On Friday, John McCain named Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Republican party. Palin is the little known (at least on a national level) Governor of Alaska. Her biggest claim to fame was that she was the subject of a vigorous Online campaign to get her nominated to this post. I had written an article recently about McCain's VP choice and mentioned her as a possibility, but had quickly dismissed her because of the fact that she was unknown outside of Alaska. The idea that John McCain at 72 years old, having survived multiple bouts with skin cancer and lived through five and half years as a POW, would put a complete unknown with no national experience, a heartbeat away from the most powerful position in the world seemed ridiculous. But apparently, I was wrong.
This weekend it was revealed that Sarah Palin's 17 year old daughter Bristol, is pregnant. In a press release, Palin said that she and her husband are very excited and are looking forward to being grandparents and that her daughter will be marrying the father of the baby. McCain's minions were quick to point out that they knew all about this and the news was only released to counter the Internet rumors about Bristol being the mother of Sarah Palin's infant son. So we are supposed to believe that not only did John McCain know about this pregnancy, but they were going to keep it a secret? We also learned this week that McCain had met her only twice and yet is already referring to her as his "partner" and "soul mate". Perhaps if he would have asked his "soul mate" a few more questions, her daughter would have escaped the media frenzy that will now accompany her pregnancy.
I have no reason to attack Sarah Palin personally (I have no idea who the hell she is), but what I can attack is John McCain's reason for picking her for this job. Clearly he wanted to make a big splash in the press and realized that Pawlenty, Romney or Ridge wouldn't quite cut it. He apparently really wanted Lieberman, but the right wing of the party could not stomach that choice. He was basically backed into choosing Palin in order to fulfill his need to grab press attention away from Obama's Convention speech. His second goal in picking her was to try and collect the disaffected Hillary Clinton voters. Of course, he picked someone who stands against everything that Hillary Clinton supports. There were a small number of Clinton supporters who were going to vote for McCain anyway and this choice shouldn't have any effect on those who supported Clinton for her policies. The third reason for picking Palin was to appeal to the Right wing of the party. They are thrilled that he chose a dyed in the wool conservative to be his running mate. So by making this choice, he has achieved two of his three goals. He got the press coverage and he got his conservative base fired up.
I guess two out of three ain't bad, but where does that leave the rest of the country. McCain has constantly said that he has the judgment to lead this country, but the first real test of that judgment, he made a choice based on political expediency. He was not thinking of the good of the country when he picked Palin, he was thinking about covering his ass with his base. In his wildest of peyote induced hallucinations, he could not think that picking someone who two years ago was the mayor of a town of less than 8,000 (who won her election 616-487), who has never articulated any position on foreign policy or domestic policy, who is currently under investigation by her own state legislature, and who two weeks ago said that she wasn't sure what the Vice President did on a day to day basis, was the best choice for the country. It's almost amusing (if it weren't so deadly serious) to watch the right wing pundits talk about what a great choice Palin is and what she brings to the ticket.
John (shoot first ask questions later) McCain is basically daring the American people not to vote for him. The main thrust of his campaign thus far, has been to try to convince the voters that is opponent is too "famous" to make an effective leader. However, he has now made a Vice Presidential choice based on how much press coverage he would get. He has constantly harped on Obama's lack of experience and yet he goes out and picks someone who makes Obama look like Winston Churchill. I know there's a strategy in there somewhere, but what it is, only the man from Arizona knows for sure. So go ahead America, John (Dirty Harry) McCain is daring you not to vote for him. I know what you're thinking, is he crazy or just incompetent? And which one of those are you more comfortable voting for.