Like everyone else, I was caught completely off-guard by John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as the GOP Veep candidate. I know next to nothing about Alaska politics so I’ve little to say on that score.
What I can say is that a reading of her resumé leads to the obvious conclusion that she is utterly unqualified to be vice president of the United States. John McCain is 72 and has had repeated bouts with cancer. Not to be morbid, but it’s not inconceivable that his vice president might at some point need to assume the powers of the presidency.
The veep slot is therefore not one for on-the-job training. Can you imagine Sarah Palin as President Palin? (I can see the headlines: “Hockey Mom to guide free world.”) Me neither, and neither, apparently, can the politicos in Alaska. From “Choice stuns state politicians” in the Anchorage Daily News:
State Senate President Lyda Green said she thought it was a joke when someone called her at 6 a.m. to give her the news.
“She’s not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?” said Green, a Republican from Palin’s hometown of Wasilla. “Look at what she’s done to this state. What would she do to the nation?”
That’s the Republican reaction. The Democratic response is, much like mine I suppose, about what you’d expect:
…Anchorage Democratic state Sen. Hollis French said it’s a huge mistake by McCain and “reflects very, very badly on his judgment.” French said Palin’s experience running the state for less than two years hasn’t prepared her for this.
Still, it’s the stunned nature of the Alaska Republicans where most of the giggles are to be found:
State House Speaker John Harris, a Republican from Valdez, was astonished at the news. He didn’t want to get into the issue of her qualifications.
“She’s old enough,” Harris said. “She’s a U.S. citizen.”
Former House Speaker Gail Phillips, a Republican political leader who has clashed with Palin in the past, was shocked when she heard the news Friday morning with her husband, Walt.
“I said to Walt, ‘This can’t be happening, because his advance team didn’t come to Alaska to check her out,” Phillips said.
Phillips has been active in the Ted Stevens re-election steering committee and remains in close touch with Sen. Lisa Murkowski and other party leaders, and she said nobody had heard anything about McCain’s people doing research on his prospective running mate.
“We’re not a very big state. People I talk to would have heard something.”
A few thoughts on the matter:
1. Sarah Palin should be nobody’s idea of “qualified to be president” and McCain’s nomination of her shows a terrible lack of judgment and a rather despicable display of political maneuvering in going after disaffected Hillary voters;
2. It appears that Palin was not vetted, and it’s not like she’s without ethical issues, namely this one;
3. I can’t wait for the veep debate between her and Biden;
4. It’ll take a little time to know for sure, and I wouldn’t say so without examining her and her record more closely (than, say, McCain did), but unless she’s really something, McCain may have just lost any chance at victory.
5. I doubt I’m the only one who thinks that, when all is said and done, Sarah Palin may not be the GOP veep candidate come November.