Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Selects Alaska Governor Palin as VP Candidate!

Those of you who have known me over the years also know that a couple of years ago I decided to avoid discussing politics on my blog. I do not regret my choice. I much prefer- and fully intend- to keep the tone of this blog as apolitical as possible. I am a staunch conservative (most ER nurses are), and I thrive on open discussion. I have learned far more from you and about you, dear readers, through my current format than I ever would have by maintaining this blog's former, confrontational.

But Senator McCain's choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential candidate has really piqued my interest in the election, and I would like to share my thoughts with you and also to know your thoughts on the matter if you choose to share them. I promise that politics will not be a frequent issue of discussion here, and will return to the standard format after this brief interlude. So without further ado, here are my thoughts:

The selection of Gov. Palin was a shrewd move on Sen. McCain's part. He has just accomplished in one bold swipe what some say the Democratic party has just failed to do- create a ticket that can electrify and unify the party and boost support for a run to the White House. I disagree with most of Sen. McCain's ideas (McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, the Gang of 14, etc.), and I am not a fan of his, but I have to admit I think that that he and his staff have pulled off a masterful coup. I also must admit that before today, I had pretty much written off the Republican Party as a total loss. By choosing Gov. Palin as his VP candidate, Sen. McCain (of all people!) has caused me to wake up and pay closer attention to what is going on. That in itself is a good thing anyway.

The irony alone of Sen. McCain's choice is delicious. Follow along:

Senator Obama, running on the platform of being a Beltway "outsider," nevertheless picks one of the most notorious Beltway insiders to be his VP, publicly clotheshangs a popular female candidate, and exacerbates the division within his party in the process. Of even greater import is that Sen. Obama has never even been mayor of so much as an unincorporated hamlet, and yet he wants to become the most powerful man in the free world.

On the other hand: Sen. McCain, accused of being a Beltway insider (hard to argue that point) reaches over the crowd of established (and jaded) GOP old guard -who are viewed with distrust and even contempt by most Republicans and Americans after the Great Elephant Sellout of 2005- and plucks a ripe plum from the outer fringes of the orchard.

And two things are particularly striking about this choice: (1)Gov. Palin is decidedly NOT a Beltway insider; (2)Gov. Palin has far more executive leadership experience than Barack Obama has. Of much less material consequence, yet compounding the irony, is the fact that Gov. Palin also happens to be a woman. And did I mention that Gov. Palin is a conservative? Did I also not yet mention that Gov. Palin has accomplished what our Congress refuses to do- pushing ahead with opening up petroleum (natural gas) production and transportation?

Anyone- from either side of the aisle- who harps on Gov, Palin's "inexperience" forgets the fact that the Sen. Obama has (1)never even been a mayor; and (2)never governed a state. And I would wager that Gov. Palin has probably accomplished more to the benefit of her state constituents than Sen. Obama has for his own. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.