Friday, August 29, 2008
The 2008 U.S. Presidential election just keeps on getting more and more interesting with every passing day. Of course this pace cannot continue, and now that both parties have set their full tickets things will settle down a bit to the serious campaigning, particularly once next week's Republican National Convention passes. But what presumptive Republican nominee John McCain did today was toss a serious curve ball to the Democrats and their nominee Barack Obama. For months, the McCain camp has pointed at a lack of experience on Obama's part as a serious shortcoming. And for their part, the Obama folks have called McCain nothing more than the same old tired Washington politics, and a continuation of Bush policies. So when given the chance to name Vice-Presidential running mates, who did each candidate choose? Obama chose the ultimate Washington insider, Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, a man whose middle name is 'same old politics'. Then today McCain names as his running mate the Governor of Alaska, Sara Palin, whose national political experience is almost as short as Obama's. So the Dems have a man at the head of their ticket who is a 3-year Senator with no governing experience, where 2 of those years have been spent running for President, and a man at the back end of their ticket who is as 'more of the same old Washington politics' as any person around. Meanwhile the Republicans have at the top of their ticket a seasoned political veteran and universally acknowledged American hero, and at the back end of the ticket a woman, the first woman to ever be nominated on the top Republican ticket. Once the shock of not having someone like Tom Ridge, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, or even Joe Lieberman as the Veep choice wears off, the conservative base of the Republican party should find much to love about Sara Palin. First off, she is pro-life, which should be a litmus test for any Republican. Second, she is a lifetime member of the NRA, an outdoors woman with a passion for intelligent, informed environmentalism and the 2nd amendment. Her state's proximity to Russia and it's abundance in prospective oil make her experiences with those issues stronger than most. She has governed, albeit for just the past two years in Alaska. But that is two more years than the man at the top of the Dems ticket has ever governed in his life. In her personal life, she was born in Idaho and raised in Alaska. She is the 20-year wife of her high school boyfriend. And she is a 5-time mom, having just given birth in April to her 2nd son, a Downs Syndrome child. She is a woman, a wife, a mother, a Governor. She is an attractive, articulate, intelligent Vice-Presidential candidate for the Republican Party, which makes this ticket every bit as historic as the Dems ticket. Uh, yes, I did say she was attractive. That is not a slight or a sin to notice. The woman was the runner-up in the Miss Alaska pageant a couple decades back, and still looks great today. So sue me for noticing. In November, the United States will either elect it's first African-American to one of the top two offices, or the first woman. Experienced war hero backed by governing, conservative woman on the Republican side, or inexperienced liberal backed by old-time Washington politico on the Democrat side. The choice is now clear, and when held up against the light of the Republican ticket, the Dems choice is palin' by comparison.