After Grandpa John's pick of former small-town mayor and less-than-half-term Governor Sarah Palin has had a few days to percolate, we thought we'd offer a few random thoughts on the selection.
1) It is the most shallow selection of a running mate we have seen in our years of following politics. It's clear that Palin was selected for 1 1/2 reasons. She was selected because she's a woman, plain and simple. She is one-dimensional. Though she may carry Alaska's whopping three electoral votes for McCain (which he might have won anyway), it's clear by her announcement speech that her purpose is to target so-called disaffected Hillary voters.
Will some Clinton supporters vote for McCain? Probably, maybe even because of this selection. But the pick shows just how stupid McCain, Rove and his team think women really are. We think most women out there are smart enough to realize who agrees with them and who doesn't, and your average Hillary supporter is going to take one look at Mommy Sarah and realize that she is anti-choice (no exceptions), pro-assault rifles (no exceptions), anti-evolution (no exceptions) and pro-abstinence only sex education (how'd that work?).
2) How experienced is she? It amuses me that Republicans said Kathleen Sebelius didn't have the experience to be VP. You know, like 10 years in the Kansas House, eight years as Kansas Insurance Commissioner and six years as Kansas Governor. Now these very same people are clamoring about what a "great pick" mommy (or should I say grandma?) Sarah is and how her "executive experience" makes her the most prepared of the four candidates. Then why isn't she on the top of the ticket?
Sure, she's spent more total years in elected office than has Barack Obama, who spent seven years in the Illinois State Senate before being elected to the United States Senate in 2004, but does any of her past experience translate to being Vice President, a weak heartbeat away from being the leader of the free world? She was a city councilwoman and then mayor of a village, not a city, not a town, but a village, in ALASKA! A tenure marked by hiring and firing controversies for which she's had to hire a lawyer.
3) She fought corruption. Right. She asked several city employees, including the LIBRARIAN, to resign for "not supporting her administration. In her announcement speech, she made it seem like she single-handedly slay the infamous bridge to nowhere, which was actually stripped by Congress. But in fact, she worked for corrupt/indicted Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens (author of the earmark) from 2003 - 2005, serving as a director of his 526 group.
4) She's a crazy right-winger. She supported Pat Buchannan's Presidential run in 1996. 'Nuff said.
5) Is her family really off limits? Probably. But it bothers me when candidates use their family for political points and say "Look at how wholesome and pure our family values are" and then when it inevitably comes out that they are anything but, families become off limits. This applies to both parties. Ultimately, the fact that her family-values-abstinence-only fiefdom of seven includes a kid who got knocked up doesn't have anything to do with her ability to be Vice President, but if she wants to paint herself as pro-family and morally superior, as the Christian Right does, then she better make sure she can back it up.
6) What kind of mother with a five-month old special-needs child and a pregnant daughter thinks now would be a good time to get thrown into the national limelight? "Now Bristol, I know you're pregnant, but mommy has political aspirations, so you're just going to have to be made to feel like a whore by the media for awhile, OK?" I'm sure the nanny they hire if she becomes Vice President will be great with the baby too.
7) I wish the media would figure out how they're going to pronounce her name and stick with it. Is it Pal-lin? Pay-lin? Pay-leen? Puh-lynn? I don't care if it's correct, can we just make it uniform?