Is Sarah Palin ready to be President?
Let’s not kid ourselves: John McCain is old. Very old. And not in the greatest health. He’s had cancer and his mental faculties are starting to, um, show some wear and tear. Actuarially speaking, it is not entirely out of the realm of possibility that he could die in office or be incapacitated for long periods of time.
If, God forbid, that happens, do you feel good about Sarah Palin running the country? Do you think she can be Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Services?
Clearly, this is McCain attempting to grab the spotlight back from the Democrats by making a bold new pick for the national ticket. And by picking a dynamic young executive (and how badly pissed is the older Carly Fiorina right about now?) McCain’s daring the traditional media to say she’s not qualified to be president.
I can hear the talking points now: “Oh, yeah? She’s the same age as Obama. She’s been at the top as long as him. And, unlike Obama, she’s an actual executive, not just a legislator.”
The danger for the Republicans is that the American people will say, “Not so fast.” Think about it: Obama has been on the national stage for nearly two years. He’s been examined, picked over, and vetted by the national media. We know him. We know his temperment, his comportment, his attitudes. It has taken that long for people to make an informed decision about Obama.
What makes you think that the American people will only need two months (or, realistically, two weeks when the campaign goes into high gear) to make an informed decision about Sarah Palin? And that’s not even getting into her ties with all the other corrupt politicians in Alaska (her former chief of staff is indicted Sen. Ted Stevens’ campaign manager) or her own well-known ethical lapses.
And another thing: if McCain thinks he can erase the gender gap by picking a woman, he better think again. Instead of enhancing Palin (and the Republican party) by choosing her for the national ticket, I believe Palin will be diminshed by the inevitable comparisons with Hillary Clinton. In other words, Palin now becomes the consolation prize for women who really wanted Hillary. Here’s the thing: she is nowhere near being equal to Hillary in experience, judgment, or readiness to become Commander in Chief. Instead, Palin looks awfully a lot like the new Dan Quayle.
Bottom line: this is McCain showing his desperation. Palin is who you choose if you know you have no real chance otherwise of winning. Palin for VP is McCain throwing a “Hail Mary” pass.