Sunday, August 31, 2008

Veep


One thing Senator McCain's pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate has done is set off an orgy of opinion re who is qualified to be VP, the experience needed, etc. News talking heads, bloggers of all stripes, "scholars" have all chimed in with their opinions... Perhaps not exactly the effect McCain intended! This blogger would ask a (rhetorical) question - would any other pick have made a difference? No matter the person picked Democratic stalwarts, acolytes, and hangers-on were ready to jump in and find fault - too little experience, too much, too young, too old, blah, blah, blah. Beyond this, this blogger has three observations:

1. There seems to be a quantum difference in reactions towards men and women. Would anyone make fun of a male candidate for having been on a high school state champion basketball team?? Would anyone say the following about a male candidate? "What's more is that the woman is 44 years old and still having kids. Honestly, five kids? Must be true what they say about Alaska: there really isn't much to do up there."? Or "Sarah f*+ing" Palin?" Or "Palin has a degree in "journalism" from the University of Idaho." (notice the quotes). Would people dig up old "beauty" photos and snicker about them (wasn't George W. Bush a cheerleader at Andover? This blogger doesn't remember this being made out to be a big deal, even though that isn't the most masculine of pursuits...). Would people fuss about a man's hair, clothes, looks? This blogger thinks not, and despite all the recent nattering about "18 million cracks in the glass ceiling" it is apparent that most people are not ready for a woman to be (close to) running this country.

2. It all depends on whose ox is being gored! There is no doubt in this blogger's mind that had Obama picked an identical Democratic "Palin equivalent" all the Democrats currently finding fault with Palin would be in the midst of paroxysms of joy and extolling the brilliance of the move... while all Republicans would be 100% the opposite of where they are now with respect to this? (Note; this blogger can't wait for the elections to be over and all these addle pated purveyors of tripe to fade back into the woodwork!)

3. Finally, (more of a question than an observation) what exactly constitutes preparation for the VP to be "a heartbeat away from the Presidency"? (a long shot, even if in the country's history the VP has stepped up nine times). Much is being made about Palin's lack of foreign policy knowledge and experience... Is this important, did Presidents Carter, Reagan, Cinton, or George W. Bush have much in the way of foreign policy chops before being elected? What about experience? Is a long resume a good judge of effectiveness? Prior to becoming Vice President, Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney had a ton of experience - as did Gore, Mondale, George H.W. Bush, Spiro Agnew. Yet Agnew resigned in disgrace, the American people rejected Mondale and Gore as President, and Dick Cheney's fingerprints have been all over every single failure of the Bush administration! Only George H.W. Bush was elected (and to a single term, which the American people saw fit not to extend!)

P.S. If 'distance from the Presidency' is that all-important, this blogger assumes that most people haven't spent much time thinking about the Presidential line of succession. If something were to happen to the President & VP the next in line for the Presidency would be Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, elected by 148,435 Californians), followed by Senator Robert Byrd (D-Antediluvian, sorry, actually D-WV and former Exalted Cyclops of the KKK), then Condoleezza Rice, and Henry Paulson (the last two not having been voted for by a single person)...

 
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