Sunday, August 31, 2008

The insult of Sarah Palin

Like the rest of the free world, I was pretty surprised on Friday when McCain announced that Sarah Palin would be his running mate. For all his harping on Obama's supposed lack of experience, McCain boldly proposed bringing to the world a level of inexperience unheard of since Spiro Agnew. Palin is also a pro-gun, pro-drilling, anti-choice evangelical who thinks human activity does not affect climate change.

That McCain thinks this move will pander to Hillary Clinton's supporters is a blatant insult. The only thing that Clinton and Palin have in common is penislessness. Clinton was not just a woman running for president. She is a highly qualified woman who was a fabulous candidate and may yet be a fabulous President. Palin has been governor of an insignificant state for less than two years, after a short stint as mayor of a town smaller than most universities. As is apparently the status quo for Alaska Republicans, she's also currently being investigated on corruption charges.

I've said before that the selection of a running mate is a very important decision, and the first major insight into the type of President a candidate will become. Obama selected someone who will help him to navigate Washington, who will work hard to get things done, and who has deep and respected experience in his own right. McCain selected an inexperienced right-winger whose official biography still includes high school basketball captain and beauty queen. Obama is focused on how to lead; McCain is not looking beyond the election.

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