I am absolutely stunned by Senator John McCain’s choice of the first term woman governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, to be his Vice Presidential running mate.
It makes me wonder if Senator McCain is able to handle the burdens and responsibilities of being President for the next four to eight years, and it terrifies me at the thought that an inexperienced woman who has almost no track record and is governor of the second smallest state in population, MIGHT be President of the United States.
Of course, I can imagine many Republicans stating: Senator Biden represents a state (Delaware) that is also very small in population. The response to that is being a Senator from a small population state is totally different than being the Governor of a small population state. A Senator deals with national and international issues, and Senator Biden has a long, distinguished record of service and contributions since his first election to the Senate in 1972. A governor of a state that has only about two thirds of a million people, about the size of a typical congressional district, and has NEVER had any background and experience in foreign and defense policy, is a tremendous risk for our future, particularly since McCain, if elected, would be the oldest first term President, and were anything to happen to him, putting Governor Palin in the White House would be a FAR greater risk than putting Senator Barack Obama in the White House.
No matter how bright and talented Governor Palin may be, can you imagine the upcoming Vice Presidential debate of Palin against Joe Biden? Does anyone in their sane mind think she can compete with his brilliance and convince people that she is a SAFE choice to replace Senator McCain were he to be elected President?
The argument that Senator Obama is inexperienced and risky has been overcome by the choice of Governor Palin by Senator McCain. Palin is far more inexperienced and risky, and unfortunately, reminds us of past choices of the Republicans for Vice President, two of whom unfortunately became Vice President and caused many grey hairs, and both who came quite close to the possibility of succession. I am referring to Vice President Spiro Agnew under President Richard Nixon, who if he had not been caught in his own corruption in 1973 and forced out of office, would have succeeded President Nixon when he ultimately resigned in August 1974. How relieved we all were that Gerald Ford, with all of his faults and shortcomings but with decent instincts, became the successor to Richard Nixon! The second case was Vice President Dan Quayle, who was an embarrassment as Vice President under President George H W Bush, a man who made constant gaffes and one often had to wonder about his basic intelligence, and yet who we had to be concerned about becoming President, when Bush had some health issues. Another choice, who fortunately never became Vice President, but was also seen as ill qualified to become President, was Congressman William E Miller, chosen by Senator Barry Goldwater to be his running mate in the 1964 Presidential election.
The choice of Sarah Palin certainly cannot be seen as a reason why women, particularly Hillary Clinton supporters, would rush to support of McCain. If McCain had followed my suggestion and chosen Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, that might have been conceivable. Also, since Palin is strongly pro life on the abortion issue, there is no way that Democratic women are going to be willing to cross the aisle in large numbers.
The Republicans love to promote family values, but the news that Sarah Palin just gave birth in April to a child who has Downs Syndrome, which requires a tremendous amount of effort and dedication by parents, and that she is willing to take on the heavy responsibilities of the Vice Presidency, makes you wonder how that demonstrates family values on her part. She should be dedicating all her time outside of the light responsibilities of the Alaska governorship, to the role of being a dedicated, involved, loving mother.
My conclusion is that Senator McCain, demonstrating poor judgment in a very important decision, has damaged heavily his chances of winning the Presidency, and should he win, and should he unfortunately have a health crisis, or even fail to survive his term of office, we will be in a position of having fear and concern about his possible successor. The Vice Presidential office demands people with the credentials and abilities of a Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, George HW Bush, Al Gore, and Dick Cheney.
Anyone putting bets on John McCain becoming the next President had better think twice, as the odds have just rapidly changed!