As Dave pointed out, his post on Sarah Palin has elicited lots of traffic, and some very interesting comments.
There’s been a bunch of stuff bouncing around the interwebs for the couple days, and I thought I’d take a (somewhat snarky) stab at it. Dave points to, probably, the most relevant question: What does the Palin selection say about Sen. McCain’s commitment to the value of experience in the Presidency?
The answer to that question will, in all likelihood, play itself out over the next couple months. In the meantime, we get commited McCain supporters trying to claim that Gov. Palin is, in fact, more experienced that Sen. Obama. The rationale? She’s been an executive, with a side of Alaska National Guard commander in chief.
By this logic, of course, Gov. Palin is more experienced that either Sen. McCain or Sen. Biden, which is absolutely preposterous on its face. How many years in the Senate, then, are necessary to provide more experience than 20 months as Alaska’s governor? Where, exacty, do we draw that line?
In other ‘experience’ news, it’s entertaining that the party which, 8 years ago, argued that experience shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor in deciding a president (Gov. Bush vs. VP Gore) is now arguring that experience matters more than any other attribute.
Changing gears to foreign policy, it’s clear the Gov. Palin has excellent foreign policy credentials because she lives so close to Russia. That being said, it’s obvious we need to elect Sen. Obama because of his extensive foreign policy experience with China due to growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia. How is this even acknowledged as a valid point? What would Gov. Palin do? Negotiate a truce between US and Russian polar bears? Even if Anchorage is close to Russia, it’s not like that’s a part of Russia where anybody lives.
Additionally, there is the fact that she’s a woman, which The Daily Show deconstructs nicely. I’ll only add that, if women voted for any ticket with a woman on it, Mondale/Ferraro wouldn’t have had their asses handed to them in 1984.
Also, there’s the fact that Gov. Palin is not on record on a whole variety of national issues. At this point, I can’t withhold my cynicism any more. It’s entirely possible that Sen. McCain selected Gov. Palin precisely because of this. She can be asked to adopt positions which aren’t counter to those previously stated, because she’s never been asked to state those positions. This makes her an ideal pander candidate. The McCain campaign can evaluation what issues they need help on, and ask Gov. Palin to adopt them without being accused of “flip-flopping” or altering her positions for political benefit (which is something that Sen. McCain is facing). Essentially, she’s a candidate that might help Sen. McCain get elected, but probably won’t help him govern.
And, finally, most cynically, I wonder if Sen. McCain is looking at a Palin Vice Presidency as an impeachment shield in much the same sense that VP. Cheney has done for Pres. Bush. Democrats have been loathe to impeach Pres. Bush, partly for fear of elevating and even more dangerous VP Cheney. I can imagine even greater hesitance to elevate a largely unproven VP Palin.
OK, that last might be a stretch… still, this VP selection certainly does make one wonder.