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Sarah Barrucada: The Little Fish McCain Should’ve Thrown Back
“What is it exactly that a vice president does all day?” asked Sarah Palin to CNBC anchor Larry Kudlow off-camera; a relatively cute question under normal circumstances, especially when asked by a spunky hockey mom. The situation becomes a bit more worrisome when we discover it is being asked by an incumbent governor. It becomes frightening when we find the question arose from a lady who has a very good chance of assuming the position she seems so curious about. And upon learning she is the running mate of a senator who has already exceeded the average life expectancy of the American male, we are really freaking out, as several of her teenage children would likely put it.
The same kids, though, would tell us to chill out a bit. After all, Sarah Palin has executive experience. In fact, according to Rudi Giuliani, by being mayor and governor, she had more experience than Barack Obama by her first day on the job. Palin was the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a city of much more consequence than its 7,000 people might suggest. Consequential enough for her to ask for $27 million of earmarks on a trip to Washington a few years back, and almost grabbing hundreds of millions more for an aptly termed “bridge to nowhere”. Speaking of earmarks, Palin is quite the reformer, the McCain camp tells us. In fact, she has cut down pork-barrel spending by over 40 percent, down to a mere $450 million over the last two years.
Whatever, let’s move to another issue, we are told. Let’s focus on Palin’s background for a smidge. Sarah Palin earned her nickname “Barracuda” from her wild, ferocious playing style on the Wasilla High School basketball team, a name which she playfully refuses to acknowledge. A small town girl in every respect, she led the schools Fellowship for Christian Athletes club (FCA) and was crowned Miss Wasilla in 1984. Between her job as sports announcer and her new job as governor of Alaska, she enjoys hunting and fishing and spending time with her 5 kids. Her hair back in a messy ponytail, she poses in pictures with fish she caught after a day of corruption-busting. An all-American gal, Palin drives her pickup truck while talking to state government insiders on her Blackberry. If ever there was a politician who so clearly represented the average Joes (and Janes, no less) with the experience to “shake up Washington”, it was governor Palin.
We want to agree. We really do. Palin is charming, funny (“The only difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom?” she asks. “Lipstick.”) and seems to be genuinely interested in helping the people, whether or not conservative economic policy usually doesn’t emanate that vibe. In fact, with her librarian’s bun and somewhat awkward wave, she looks almost presidential. But do we really want to put a perky, down-home high school beauty queen a heartbeat (or lack of one) away from the presidency?
The McCain campaign tells us yes, but a nagging voice many of us refer to as reality tells us no. In fact, it wonders why we are even considering it. Wasn’t McCain’s main beef with Obama his lack of experience? Wouldn’t Giuliani have to concede that John McCain doesn’t have a single days’ worth of executive experience, either?
Sarah Palin’s resume simply does not resemble that of a vice president. The question she candidly asked a news anchor exemplifies her inexperience. In a time when America is repeatedly threatened by foreign nations, it is almost absurd to trust someone who left the country for the first time two years ago to the position of second-in-command. Here’s a situation which John McCain desperately wants you not to imagine: the president has suffered a heart attack and died, leaving Sarah Palin as president of the United States, and the daily briefing includes a nuclear threat from Iran.
There’s not much that being mayor of Wasilla can do to help here, folks.
The Republicans just got unlucky this year. The most traditional conservative in the race was a Mormon, who southern Evangelicals refused to vote for. The next best was Giuliani, who had some shady personal problems. Then came McCain, whose campaign was “dead” by January and rebounded in a way few campaigns are able to. Bickering between Romney and McCain during the primaries made a McCain-Romney ticket look too political, and McCain’s next choice, Joseph Lieberman, was a former democrat who would do very little to shore up the conservative base, if not completely alienate it. That left a handful of names very few people had heard of, with Palin’s being close to the bottom of the list, according to McCain insiders.
All of a sudden, though, with Hillary Clinton’s absence on the Democratic ticket, a woman seemed like a good, no a great idea. Sarah Palin and John McCain spoke once on the phone a week prior to her introduction to America, and she was promptly shipped off to Arizona, where she met John McCain for the second time. Then, it was off to St. Paul where she was informed of McCain’s stances and views on issues, trained how to act in the spotlight, and helped in preparin her acceptance speech. And here we are.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, their ticket is quite unusual, too. Many independents will have to choose between two pairs of politicians that are very unlike those seen in past elections, and right now, Obama-Biden is still the slightly weirder one. With polls tightening and leads shrinking in virtually every state, we are looking at a wild shoot-out ahead.
And thankfully, Sarah Palin has better aim than our last vice president.