Forget Sarah Palin's daughter being pregnant. Forget the convoluted and twisted stories crawling across cyber space filled with accusations unfounded. Forget the morals and family values issues this pick by McCain entails. And forget what Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser to the McCain campaign said about not checking into Palin's background. (What is he, just crazy or what? That's like an open invitation to dig for people like me.) What we should be considering is why the women listed below were passed over for the Republican Vice Presidential slot, and what that says about the competency of McCain and the people who speak for the McCain campaign.
First there's Olympia Snowe from Maine. The only reason I can gather for not picking her is that the campaign didn't want a candidate from the Northeast. That would look like he picked a 'liberal' when nothing would have been further from the truth. Snowe's credentials look like a virtual banquet of experience, having served 8 terms in the U.S. House, been a state representative and a state senator. As a U.S. Senator now, she has sponsored or co-sponsored bills that champion the Republican's most cherished values. Dealing with business legislation, foreign affairs, health care, privatizing Social Security, worked directly with Pentagon officials, the White House, and with the numerous contacts she still has in the House, would have made Snowe the ideal candidate. That must be one they forgot about.
Next, there's Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson. This woman's credentials read like she should have run for President herself. Her accomplishments include being instrumental in passing the Overseas Basing Commission legislation, working closely with the Department of Defense and Pentagon, fought to obtain funding for 1,500 Border Patrol Agents, helped draft the Airline Security Bill, fought FOR women's rights in the form of the Homemaker IRA Act which allows housewives to save for their futures in the same way as their husbands, worked on health care and Medicare legislation, and is a ranking member of the Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation. top that off with her work on foreign policy initiatives, and you have what's called a complete package.
Third. Elizabeth Dole. What better candidate could you ask for here? This woman has been on the political scene since the Nixon years, and in fact served as Deputy Assistant for Consumer Affairs from 1969 to 1973. Next, she was Reagan's Secretary of Transportation, Bush the 1st's Secretary of Labor, became the President of the Red Cross, which during her first year there she accepted NO salary and traveled around the world meeting heads of state, ran for President herself, becoming the real first viable woman candidate, and holds many awards, including the Foreign Policy Association Medal. Oh. And she's also a Senator.
Or even fourth, Susan Collins. Collins, as a U.S. Senator has been a Ranking Member of the homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, worked on bipartisan legislation to improve FEMA response time, is on the Senate Armed Services Committee, fought for Health Care rights, has a 100% rating from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, fought for Higher Education grants, helped push through the 9/11 Commission's recommendations, and helped strengthen security at America's ports when no one else wanted to talk about it. Sounds pretty credentialed, don't you think?
Four women with varied and immense credentials, all of which include local, state, national, and foreign policy credentials. Three women who could have added actual value to the Republican ticket other than the All American family look that the Party seems so desperate to portray. It seems, when one looks over the political landscape, that you could stop in at the House of Representatives and find many other women with far more experience than Sarah Palin.
If we're really honest with ourselves, we have the answers to why McCain chose Palin. First, they get to play the youth card, with Palin being only 44 years old. Second, McCain can present the family photo of the Palin clan, the good old apple pie pictures splashed on every front page. Third, Palin is a rabid far right winger. She'll be compliant as Vice President to the wishes of Big Oil, and will fight harder than McCain even for drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife Preserve. She'll be guided by her religious beliefs to fight for anti-abortion laws. She'll press ahead with McCain for a strike and war with Iran, believing that it's the United States' destiny to bring about the Rapture and Armageddon.
If just the few things that we do know about Palin don't scare you enough to run for the door, then just wait until people dig up more dirt. Because despite what the McCain campaign says, and despite what a few misguided reporters are trying to also tell the public, once a person enters the arena of Presidential politics, nothing is 'off limits' at all. There should be no attack upon Palin's children themselves, but the family values and morality issues come directly into play here, as well as the abstinence only teachings shoved down America's throat. Obviously, they don't work.
But the real question that should be why at least four well qualified, well suited to the task candidates were passed over in favor of a political neophyte, who has no choice now but to turn to the Bush/Cheney people to get a crash course in both National and International affairs. That alone should give voice to the lie about what John McCain is really all about. More of the same. Women with foreign policy credentials passed over for a pliable plebe who could be shaped and molded into the Bush/Cheney brand name. A continuation of wars and terror. More tearing up of the Constitution, less liberties, and more of the push towards the theocracy that the Dobsons and the Reeds of America so desperately envision. With the other women, they couldn't try that crap, and so, here you have Palin. Willing and able to carry out the orders from the extreme right wing.
Run as fast and as far as you can from this mad hatter campaign the Republicans are piecing together as they go along. If you feel you must stick to the Republican Party, stay home. Because if they vote this clown posse into office, Americans are going to be heading for Canada by the millions seeking political asylum. Myself included.