Sarah Palin has an interesting personal history and -- dismissing for the moment her untra-conservative political views -- skills that would serve her well as a vice-president. Perhaps after four or eight years in that post she would have gained the foreign and domestic experience and skills to actually be a strong President. She reminds me a great deal of some of the strong conservative women in my own family, for whom I have great admiration.
That being said let's think about the two most damning grenades that John McCain has lobbed at Barack Obama,
1. Senator Barack Obama is dangerously inexperienced.
By tapping Sarah Palin to be a 72-year-old's heartbeat away from leader of the free-world he has chosen someone whose electoral experience includes less than 19 months as governor of one of our smallest states and mayor of a town of a few thosusand souls; whose experience in national issues is tiny; and whose experience in foreign affairs is nonexistent. For goodness' sake, John McCain had only met her once before he tapped her and spoke with her on the phone twice. So much for worrying about the Commander-in-chief's credentials in facing Islamic terrorism, the "trancendent issue of our times". Maybe facing Russia across the Bering Strait is her strength?
2. Senator Barack Obama puts politics above country.
The sleasiest McCain attack is his stupid and insulting accusations that Barack Obama is a traitor -- that is that he puts getting elected above the good of the country. The choice of Sarah Palin above Kay Bailey Hutchison, Mike Huckabee, Joe Leiberman, Tom Ridge, Condaleeza Rice, etc., etc., etc. -- is an unabashedly political choice. He cannot know that she is prepared to be commander-in-chief.
The first and most important Presidential decision of any candidate for President is his/her choice of Vice President. John Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, and even George W. Bush, chose running mates that, yes they hoped would help them be elected, but they also chose people that they knew could help them govern and who could step into the Presidency at a moment's notice with the knowledge, experience, and confidence to lead our nation in an emergency.
Sarah Palin is not such a person.
We've had choices before that were not highly experienced: Dan Quayle, Spiro Agnew, Geraldine Ferraro.
John McCain has chosen the least qualified Vice Presidential nominee that I can recall.
John McCain has failed the test.