Saturday, August 30, 2008


Sarah Palin? Really?!

Image Credit: Anchorage Daily News

By and large, we've refrained from putting presidential political commentary on this blog. It's not from a lack of thought and opinion on the subject. In short: we are inspired by and ethusiastically for Obama. We enjoyed the Democratic convention this past week, and next week's RNC will be quite interesting - being in our backyard and all. So maybe the Republican choice for VP isn't as interesting to us.

But, really, what on Earth is McCain thinking?

I guess I can fathom some of the thought process that lead to this choice. First off, Palin is anti-choice, rabidly so - a boon to the social conservatives. She's not Washington. She has, I guess, a reputation of being a crusading maverick, something that would naturally appeal to McCain - the image of McCain that he's tried to cultivate. She loves oil and gas. Oh, and guns. She's young, beautiful, and energetic.

And, oh yeah, she has breasts and ovaries. More on that in a moment.

But I can't possibly imagine how this actually helps McCain. If Obama is too inexperienced to be President, how much better is it to put Palin a 72-year old heartbeat away from the Oval Office? That number one argument against Obama goes right out the window. Theoretically she has executive experience - two whole years as governor of the nation's 3rd least populated state. But she has no particular expertise to bring to the table - economics, foreign policy, defense (being titular head of the Alaska national guard isn't quite the same), technology, or energy (a love of oil and gas dosn't count - you need more than that today).

No, I think the main thing she brings to the table are social conservative bona fides, and the fact that she's a woman. She'll be able to say all the things Republicans want to hear, and look great on camera doing that. The social conservative stuff is all well and good, but energizing the base probably won't be enough this time.

So, I think it boils down to: does McCain think we're all stupid? Does he think an otherwise undistinguished female VP candidate, by virtue of being a kindred "hockey mom," will be able to sway enough women to swing the election? The women who supported Hillary's candidacy are not going to support Palin, no matter how bitter they still are about the primaries, because they two are opposites in all ways except for that XX chromosome thing. Palin is not heir apparent to Hilary's trailblazing. Unless, of course, McCain and the GOP think women are stupid enough that they'll just not notice or care about the difference.

Think of it - of the others widely believed to be on McCain's short list, is Palin really the most qualified, not merely to compliment McCain's ticket, but to actually be President? No, I think that, for whatever reason, they rearranged their priorities away from the ones that matter most, and put "woman" at the top as though it were some trump card. Instead of another Dan Quayle, I think McCain will end up with another Harriet Meyers.

No comments: