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dave29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 12:20 PM
Original message
Palin Primer
Edited on Sat Aug-30-08 12:24 PM by dave29
I have been thinking about McCain' selection of Sarah Palin to be his Vice President, and potential next President of the United States.

Watching reactions in the media and listening to folks talk, I have been struck by this pick in a way that has surprised me. My reaction is not dissimilar to many others: it frightens me on multiple levels. She has less experience than George W. Bush did, she is more socially conservative than he (at least outwardly), and has not even been vetted as he was (so weakly) in 2000. Being the Governor of a large state (as was George W. Bush) has not always translated into the temperament or judgment to be a good Commander in Chief. See the last eight years. Her foreign policy experience is nil. What are her thoughts on torture, Darfur, trade, immigration and China (to name a few)? Has she even thought about these things? We don't know.

In short, I think Sarah Palin is more like George W. Bush than John McCain, who just picked her, on his 72nd birthday, to be a heartbeat from the Presidency.

This is why I think it is our job to quickly prepare to do combat with the collapsing circular rhetoric coming from the McCain camp -- primarily that if Sarah Palin is not experienced enough -- neither is Obama. The obvious path here is to reinforce and expand on Obama's rigorous vetting by the American electorate, the media, and his triumph in the Democratic Primaries in spite of the experience argument. We choose Presidents based on how they fare in a very thorough discussion of who they are, what they have accomplished, and how they have accomplished it. We test them. We watch them manage a crisis. We look under every rock and polish it clean. At least that is what we have done for Obama... and his case has been different. Being the first African American with the potential to be President has made the spotlight that much more intense. Going up against some of the brightest and most formidable candidates in American History has made the spotlight that much more intense. Going up against Hillary Clinton who has light years more gravitas than Sarah Palin and emerging victorious has only shown the spotlight more and more on Barack Obama's temperament and judgment as potential Commander in Chief. His address, in front of 75,000 people on Thursday proved, in my opinion, without a reasonable doubt -- that Barack Obama is best suited to be President at this moment in time.

Sarah Palin was selected, in an action much like the Supreme Court selecting George W. Bush, to be a heartbeat from the Presidency. She has not been tested, she has not been vetted, she met John McCain once, and she could very easily be our President within the next year.

There has been much discussion about how the first important decision a President makes is picking his or her Vice President. There has also been an unwritten (although maybe it should be written) rule that a vice presidential selection should be based first and foremost on that person's ability to take over the awesome responsibility of being President of the United States.

Comparing these "selections" Obama wins hands down. Again, he has shown the temperament and the judgment that a President should -- not a reckless and risky choice like McCain has made -- that seems far more calculating than wise. In fact Obama faced some criticism for his choice, but there was always an implicit understanding that Joe Biden is prepared to be President. This is the most important test.

Is Sarah Palin ready to be President? Is she prepared to get us out of Iraq? Does she even understand the middle east? We just don't know.

Here are my responses to the talking points. Please share your own.

1) "She is the most popular Governor in America"

Then why have I never heard of her

2) "She has more experience than Obama at an executive level"

Their resumes are not even close. She has not been vetted. She has not been tested. She has not been put under a microscope and dissected like Barack Obama. We do not know Sarah Palin, but we do know Barack Obama. He has proven he has the temperament and judgment and desire to lead -- like other great leaders before him whom also appeared to have limited experience. Has Sarah Palin been compared to any great leaders? Does she even want to be President? Does she have the desire and drive to lead this great country? Does she have the temperament and knowledge to work with foreign leaders? Where does she stand on the issues? We do not know. Does she even understand the awesome responsibility she may very likely inherit?

3) "She has been tough on members of her own party, worked across the aisle and has high ethical standards. She is seen as a new kind of Republican"

They said the same thing about George W. Bush. And isn't she to the right of him on many issues? Is mainstream America ready for a President that is as socially conservative as Dick Cheney? And how can you say she has ethical standards when she is currently under an ethics investigation?

4) "She appeals to women"

she is NO Hillary Clinton. She is NOT a feminist. She may appeal to some women, but not those in the mainstream who believe in progress, choice, and equality for women.

5) "She is a game-changer"

This is not a game. The campaign for President is a test to see who is ready for the most important job on the planet. Sarah Palin was a risky choice by a man who has proven over and over again that he does not have the temperament or judgment to be President. She is an unknown quantity now potentially a heartbeat away from the Presidency.
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. Beautiful!
Barack Obama has lived in different countries and traveled the world. He has lived and worked in different types of communities in the US from the "elite" of Harvard Law School to the South Side of Chicago. Those experiences deepens one's understanding of the world and people one would govern. BO has that. Has Palin ever lived anywhere but Alaska? Alaska is a state unto itself, so different and so removed from the rest of the country. She may bring a different perspective but there's no way she herself can have a depth of understanding of different people and cultures, aside from those of Alaska.

And what about the contrast with Biden? Biden survived one of the worst tragedies that can befall a person -- losing his wife and child. That kind of tragedy shapes a person, giving depth and compassion. Palin? Hm.

No breadth, no depth. Nope, nothing here. Move along. Ignore her.
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kwolf68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Ding Ding
Edited on Sat Aug-30-08 12:34 PM by kwolf68
Good post. It's typically why whites in rural areas are more Conservative...they all do, think, act the same there. They are homogonized. That's how Alaska is. When you are that restricted, you lose perspective and you are proven to be among the most narrow-minded people. -Not saying all of Alaska is narrow-minded, but lets face it they don't have a lot of viewpoint diversity there.

It's no wonder I lost my racism, lost my right wingisms when I moved to Northern Virginia. I actually started reacting with and meeting people who (shudder the thought) were black, were gay, were (ahhhhhhh) Liberal. I learned a lot and now ? Clear Liberal.

Even had I not become a Liberal, I trust I would have gained perspective. The Conservatives I meet here are actually pretty cool. They seem to at least understand better the world around them, even if they are still Conservative.
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Ding ding back
Perspective -- that's the word I was circling around. Obama's got it. Biden's got it. McSame doesn't, Palin doesn't.

That voice! It's so grating!
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R
This post is too good to sink!
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REACTIVATED IN CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Yes indeed
K & R
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central scrutinizer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
4. Change the focus from "experience" to "judgment"
Nobody who is running has experience being President. What is important is their intelligence, ability to think on their feet, their judgment and their track record on policies that are important to the future of the American people. On these criteria, Obama is such a clear choice that it is no wonder the McW camp is running away from their agenda and record.
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Psst_Im_Not_Here Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
6. An addition to point 2
If you use only executive level experience, Palin would also have more experience than John McCain. He's never served in an executive position either.
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bluethruandthru Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Great point!
Plus, I'd like to know what Palin did before she was mayor of Wasilla? I know she was a TV sportscaster and beauty queen...but was there anything else before she became mayor? And....would that experience even come close to Obama's "pre-political" life..when he was a community organizer?
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bcoylepa Donating Member (438 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. dominionists connections
"There are quite a number of extremely troubling links between Sarah Palin and neopentecostal dominionists--enough that, in truth, she may be ultimately as much of a "dream candidate" for the dominionist movement as Mike Huckabee was. Even worse, she's running in a manner that has been frighteningly successful for dominionist groups since the early 80's--specifically, as a "stealth candidate"."
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