Friday, August 29, 2008

Time to play the age card

Since I was born in Alaska (before it was a state, even) I suppose I should be thrilled that a fellow citizen of my native state would become president if John McCain dies in office--which the actuarial tables say he probably will. But will my voice be entirely lost in the blogosphere if I say that this is one of the cheapest political stunts that this cheap bunch of political dead-enders has visited on the American people? After banging on about Obama's alleged lack of "experience," McCain taps for his VP someone who can't claim any relevant experience at all--even if she has taken some good stands on ethics violations in her own state.

So, picking Sarah Palin is nothing more than a sop to women voters, especially those who are still nursing their pain over Hillary's loss. But much as I despise Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin is not her--and I have enough faith that American voters, especially women voters, will see the difference.

Update: Ooh, the Sarah Palin hit pieces are flying already. This one from Chris Kelly at the Huffington Post. And a nice analysis from John Nichols at The Nation. And a typically acid post from Marc Cooper.

More Update: It may be my imagination, but as I watch a live broadcast of Sarah Palin speaking to the rally in Dayton, Ohio, is the fidgeting John McCain standing beside her already wondering if he has made a big mistake?

Palin punditry: All together now, how do we describe McCain's VP choice? "Bold, but risky." Those words are echoed more or less literally in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Providence Journal, CBC News, and even in media outlets in the U.K. and China (forgive me for not taking the time to provide the links.) A few even say that it reflects the "maverick" John McCain we've heard so much about. So the McCain campaign has succeeded in getting the media to see this as a bold move rather than a stupid, cynical, callous one that plays with the lives and futures of not only Americans but all those around the world who are affected by what America does--all for the sake of getting elected and maintaining today's economic and political status quo, which is what the McCain campaign is really all about. Seven houses for them, no houses for us. As for risky, let's hope so.


Joseph Caputo said...

I am so upset over McCain's choice. Not only is it a political stunt, it is such a slap in the face to Hillary Clinton. I know you're not a fan of the former first lady, but I thought she did a nice job this past week wrapping up her run against Obama and putting the dream of a women in the White House away for another 8 years.

The possibility that McCain may not make it through the next 4 years does exist, and for an Alaskan PTA president to be in the office as the first women president in American history with little or no effort on her part is just upsetting. I really hope people can see through this...

terryt said...

I said to friends when Obama first came to our notice here that someone with a name so close to Osama had no show. I was wrong.

When the two main democrat candidates came down to a black man and a woman I said the democrats were bent on losing the election. I hope I'm wrong again.

Perhaps the USA is ready to vote in a black president. I have my doubts. But with McCain's VP selection the republicans may be bent on losing the election.

jqb said...

Usually, when people question whether "the U.S." is "ready" to elect a black, woman, or whatever, they are projecting. The problem with McCain's VP choice is not her gender, it's her right wing politics and her lack of qualification. Even Joe Scarborough asked how she could possibly stand against Joe Biden in a debate about Russia, Georgia, and the world at large.

Richard said...

I find it much more difficult to criticise the choice of a woman than the choice of someone like Dan Quayle, who was a complete idiot.

I can't, somehow, make myself say this woman is a complete idiot in quite the same way.

Which is the kind of latent pseudo-sexism that McCain must be relying on.

But this woman is already under investigation for sacking the guy who wouldn't sack her brother-in-law.

Messalina, your sort is back in fashion!

Richard said...

Besides which, Sarah Palin's got the sort of vapid prettiness that puts this old MCP off his breakfast.

I trust it will have the same effect on more than a few Republicans.

Richard said...

According to the BBC, she enjoys eating moose hamburgers, and

Her oldest son joined the US Army on 11 September last year and and is to deploy to Iraq on the same date next month.

I wonder how she'll feel then?

I suspect that Iraqi 'insurgents' who probably read the same internet that you and I do, will try and do a special job on him.

What would be her answer, as back-up president?

Nookyulate Iraq, or talk sensibly?

jqb said...

Sadly, even when they say McCain's pick is dangerous, they're only talking about it being dangerous to him, not to us, e.g.,

OTOH, Paul Begala on CNN said rather clearly that, while he was happy about the pick as a Democrat, as an American it scares him. The Dems need to hammer on how thoroughly this pick of someone who would be completely out of her depth as President of the U.S. puts the lie to McCain's "country before politics" crap.

jqb said...

Sadly, even when they say McCain's pick is dangerous, they're only talking about it being dangerous to him, not to us

That seems to have changed; see

and from the comments there:

NY Times:

Governor Palin’s lack of experience, especially in national security and foreign affairs, raises immediate questions about how prepared she is to potentially succeed to the presidency. That really is the only criterion for judging a candidate for vice president.


But the most important question Mr. McCain should have asked himself about Ms. Palin was not whether she could help him win the presidency. It was whether she is qualified and prepared to serve as president should anything prevent him from doing so. This would have been true for any presidential nominee, and it was especially crucial that Mr. McCain -- who turns 72 today -- get this choice right. If he is elected, he will be the oldest man ever to serve a first term in the White House. In this regard, count us among the puzzled and the skeptical.

Richard said...

Isn't she wonderful - just a heartbeat (McCain's not very good one) from the presidency:

— Sarah Palin travelled to Germany and Kuwait last year to visit Alaska National Guard troops

— She reportedly had to apply for a passport especially for the trip

— Mrs Palin has been to Canada, and engaged in negotiations about building a natural gas pipeline from Alaska through Canada

— Until recently US citizens did not need a passport to go to Canada

— Mrs Palin has also visited Ireland

— Cindy McCain said in a television interview that Mrs Palin had knowledge about Russia because: “Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia”

Richard said...

Mc Cain may be feeling deep regret and worry, deep enough to show in his body language.. He prides himself in being a maverick, but the line between maverick and flake can be very thin, and he may well know that he has crossed it BiG TIME! It would be very much an show of maverick-ness to pull down his pants and moon the American people. No ordinary politician would do such a thing. Almost no one would. But who would take him seriously afterwards. Picking Sarah Palin as V.P. is about as clownish an act. She is going to bleed away any credibility once her full story comes out. McCain's impulsiveness and lack of sound judgment led him to forego a customary vetting of Palin, and now he may pay a very big price for being so foolish.

Michael Balter said...

Thanks for that link, Richard, I would recommend everyone have a look at it.