Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Palin - The Premature Pick

Timing is everything in politics. The more I hear about Sarah Palin the more I like her. She is obviously a smart, powerful, remarkably decent woman who has what it takes to be a real player in American politics. But, that does not mean that she was the best choice for McCain's VP this election cycle.

The biggest mistake conservatives, especially evangelical conservatives, make is failure to listen to the opposition. Facts are facts regardless of who presents them. When your opposition makes a valid point, you had better make note of it because you are likely to hear it again under less pleasant circumstances. Over the weekend, I repeatedly heard talking heads making valid points about the Palin choice. She does lack national and international experience and McCain forfeited a great deal of the experience argument against O'Bama by selecting her.

Further, there can be no doubt that a great deal of plain old pandering was involved in her selection. Pandering to women, pandering to evangelicals, pandering to the general conservative base that greatly mistrusts McCain. And, it is working. Her choice has energized the GOP base and made such a splash that it literally sucked the air out of the room for O'Bama. But, that does not change the fact that there were dozens of better qualified men and several better qualified women to choose from. The fact that Palin is so bright, so decent and has such a brilliant future in American politics if she is not prematurely savaged by the process only makes it all the more difficult to swallow. Palin is the perfect lightning rod media candidate that draws attention away from McCain's shortcoming in key constituencies.

I would sincerely hope that Palin is not being offered up as a political sacrificial virgin to save the presidential aspirations of an aging, wealthy, marginally GOP at best, contrarian that was headed for disaster with his base until he made his VP choice. The left wing blogs are already savaging Palin and her family and in so doing diverting attention from McCain while gaining mostly favorable headlines for the combined ticket.

I have nothing but respect for Sarah Palin and her family and I hope that her political future survives whatever happens next. John McCain has observed in the past that the only two functions of the Vice President are to, "inquire about the President's health every morning and attend state funerals." That is typical McCain and Sarah Palin, McCain's politically premature pick deserves better .... and so do the people who will vote for McCain because of her.


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