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Presidential Politics (2008): Rolling the dice? Obama vs. Palin?

I have just read a number of stories that portray John McCain’s recent pick of Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate to be an act of desperation, a Hail-Mary play to save his candidacy, an antidote to his age, a cheap attempt to grab a percentage of the disaffected Hillary Clinton women’s vote, a pro-life candidate that will satisfy McCain’s conservative base and, at best, proving McCain remains an unpredictable maverick.

Let’s assume, for a moment, that both Presidential candidates are deeply flawed and that this particular presidential race is a crap shoot over Vice Presidents.

So let’s roll the dice and decide …

Do we want a Vice Presidential candidate who has little or no experience in foreign affairs and scant experience in public life?

Do we want to ignore the President of the United States, his cabinet advisors and all men and women who are part of the decision-making apparatus of the government to concentrate on a Vice Presidential pick whose job, at least until the death of the President, is mostly advisory and ceremonial? (That is, of course, unless you are Dick Cheney who clearly broke the classical mold of the Vice Presidency)

Do we want to assume that John McCain is more likely to die in office than Barack Obama and thus force the Presidency on an inexperienced politician?

Some considerations …

Considering that Barack Obama has about 143 actual working days in the Senate (the rest were spent campaigning) and limited experience in the state legislature which is not a decision-making position, it is likely that Sarah Palin has more executive experience than both Barack Obama and Joseph Biden.

As for experience in foreign affairs, merely sitting in the Senate and traveling to meet foreign dignitaries does not convey any special foreign affairs expertise other than a background to understand the nuances of diplomacy. And if I remember by high-school civics lessons, that’s why we have a Secretary of State and career diplomats in the State Department.

As for age, Teddy Kennedy is 76 and not one person accuses him of being a senile old fool with delusions of grandeur.

But most telling, both Barack Obama and Joseph Biden are lawyers running for office and backed by the lawyer’s party, the democrats. Where every decision is considered, reconsidered, parsed and viewed through a legal prism. This is why another lawyer, Bill Clinton, took a pass on taking bin Laden into custody when he was handed to us on a platter. He wanted to prosecute the terrorists as a law-abiding policeman, not as a warrior.

But none of this matters …

If we are simply going to roll the dice, the experience issue becomes irrelevant and the character of the person comes into play.

Would you rather have an inexperienced unknown that:

A:     Agitated against the system as a community activist, spent 20+ years exposed to a constant barrage of militant anti-American, racist and anti-Semitic harangues, had close working relationships with racists and crooks and did little or nothing with the superior legal education he received from a prestigious university and pretty much has a history of being an easy-going “zero” profiting from circumstance

or

B:    Lived a real-world life as an ordinary citizen and who capitalized on each opportunity to be of service to their community as it was offered. A reformer with a track record of producing results, not rhetoric? A person who demonstrates the American ideals rather than self-interested victimhood?

The choice is clear …

I would much rather choose Sarah Palin over both Barack Obama and Joseph Biden.

Can she handle a Putin or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? You bet – especially if she is backed by the full force, weight and faith of the United States government. Want proof? She stood up to the corruption in the rough-and-tumble Alaskan politics without hesitation. She has character and guts. As opposed to Barack Obama who appears to be a well-spoken Jimmy Carter type – wishy-washy, go-along to get-along, mired in past transgressions and biblical prophesy.

I think Sarah Palin would make a great Vice President and in four-years, an even greater President. If we are to have a woman as a President, Palin is a far better choice than a shrewish lawyer with a personal history of chaos, deception  and corruption.

Want a better comparison: compare her to other powerful democrat women like Nancy Pelosi and Diane Feinstein – and she still comes out ahead!

This is one of the best things that has happened to the Republican Party and renews my faith that conservatism and rationality is not dead.

-- steve

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