When I learned of McCain’s morning announcement of Palin as his running mate, I thought it was a pretty shrewd move to undercut some of the attention and support garnered on the Democrats’ side. Then I read up on her qualifications (or lack thereof).
Seriously, what the fuck is McCain thinking? What are the possible benefits of putting Palin on the GOP ticket?
A first time governor of Alaska with no foreign policy experience is not someone I want next in line for the role of Leader of the Free World, when that role would be occupied by a 72 year old with a history of cancer issues. In addition, her short tenure has already run into controversy.
So depth of experience wasn’t a selling factor, what about ideology? A pro-life, pro-drilling for oil in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge (did I mention she’s governor of Alaska?), lifetime member of the NRA sounds right up the GOP’s alley. Except McCain was actually against the oil drilling. Unlike Biden, who helps round out the thin area’s of Obama’s resume, McCain picked someone that really contributes nothing to expanding his base. If anything, I could see Palin turning off many of the ultra-conservative voters who were probably in McCain’s favor to begin with.
Which leaves us with the most regrettable possibility: McCain picked Palin because she’s a woman. My initial reaction to the announcement was that he was vying for Hillary supporters. That was until I read past the headlines. How could any dedicated Hillary voter not look at this action as an insult? If this was in fact McCain’s strategy, then it is disturbingly shortsighted and off-target. A woman VP might initially seem like a good step towards gender equality, but a woefully unqualified one could do more harm than good.
If he wanted a woman to garner votes, then why not Kay Bailey Hutchinson, a Republican who has exponentially more respect and experience than Palin? The fact that he didn’t leaves me to think that he wanted not a viable running mate who happened to be female, but a female running mate who wouldn’t threaten his position of superiority. If that’s the case, then every intelligent, self-respecting American (man or woman) should be appalled that John McCain is even anywhere near Oval Office.
I can’t even begin to imagine what the VP debate is going to look like. How is she going to stack up against Biden? The seasoned Senator (who is chairman of the FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE) is going to eat her alive. Despite my Democratic leanings, I find myself actually scared for her.
Am I a sexist, anti-feminist for wondering whether or not this action is a sick joke? Palin’s gender isn’t even the problem for me. Anyone who is a stone’s throw away from the Presidency needs to be scrutinized for his or her qualifications. It’s never been an issue for me whether that person is a man or a woman, or black or white. But Senator, I have a sense that is very much an issue for you.