Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bold Gamble or Cynical Miscalculation: Palin Pick May Be Harriet Miers II

By selecting the appallingly inexperienced and not ready to be President, Sarah Palin, for his running mate, Candidate McCain has again done something that completely contradicts everything John McCain used to be admired for: straight talk and the ability to set aside party politics or personal political gain and do what is in the best interest of the country.

In a move that can only be understood in terms of desperation and one made out of fear, Candidate McCain wins the political equivalent of the grammy, oscar, pulitizer and nobel prize for hypocrisy. After staking out the issues of experience and judgment as the chief talking points for his campaign and running numerous attack ads against Senator Barack Obama as being too inexperienced to step into the shoes of commander in chief, he chooses as his running mate someone who has only been governor of Alaska, a state with a population about that of the 20th largest city in America, for less than two years. Prior to that, Palin’s only executive experience was two terms as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska population 5,470.

It is incredibly ironic and hypocritical that the prepared talking point the Republicans had in the wings if Obama had chosen Governor Tim Cain of Virginia, was that he was too inexperienced since his political experience prior to being governor was that he was formerly Mayor of Richmond, Virginia a city with a population of approximately 200,000 people.

Furthermore, Candidate McCain unfairly characterized Obama’s position on Iraq as being one of willing to lose a war in order to win an election. Very ironic that it is Candidate McCain who is apparently willing to risk the safety and prosperity of the country with a wholly inexperienced vice president in order to win an election.

Perhaps the best indication of just how miserable a miscalculation McCain has made is when a friend of mine at work, who previously had been solidly in the McCain camp, announced to me on Friday the stunning news that she was voting for Obama. Now here was a person of precisely the demographic that Candidate McCain had hoped to win over with his choice of Palin as a running mate. A conservative, suburban white woman who had previously supported Hillary Clinton. The fundamental fact that the McCain people did not understand was that a lot of Senator Clinton’s support was more out of respect for her competence and, not merely, the fact that she was a woman.

If this anecdote is any indication of the broader electorate demographic, we could be in store for a possible Harriet Miers II situation. Don’t be too surprised that if the poll numbers show a widening lead going to Obama-Biden over the next several weeks, Governor Palin withdraws her name by the end of September for “family” reasons to be replaced by someone less agreeable to the far right, but more qualified and therefore acceptable to the broader electorate.

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