Friday, August 29, 2008
Sarah Palin-All in All, a Hell of a Choice
Left: "Sarah Palin is inexperienced and unqualified to be president."
Right: "And Barack Obama?"
The Palin pick: A case of rope-a dope?
The more I see of Sarah Palin, the more I love this choice for a variety of reasons.
First of all, let me get one thing out of the way. I cannot argue that she is ready to be president from day one. She needs seasoning, and I pray McCain will be able to serve a full term. On the other hand, I don't think Hillary Clinton was ready either. More importantly, either is Barack Obama.
Of course, the Obama campaign jumped quickly on her rather thin resume. The first thing we heard was this from Obama spokesman, Bill Burton:
"Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain's commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush's failed economic policies -- that's not the change we need, it's just more of the same," said Bill Burton, Obama Campaign Spokesman."
What Mr Burton failed to remember was that his candidate, Barack Obama, is just as inexperienced as Palin if not more so. Apparently, some Obama staffers understood this because later comments throughout the day focused more on her conservative ideals rather than the lack of experience. Obama et al also have to remember that they alienated millions of women by their "dissing" of Hillary. Do they want to repeat that?
Of course, it could be argued back and forth who has the most political experience. Obama has 12 years in the Illinois State Senate and US Senate total, while Palin has 13 years in local municipal politics (small-town mayor and less than two years as Alaska's governor.) It could be argued that a governor has daily managerial experience, while a US Senator gives speeches and casts votes. At any rate, take your pick.
The point is that Burton's comment was a case of premature shooting from the hip. (Of course, it can be argued that McCain's arguments against Obama's inexperience have been weakened considerably by his choice of Palin.)
Not surprisingly, MSNBC broke the news in a thoroughly biased and unprofessional manner today. Under the headline "Breaking news", MSNBC flashed the pick with the sub-title; "How many houses will Palin mean for McCain?" (I may have a word or two off here, but it was a clear shot at McCain's bumbling of the number of homes he owns.) Is that what you call professional journalism? Whatever happened to the line between straight news reporting and editorializing?
Most conservatives seem to be very happy with the choice, and there are an abundance of reasons they should be. First of all, Palin is a solid conservative. She is pro-life, and just recently chose to have her fifth child last April even though she knew it would be born with Downs Syndrome. She is pro-gun (a member of NRA)and pro-drilling in ANWR. (Hopefully, she can influence McCain in that regard.) She is also, in virtually every respect, the un-Hillary. Did I mention that Palin (a former beauty queen) is also drop-dead gorgeous? That, of course, shouldn't count for anything-but it does.
Notwithstanding Mr Burton's statement, Palin's selection cannot be considered "more of the same". It was an exciting pick. Probably McCain and his advisers realized they were in a position where they had to steal the attention away from Obama. That they did.
I am certainly no advocate of picking people for jobs just because they fit into some gender or racial slot. Yet, America is fast approaching the day when we are not going to see many more all-male, all-white tickets. The country is ready for a minority president, just as it is ready for a female president. We should still insist on the right person, however.
It could very well be that McCain has played rope-a-dope with the Obama campaign, hoping they would jump up without thinking and scream, "inexperienced, not qualified". If so, Mr Burton fell right into the trap.
Thus far, I am very pleased that McCain chose a young and attractive conservative. As for the inexperience factor, which do you prefer, an experienced president with an inexperienced vice president or an inexperienced president with an experienced vice president? Take your pick.