governor Palin over Mitt Romney (who would have made a great economic advisor that we so desperately need) or Joe Lieberman (who would of brought us a moral compass) then he is off sides.
The other thing I didn't understand was McCain taking out a full page ad congratulating his opponent. Again for the wrong reason. He tried to tie in the fact that it was historic for a man of color to be the first nominee and how ironic it came on the date of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech. Again, the color of Barack Obama's skin is irrelevant. We're picking the leader of the free world. We need to pick the best person available. We don't care what the color of his skin is. Or we shouldn't. Not even Barack Obama highlighted the irony of Thursday night.
Let's talk about Governor Palin for a bit. I spent a lot of time in Alaska this past year. They have some extremely challenging issues that they face that the average American may not be aware of. First of all there is the issue of Oil Drilling and mining rights balanced against the preserving of easily the most wonderous and beautiful natural environment in America. Next, there are issues of Global Warming. Did you know some towns in Alaska are seriously considering moving and making plans to uproot to get out of the way of increased water levels? And we're not even touching on all the issues faced by Native Americans like the Inupaiqs and the Inuits.
Governor Sarah Palin has dealt with these complex issues every day starting from her time on the City Council in Wasilla, AK. On top of that, she had the courage to call Senator Stevens on easily the biggest political boondoggle of all time...the infamous "Bridge To Nowhere". So we would be getting at the very least an honest, hard working and knowledgable Vice President.
My concern is that she may be too young. Even with all these things Palin is handling, I would much rather see her (and I said the same thing about Barack Obama) come into a cabinet position and get the experience on the Executive level before taking the step of challenging for the Presidency or being considered for Vice President.
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