Friday, September 12, 2008

Is the world's biggest celebrity ready to lead?

So tell me, John McCain: is the world's biggest celebrity ready to lead? It's a question you and your campaign have been asking over the past few months. But I think at this point, you ought to provide an answer.

Is someone whose resume is consists largely of raising a family ready to affect national policy? Does placing as a runner-up in a beauty pageant qualify one to be second-in-line for the Commander in Chief position? Does being mayor of a town of 6300 ready one to lead--should the need arise--a country of over 300,000,000?

Oh, I'm sorry, Senator McCain... did you think I was talking about someone else? After all, not too long ago, you were running ads criticizing your rival, Barack Obama, for being too much of a celebrity. Well, now you've chosen a heck of a celebrity as your own running mate. So the question is... do you dare continuing to run your ads asking whether the world's biggest celebrity is ready to lead? Because a lot of Americans are looking at Sarah Palin and answering with a resounding No, she is not!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A campaign gimmick in the White House

John McCain. Remember that guy? He's the one that's actually running for President of the United States on the Republican ticket. Lately, we've really only been hearing one thing about him: the first example of the decisions he'd make as commander in chief. Namely, his choice of a running mate.

And after months and months of being the sole Republican contender, and having plenty of time to consider the best possible vice-presidential candidate, he chose... Sarah Palin. Really? Sarah Palin? Why on earth would McCain consider her, of the entire universe of Republicans, the best choice for a VP?

The answer is clear: he doesn't. He just considers her his best chance of being elected president.

It's clear that her gender is a primary reason for her being selected. Thousands of angry Hillary supporters provided too appealling of a target for McCain to pass up. Figuring that swapping out one female candidate for another would be enough to sway the "PUMA"s, McCain apparently waited until Obama announced his running mate as Joe Biden--i.e., not Hillary--before solidifying his decision.

Of course, Palin's vitriolic right-wing views probably contributed equally towards McCain's choice of a running mate. Her pro-gun, anti-science, book-banning, pro-oil, and pro-life-regardless-of-the-circumstances viewpoints are what McCain lacked--thus threatening him from being elected by many his own party.

Palin, then, might certainly lead McCain to victory in a manner he wouldn't be able to himself. But what about afterwards? What if the McCain/Palin ticket actually does win? What are we left with?

We're left with a campaign gimmick in the White House. Four years--and that's if we're lucky--of an unqualified, radical right-winger a breath away from the presidency. Of the White House being occupied by someone who argues with a straight face that governing a state that happens to be across the sea from Russia constitutes toreign policy experience. Of policy being shaped by one of the few people left--even within Republican ranks--who denies human involvement in global warming.

Contrast that with Barack Obama's choice in a running mate. Joe Biden was not the politically safest choice Obama could have made. As many other bloggers and commentators are pointing out, choosing Hillary would have likely have sealed the White House bid for Obama. The Hillary supporters would have been appeased, and McCain would likely have looked elsewhere than the pitbull-with-lipstick for his running mate. By contrast, Biden finished much further behind Hillary in the primaries. Yet Obama still chose him, a veteran of the Senate and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, for his experience and potential as a Vice President.

Not as a Vice Presidential candidate.

As a Vice President.

America, it's up to you to decide. Do you want a qualified administration in the White House? Or do you want a campaign gimmick? Do you want a commander-in-chief whose first major presidential decision is one driven by foresight and what's best for the country? Or one whose choices are driven by a marketing stunt?