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McCain's Palin Pander Raises Age, Ends Experience Issue

August 29, 2008

With his unexpected selection today of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain stayed true to form. Not as the mythical maverick, but as the craven opportunist willing to do anything to capture the presidency. Desperate to pander to whatever disgruntled Hillary Clinton voters may remain, McCain turned to a 44 year old woman virtually unknown on the national stage. More important, by putting his campaign and not the country first, the now 72 year old McCain has taken his signature issue - national security experience - off the table.
Choosing symbolism over substance, McCain's reached out to Clinton voters by picking an anti-abortion stalwart and lifetime NRA member, a woman certain to back McCain's planned transformation of the Supreme Court and his war on reproductive rights. An economic conservative with close ties to the Alaska oil industry, Palin could signal a coming change from McCain on drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Preserve (ANWR), a reversal which would follow closely on the heels of his flip-flop on offshore drilling. It's not a stretch to imagine John McCain endorsing Palin, a one-time Alaska beauty pageant contestant, to join his wife Cindy in vying for Miss Buffalo Chip.
But with a single stroke (no pun intended), John McCain celebrated his 72nd birthday today by removing experience as an issue in this campaign. The claim that Barack Obama is "not ready" to be commander-in-chief has been a central McCain talking point. Just days ago, the McCain campaign debuted a misleading ad which distorted Obama's foreign policy statements, concluded that he is "dangerously unprepared." Now, in his desperate gambit to win the White House, John McCain has turned to a green small state governor who just two years was the mayor of town with under 10,000 people. At most, Palin earned her national security chops by keeping Canadian moose from crossing the Alaskan border.
At the end of day, the only surprising aspect of McCain's VP choice was her name. That McCain would turn his back on the defining theme of his campaign is sadly typical. As a doddering John McCain said on June 3rd, "that's not change we can believe in."
UPDATE: Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, herself passed over by McCain for the #2 slot, said of Sarah Palin, "I don't know too much about her."

5 comments on “McCain's Palin Pander Raises Age, Ends Experience Issue”

  1. Someone needs to point out Palin's support of teaching creationism (I can't bear to capitalize that word) in schools and opposition to stem cell research. Really frightening. The choice of Palin seems to me like a gift to the Obama campaign, but it also angers me - though I am a Democrat I am more importantly an American, and the fact that John McCain is willing to put Americans in the hand of this person in case he is unable to fulfill his duties is insulting and nightmare provoking.

  2. John McCain is so shameful that during the week he sent his beauty pageant wife to Georgia he met with another beauty pageant/ cheerleader and average hockey mom who is much younger than them both. It is clearly obvious that he planned to pick a man as his running mate until he realized that the democrats were UNITED during this weeks convention. Having met her only once before and placing his full faith in her plays out in my mind like a man who meets with a call girl once and becomes so fascinated with her that he hires her to be his personal assistant. This is a woman who not only stated that she doesn't know what the VP does, but that she doesn't think pollution and fossil fuel has anything to do with global warming. Mrs. Palin is completely and utterly out of touch which has nothing to do with her experience but goes to the core of her judgment. If experience means so much to how well one leads how did President Bush who is clearly incompetent remove Saddam Hussein who ruled Iraq for some 30-35 years. There are countless things that can be said about a man, woman or child who serves their country or community but experience alone doesn't account for critical thinking, calculation, ability or skill. Sure Mrs. Palin is the governor of Alaska, but it is one of the least populated states in the country and is a state with not much more industry other than oil, logging and fishing. If the republicans think that her being secluded up there on the Bering Sea makes her qualified to know the heartbeat of the mainland then I know the democrats welcome the fight. As for policies she is for overturning Roe v. Wade, drilling in ANWR, hunting endangered wildlife in Alaska, taking polar bear off the endangered species list, teaching creationism in schools and a whole host of other extreme positions. In addition she was for the bridge to nowhere before she won the governorship and then was against it, so woman yes, mother yes, neo-con yes, ready for the vice presidency, absolutely NO. No how, No way No McCain the republicans ought to be ashamed.

  3. How is it that the Republicans tout that abstinence only is the best way to prevent teen pregnancy and then praise Mrs. Palin for supporting her teen daughters pregnancy. I personally don't like abortion but I don't think it's my place to choose for someone else. Another thing that I find very disturbing about their pro-life stance is that as a party they a pro-war, pro-guns (including the assault weapons that are being used to kill off the youth of our communities), pro-death penalty and pro-animal slaughter for sport. How is it that they can square these positions and get away with? I would like to get clarity on these issue and hope that there will not be religious references used to argue their views.


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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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