Well, things are certainly heating up now.
Thoughts on the Experience Issue:
After a year-and-a-half of the Republicans attacking what they believe to be Obama's thin resume, John McCain chooses an unknown from a state whose total population would rank as just the 16th largest city in the U.S., right behind Austin and just above Ft. Worth.
The supposedly inexperienced Obama has been the chief executive of a 20-month national campaign with a monthly budget of roughly $36 million dollars (three times the annual budget of the town Palin was mayor of). A national campaign that in upsetting Hillary Clinton, defeated the most powerful political machine in the Democratic party, if not the entire country.
The point is, either John McCain never really believed that Obama was unqualified, or he still believes it and has decided to make a politically expedient VP choice against his better judgment. If he believed it in the beginning but has had his mind changed by Barack's success over the last 20 months, he is taking a tremendous gamble in believing that Sarah Palin is equally capable.
Either way, the Republican party, John McCain, and Sarah Palin like to claim that because of her executive experience as mayor for six years of a town of 6,700 at the time, and then one-and-a-half years as governor of Alaska, she is more qualified than Barack Obama to be President.
If it's as simple as that, then any one of the mayors of Houston, San Jose, Indianapolis or Columbus, Ohio are more qualified than Sarah Palin to be President of the United States.
If it's as simple as that, any one of the governors of the 46 states with larger populations than Alaska are more qualified than Sarah Palin.
If it's as simple as that, Sarah Palin is more qualified than John McCain himself.
It isn't that simple and it's why the campaign process is so important. It makes the candidates better on their way to becoming the nominee, and it eliminates the ones who aren't quite ready to be there. In leap-frogging a rigorous vetting process of any kind, John McCain has rolled the dice on Sarah Palin.
Thoughts on Diabolical Genius
But you've got to hand it to them, there is a genius to the pick. For the past several years, Barack Obama has proven that there is substance to back up his celebrity. Palin on the other hand, is a blank canvas that can be colored in to suit the needs of the day, and they'll push back against the push back, hoping to ride the wave to November 4th.
- So she can receive raucous applause for saying things like, "I told Congress 'Thanks, but No Thanks' on that Bridge to Nowhere." Even though she didn't. She supported the building of the bridge throughout her campaign and killed the project only after Congress removed the earmark. And even then, she was still happy to take that quarter of a billion dollars from Congress.
- Or, "It’s easy to forget that this is
a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or even a
reform, not even in the state Senate." First of all, one was a memoir, the other was a hopeful discourse on reclaiming the American dream, way to mock that. Anyway, she must not be counting:
- 1998 Ethics Overhaul in Illinois – Interesting that someone claiming to bring reform to Washington wouldn't consider this major
- 2007 Ethics Reform in Washington D.C. – see above
- Lugar (R) Obama (D) Nuclear Nonproliferation – Bipartisan effort to expand the State Department's ability to detect and destroy WMD.
- Creation of National Emergency Family Locator System
- Obama (D) Coburn (R) Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act – a worthy cause, considering McCain himself has joined Obama and Coburn to introduce follow-up legislation strengthening the act.
- And speaking of mocking things, in her acceptance speech, Palin said, "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities." Wow, seriously? Any of you reading this know a social worker? Ask them if they have responsibilities. Any of you volunteer at a church? Know a missionary? And my goodness, did it not occur to any of the tens of thousands of delegates in that hall who are working their butts off to get John McCain elected that they are community organizers?
Jon Stewart summarizes some of this absurdity well: