Uh-oh. I’m gonna get political here. You’ve been warned.
I strongly believe that a candidate’s first presidential decision is his or her running mate. Remember Dan Quayle? When Mondale chose Ferraro without vetting her properly first, I knew he was in trouble. Leader of the free world fails to do his homework. When Cheney chose Bush, I knew WE were in trouble. Puppet leader of the free world chooses puppet dumber than Charley McCarthy. So this is an important choice, folks.
Obama’s choice was brilliant. Biden is a known contender with some flaws but, those flaws are already known. Gonna dredge them up? Try the New York Times for the past 20+ year. Public knowledge. And Obama knew to play to his vulnerabilities. Youth and inexperience chose age, wisdom, and, above all, knowledge to complement his weaknesses. Always a smart move in a leader. Don’t know much about something, hire someone who knows a boatload about it. And it doesn’t hurt that Biden’s son is stepping up to the plate and heading off to Iraq to serve in the Judge Advocate General’s office. Since so few of our leaders have children in the military, choosing one who does is wise at this juncture. The military, historically the tool of the Republican-party-at-war, is poised to switch. Last I heard, from a military wife, was that eighty percent of the soldiers think this war needs to end. Now.
McCain, on the other hand, chose Sarah Pulin, a virtual unknown outside of Alaska. Her experience, while laudable in her rise from mom to governor of a sparsely populated state, is limited on the national scene and non-existent on the foreign scene. Yes, she’s a woman. But she is no Hillary Clinton. She is deeply religious, which is okay. So am I. She is anti-abortion and chose not to abort a Down’s Syndrome child. I would have made the same choice but not for the same reason. I support abortion as a choice that should be available to women. I, personally, don’t know that I could have one.
McCain’s choice appears to be two things. First, an attempt to appeal to the disaffected Clinton supporters who want a woman in the White House. I want a woman in the White House. But not badly enough to vote for a team consisting of an old man and a woman who is clearly NOT ready to leave. Old people die. McCain is already in his 70s. Remember Reagan? Remember the advance of Alzheimers while he was in office? Do we need that again? And, if he can no longer lead, do we need a woman of limited experience suddenly taking over? If he wanted a woman, he would have done better to chose Condi Rice. I detest her but she is smart and experienced. And she is an expert on Russia, a giant, armed creature we have recently been poking with a stick.
Second, McCain’s choice may be based on arrogance. Why, he thinks, do I need an experienced vice president when I am invincible and can do it all myself. We already have that president. Look where that got us.
Sarah Pulin may be a perfectly nice woman, and her husband has served in Iraq. But raising five children and running a small state (yes, Alaska is a very small state by population) do not qualify you to be President of the United States. If that were the case, I’d pop out a couple more, take over Oregon, and be President myself. Now, is that a scary thought?
A note to Hillary fans: If you think it is more important to have a woman in the White House than to end the war, repair the economy, educate our children, provide health care for all (you, too, will retire some day and Medicare is no picnic), and restore some modicum of respect for America in the world, then vote for McCain. If you think it would be better to wait another round or two until the next Hillary Clinton comes around, vote for Obama. Don’t be blinded by genitalia. Look at credentials.
Hillary Clinton is a star on the political horizon and there are plenty more where she came from. But Sarah Pulin is not one of them.
McCain’s choice is a risk. He thinks disgruntled Hillary fans will flock to his team because he chose a woman. I think Clinton’s fans are, for the most part, smarter than that. Don’t be sucked in by her gender folks, Sarah Pulin is not ready to lead this country, especially as we are busy pissing off the rest of the world.
Oh, one more thing about her. She supports drilling in Alaska. Not because she thinks it’s best for the rest of the country. Nope, she just wants to give Alaskans more juicy bonus checks. Already playing to the special interest groups.