John McCain Puts Politics Before Our Nations Security: Chooses Sarah Palin, First Term Gov. of Alaska
In his latest political stunt, McCain chose Sarah Palin, a woman he has only met one time, for his VP.
(Fruitful for Alaska?)
Really…what more can I say? John McCain just put all his cards on the table. Never should it be more obvious to the American the type of campaign John McCain has been running. From day one this has not been a campaign that has put our bests interests first. It has been a campaign of arguing of how John McCain’s continuation of the failed Bush policies really will be what the country needs…how McCain who has supported Bush more than 90% of the time is the wright person to get us out of the slump we are in. Unable to excite people with the same old same old, this campaign has been one of political pandering, fear, and desperation.
Ask yourself what is he trying to accomplish by nominating Sarah Palin as his vice president? Do you really think a former small Alaskan town mayor who is now in her second year as the states governor is the wisest choice…is ready to lead on day one should something happen John McCain.
If you have any doubt this is not purely a political stunt, I encourage to consider the fact that John McCain only ever actually met Palin one time at a National Goveners Assocaition meeting in Feb. 2008 before making his decision about her. According to his campaign besides that meeting, McCain spoke to her by phone one other time (last Sunday) when he invited her to Arizona to receive the news.
The fundamental question here is whether or not she is prepared to lead the country? Where is she on the important issues that face our country, not just Alaska. Here is her standing on McCain’s plans for Iraq from two weeks ago (audio only).
I’m sure I’ll be updating this post in the days to come as more comes out about her.
Update: Here is a great link from an Alaskan political blog that provides some interesting local insight into Sarah Palin. They also posted this picture of the town where she was mayor:
Update: More local response to Palin’s Pick
From the Daily Miner in Fairbanks:
Sen. John McCain’s selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate was a stunning decision that should make Alaskans proud, even while we wonder about the actual merits of the choice…. Alaskans and Americans must ask, though, whether she should become vice president and, more importantly, be placed first in line to become president.
Most people would acknowledge that, regardless of her charm and good intentions, Palin is not ready for the top job. McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nation’s when he created the possibility that she might fill it.And from the Anchorage Daily News:
In fact, as the governor herself acknowledged in her acceptance speech, she never set out to be involved in public affairs. She has never publicly demonstrated the kind of interest, much less expertise, in federal issues and foreign affairs that should mark a candidate for the second-highest office in the land. Republicans rightfully have criticized the Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, for his lack of experience, but Palin is a neophyte in comparison; how will Republicans reconcile the criticism of Obama with the obligatory cheering for Palin?
And from the Anchorage Daily News:
It’s stunning that someone with so little national and international experience might be heartbeat away from the presidency.
Gov. Palin is a classic Alaska story. She is an example of the opportunity our state offers to those with talent, initiative and determination…
McCain picked Palin despite a recent blemish on her ethically pure resume. While she was governor, members of her family and staff tried to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from the Alaska State Troopers. Her public safety commissioner would not do so; she forced him out, supposedly for other reasons. While she runs for vice-president, the Legislature has an investigator on the case.
For all those advantages, Palin joins the ticket with one huge weakness: She’s a total beginner on national and international issues.
Gov. Palin will have to spend the next two months convincing Americans that she’s ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency….
It appears that Mrs. Palin has already gotten herself caught in a lie. In her first official speech as Vice President she claimed to be against Alaska’s pork barrel “bridge to no where” project stating:
“I championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. In fact, I told Congress — I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ on that bridge to nowhere. If our state wanted a bridge, I said we’d build it ourselves.”
Thinkprogress.org points out that:
It appears, however, that Palin is lying. As Bradford Plumer first noted, the Anchorage Daily News interviewed Palin during her 2006 campaign for governor. At the time, federal funding for the bridge had been stripped by Congress. They asked if she was in favor of continuing state funding for the project. “Yes,” she responded, noting specifically her desire to renew Congressional support:
Yes. I would like to see Alaska’s infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now–while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.
That assistance never materialized. When she finally canceled the $400 million project, Palinlamented the fact that Congress was not more forthcoming with federal funding. She said in a statement at the time:
Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it’s clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island.
Palin’s desire to have federal funding directed toward pet projects in Alaska, however, did not diminish. As recently as March 2008 — around the time she first met McCain — her special counsel, John Katz, wrote in the Juneau Empire that despite recognizing increased scrutiny of such spending, Palin was not “not abandoning earmarks altogether.” While McCain expressed high–profile disdain for earmarks, the Palin administration held that:
[E]armarks are not bad in themselves. In fact, they represent a legitimate exercise of Congress’ constitutional power to amend the budget proposed by the president.