Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sarah Palin - Obama's dream come true

John McCain has officially selected a running mate - and based on his choice, we can officially declare that he is desperate or ill advised... or both.

Let me put this as strongly as I possibly can - McCain will go down as this decade's Bob Dole, and Palin as the pro-life Geraldine Ferraro. As soon as it was announced that McCain had selected the Alaska governor as his vice presidential running mate, I knew in my head and heart that Barack Obama will be elected as the 44th president of the United States on November 4, 2008.

Why? Simple. McCain just undercut the best argument he had in his arsenal - that Obama is a political infant, with little to no experience. The argument was effective, and to some extent, true... which is why McCain will be irreparably harmed by being forced to abandon it. The reason - Sarah Palin's experience, or lack thereof (she is only 2 years into her governorship), rivals Obama's own.

Now, to be sure, Sarah Palin is "just" the V.P. candidate, while Obama is running for the whole kit and caboodle. Bear in mind, however, that John McCain is 72, as of yesterday - which would make him the oldest elected president in United States history (trumping even Ronald Reagan). When the most important of the veep's duties is to take over as president upon his (um... / her) death, and the potential president-to-be is, well, mature... let's just say I, for one, would like to see some experience coming down the presidential pipe. America already learned the unfortunate principal of vice presidential (in)experience via Richard Nixon, in the form of Gerald Ford. Nixon's death was merely political, but the point remains the same - vice presidents MUST be prepared to step up to the plate in case of tragedy or disaster. Obama's selection of Joe Biden, in addition to being politically shrewd, echoes this rationale.

The fact that Sarah Palin is female is yet another reason McCain's selection reeks of desperation - if not exploitation of female voting blocs. In the months leading up to the Democratic Party's National Convention, party members were faced with a historic proposition, should their party succeed in November - either the first female president (Hillary), or the first non-Caucasian one (Barack). This lack of traditional (read - white male) candidates surely made the Democrats appear to be the more cutting edge of the two political parties.

In short, I believe that Palin is the Republican Party's belated way of trying to offset the initial Y-chromosome colorlessness of McCain / Romney / Giuliani. It is a transparent strategy that will emphatically not succeed at this point in the game.

We have seen other missteps in McCain's campaign as far as handling the Obamarama love fest in the media - he attacked Obama's international celebrity status, seemingly unaware that by acknowledging Obama's fame and heavy international support, he (McCain) undermined his own credibility. Then there's the issue of the number of houses he owns...

As for this voter, I have tough decisions to make before November. I detest the unmitigated warfare that McCain represents - Iran is an unnecessary disaster waiting to happen, should he become president. Then there's the brazen stance of solidarity with Georgia, in the face of a revitalized and dangerous Russia.

The contrarian streak in me, however, keeps me from jumping wholeheartedly onto the Obama bandwagon. As a firm yet politically-sensible pro-lifer, I find Obama's position on abortion appalling to my sentiments - Obama supported what amounts to infanticide. Palin's own beliefs on abortion more closely resemble my own - but she and her running mate, like every Republican before them, would undoubtedly be unable to change the status quo, though they (she more than he) may wish to do so.

While my vote is not yet certain, what is certain is that there are 66 more days until Election Day... and quite possibly 133 days until the Democrats take over the White House.

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