Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Real Sarah Palin

“Getting to know you… getting to know all about you!”
by Charlie Leck

In the old days – that is, before Al Gore gave us all the Internet – it would have taken days and, likely, weeks to get to know all about Sarah Palin. Now, it takes, literally, moments.

Sarah has a sister! Sarah has a sister!
And her sister went through a messy divorce with an Alaska State Policeman. Well, as Governor, what could Sarah Palin do about that? Nothing? No, not at all! She could fire the policeman – or, at least, try! That’s Sarah Palin’s first little mini-scandal. But this is the woman the GOP has all day long been calling ethically and morally ‘pure.’

Where does it go from there?
Well, you can be sure, in this day of instant news, that the search is on. Fingers are rapidly sweeping across keyboards, searching, searching, searching! If there is something out there, the typing fingers will find it – and soon!

For instance, what about global warming, which could have a devastating impact on the state of Alaska? Sarah says:
“A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.” [Governor Sarah Palin]

“... adding polar bears to the nation's list of endangered species, as some are now proposing, should not be part of those efforts.... I strongly believe that adding them to the list is the wrong move at this time.... The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group, has argued that global warming and the reduction of polar ice severely threatens the bears' habitat and their existence. In fact, there is insufficient evidence that polar bears are in danger of becoming extinct within the foreseeable
The LA Times hit hard on this question about the vetting of Sarah Palin. Was it thorough? That’s an important question. We’ll know more about Sarah Palin within the next 3 days than her husband knows about her right now. Just watch!

As a post on The Nation Blog today points out, Sarah Palin was a supporter of the hate-filled Pat Buchanan and his exploration of a run for the Presidency in 1999 [read the post]. This woman is not just a conservative, but she is a radical conservative with a tendency to go radically right.

And, Alaska has a “clean water” initiative on its ballot this fall. Palin has actively campaigned against it. In doing so, she may have broken the law and folks are investigating and building a case.

Can she woo Senator Clinton’s feminist supporters?
It would seem unlikely, but we’ll have to watch. Palin stands for things Clinton did not want to touch? The pro-choice/pro-life question is on the top of that list. Disclaiming global warming is also on the list! And fairness to working men and women is also in question (despite early claims of her strong labor support)! Ms. Palin is pretty much way over on the right. It’s hard for me to believe Senator Clinton’s vast army of female supporters would take anything more than one casual first-look at Governor Palin without then looking away.

How will she do in a debate with Joe Biden?
There’s one scheduled national VP debate. Joe Biden will want it to be on foreign policy, international relations and the war in Iraq. Sarah Palin hasn’t, by her own admission, given much thought to such matters. Well, she better get up to speed or Joe Biden will crush her in that debate. Biden is one of the government’s best informed individuals on these questions of international relations – he can name the head of state of every government in the world and he has met most of them. She has time. Does she have the vigor or the intellect? We’ll find out!

Did John McCain make the right choice?
As Joe Conason wrote in
“…She is a right-wing religious ideologue with female gender characteristics. Suddenly that is all anyone needs to qualify as a potential commander in chief of the world's most powerful military. We probably won't hear so much from now on about "experience" and "judgment," McCain's vaunted standard for the presidency until ... today. We certainly won't hear again about the "person most prepared to take my place," the phrase he has used more than once to describe his main criterion for a running mate.”
In a CNN interview in April (2008), John McCain pondered what he’d do about selecting a Vice President:
"I think about whether that person who I select would be most prepared to take my place. And that would be the key criteria [sic]."
Read John Dickerson, one of the nation’s sharpest political observers, in he says McCain’s pick of Palin raises one very significant question. That is: “Huh?”

Senator Schumer, of New York, called the McCain pick a “hail mary pass.”
“…the choice of Sarah Palin is surely a Hail Mary pass. It is a real role of the dice and shows how John McCain, Karl Rove et al realize what a strong position the Obama-Biden team and Democrats in general are in in this election. Certainly the choice of Palin puts to rest any argument about inexperience on the Democratic team and, while Palin is a fine person, her lack of experience makes the thought of her assuming the presidency troubling. I particularly look forward to the Biden-Palin debate in Missouri.”
The Wall Street Journal sees this matter as a question of Palin vs. Obama, rather than Palin vs. Biden. WSJ asks whether Palin is just as fit to be President as is Obama! Wow! That is an interesting approach and we’ll have to wait and see if the GOP plans to use it.

This is obviously just Chapter One of the Sarah Palin story. Stayed Tuned! You can bet there will be more to follow.

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