Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hurricane Palin?


John McCain is having a terrible week. Not only did the Republican National Convention's first day get rained out by the mass evacuation of New Orleans, but he really did not get a chance to show off a compassionate and competent leadership because Gustav has already been downgraded to a tropical depression.

In the meantime, there is already a tempest building up around his vice-presidential choice in Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who is embroiled in a state ethics investigation, being called "Troopergate," involving allegations she had used her office and influence to get a troublesome former brother-in-law fired from the Alaska police force. The latter touches on the sensitive campaign issue of corruption in high places, and will be coupled by the Democrats with the fact that Gov. Palin apparently headed a 527 organization to defend the controversial Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, to damage her record of executive performance.

Even more depressing than Tropical Depression Gustav however, may be the report that Governor Palin's 17 year old unmarried teenage daughter is pregnant (but will marry the father and will have the full support of a loving family). It was the subject of today's Larry King Show on CNN. This touches on the even more sensitive campaign issue of traditional values, since Sarah Palin has been billed as a role model ("soccer mom and dynamic state governor"). That she opposes Sex Education in Alaska schools provided an attack point for anti-GOP media guests.

Congresswoman Susan Molinari of New York mounted a valiant defense of her choice as running mate made by Sen. John McCain. But pressed by Larry King with the very question I posed to Commenter Dave on yesterday's thread: "Was Sarah Palin absolutely the BEST choice John McCain could've made?" she said Gov. Palin was absolutely the RIGHT choice. Pressed further to choose between others on the short list with none of the apparent Palin baggage, like Texas Gov. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Molinari could only insist that it was the right choice. But with feeble conviction.

Barack Obama took the high road when asked to comment on the Palin controversies, saying the children of candidates ought to be off-limits to politics and recalling that he himself was born to an 18-year old Kansas teenage mother. But of course, this cannot deter the Mass Media or his more enthusiastic supporters, most of whom are sure to pile on.

The McCain campaign has apparently sent a special team to Alaska to assess the situation and possibly do damage control of some kind, even as it was announced that Sen. McCain did know of the pregnancy before making his decision. But I am sure the delegates at the GOP convention, (which is back to the original schedule) will be asking themselves the same questions on Larry King: Is Sarah Palin really the BEST choice for vice presidential candidate? Will she be the asset that John McCain and the GOP were looking for to run a competive race? Will she in fact solidify the Republican social base, or alienate it?

Hurricane Gustav did little comparative damage, but dark clouds are rising now around Sarah Palin. The suggestion was made on the show that she might not even be the vice presidential candidate by the end of the week. I doubt that, but I am sorely disappointed at the choice of Sarah Palin.

6 comments:

The EQualizer said...

Can anyone say with a straight face that Palin would have gotten picked if she were a man?

DJB Rizalist said...

Nothing per se wrong with picking a woman to appeal to Hillary diehards. But why this particular woman? She won't appeal to that group. Maybe the theory that she's there to shore up Sen. McCain's conservative credentials for the GOP base is a better explanation. But there were better choices even then. This certainly won't help with some of them.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Palin is the energiser of the McCain campaign -- and believe it or not, her dynamism, never mind her lack of experience in national and world matters, will appeal to many Americans.

Just like anywhere else in the world, a star quality in a politician works -- it gets him/her votes.

Anonymous said...

Obama: no decision-maker; no courage; less experience:

Sarah Palin has government executive experience. She has lots of experience actually making decisions - as Mayor, Commissioner, and then Governor. She's been in elective office since 1992.

Barack Obama has been in elective office just since 1997 - and always as a legislator. he's never had to make executive decisions in a government administration like Gov. Palin.

So Sarah Palin has five (5) more years of experience in elective office than Barack Obama.

And Obama often could not muster the courage to make even a legislative decision - he frequently voted "present."

See here

http://www.time-blog.com/swampland/2008/01/obama_campaign_defends_present.html

Amadeo said...

Right Choice. Best Choice. Better choice.

In arranging all possible nominees into their proper slots, who gets to determine what criteria to use in the selections, who the better person(s) to make the selections, and more importantly, whether it applies to all concerned or just to certain parties and their candidates?

But this is after all politics, a game of gamble and risks. You make decisions hoping to arrive at a certain definite and finite goal – to get elected.

I place my bets that the “better” hand, not the best nor the right one, is the McCain-Palin tandem, based on my own criteria.

Does the other party have the better hand, or the right hand, or the best hand? Make your own judgments and place your bets.

In my judgment neither holds the best hand and the right hand hardly figures in flaw-filled and error-prone politics.

Amadeo said...

Right Choice. Best Choice. Better choice.

In arranging all possible nominees into their proper slots, who gets to determine what criteria to use in the selections, who the better person(s) to make the selections, and more importantly, whether it applies to all concerned or just to certain parties and their candidates?

But this is after all politics, a game of gamble and risks. You make decisions hoping to arrive at a certain definite and finite goal – to get elected.

I place my bets that the “better” hand, not the best nor the right one, is the McCain-Palin tandem, based on my own criteria.

Does the other party have the better hand, or the right hand, or the best hand? Make your own judgments and place your bets.

In my judgment neither holds the best hand and the right hand hardly figures in flaw-filled and error-prone politics.