Friday, August 29, 2008

A Bit of Fresh Air, If Nothing Else

So McCain picked Sarah Palin for VP. Some thoughts......

- An amiable governor of a small-population state who is little-known outside that state, basically solid but not overly right-wing GOP credentials, registers zero on the foreign policy scale..... If Mike Rounds were female he might have had a shot.

- I can't help but think that a Palin-McCain ticket would be more interesting than McCain-Palin. You would have a young reform-minded politician with an experienced Washingtonian to provide advice in areas in which the President lacks experience. Hmm.....sounds like Obama-Biden. (Or Bush-Cheney in 2000. Remember the Compassionate Conservative slogan?). As it is, I don't see what Palin can offer McCain except a reminder of lost youth. It's easy to see why a number of commentators have said this pick is about campaign dynamics, not governing.

- If nothing else, it at least brings freshness to the front of a party which needs it. With a 70+ nominee, a legacy President, a VP who worked for Gerald Ford, and a bunch of nomination-seekers who looked and acted like they had been put in a time capsule in 1984, new blood is definitely in order.

- As a Monty Python fan, it's good to see the name Palin in the spotlight.


Dale said...

The odds of my voting for McCain are zero regardless, but this selection truly dumbfounds me.

Sure, I suppose there's a "fresh" quality to it. But it's the same "fresh" quality that would have come with selecting the third caller to the radio show or the sixth person off the next bus.

Three days ago I couldn't have told anyone who the governor of Alaska was. If someone had given me the name "Sarah Palin" and asked me to place her, I would have been unable.

Clearly, we've all learned a lot about her in the last few days. She seems like a Christianist wacko on all the "culture wars" issues. Beyond that, her public record suggests no readiness to be the president of the USA.

It's possible she'll surprise me and everyone with an exceptionally keen mind to compensate for her complete lack of relevant experience. But it would be a big surprise.

The final jury is still out; she's new to me and nearly everyone. But from everything I can see right now, this says a lot about McCain, and none of it is flattering. Even with my lack of esteem for McCain, I am genuinely surprised at how inept and frivolous this selection seems.

Again: I want Obama to win. I am not playing a "concern troll" game here -- when McCain screws up, it's good news to me, politically. But as a citizen who might not get the electoral outcome I prefer, I do worry about the possible ramifications of this. Sarah Palin of all people a heartbeat away? This is not a good thought.

Mike said...

dale, I did see comparisons to Dan Quayle mentioned on the internet. As I recall, he was also picked more to kiss up to a portion of the Republican base than to be ready to serve.

The big difference here is that G.H.W. Bush had a bigger lead on the Grim Reaper than McCain does.