John McCain's candidacy has largely been successful because of his support for the surge in Iraq and his promotion of our staying in their country indefinitely. Or at least, his opposition to setting any kind of benchmarks or timetables for leaving, which is essentially the same thing.
And yet, the person he selected to be a heartbeat away from the leader of the free world said in 2007 that she "hadn't really thought about it."
when it came to what's going on Iraq.
You hadn't really thought about the war that's cost thousands of American lives and will eventually cost over 1 trillion dollars.. because you were "focused on state politics"
Even if at the time you had no national ambitions and didn't expect to have any sort of say on matters of national importance, wouldn't you want to be in the know since you're in charge of the Alaska National Guard, who has had units serving in Iraq?
Are we really supposed to believe she's ready to formulate policy on Iraq if something happens to McCain? That she can really be a partner in his Administration to make life and death decisions for our troops when she doesn't know anything about the conflict?
The only thing she could muster in response to a question about the surge was that she supported President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and the rest of the Administration.. while wanting to know if we had an exit strategy in place. Seriously?
I mean, how can you think you're ready to be the next in line to be President and not have formed an opinion on arguably the most important issue facing the country this November and in the years to come?
How can you not be aware of the status of our country's exit strategy a year ago, when that was one of the biggest political issues being discussed?
I've searched for any indication that she's even minimally versed, or even interested in foreign policy.. and I've come up blank.
I guess that's to be expected when her last job consisted of making sure the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race goes off without a hitch, and she was responsible for governing less than 10,000 people in a relatively remote community.. but that doesn't make me confident in her ability to tackle issues of national importance, let alone ones with global implications.
John McCain's slogan has been that he puts his "country first".. implying that decisions he has made throughout his career, and decisions he'd make as President would put the country before politics. And yet, by all accounts the selection of Sarah Palin has not been a choice based on what's best for the country.. It's been entirely political.
A way to shake things up and energize his campaign.
Because if he truly believes Obama is too inexperienced to handle the threats our nation faces, he should have picked someone who could have been of some assistance to him in facing those threats.. someone who puts Obama's accomplishments to shame, and he didn't.
He plainly didn't choose her to be a partner in his Administration: he'd only met her once before, and talked to her one time after that, and yet everything we know about McCain has pointed to him wanting to pick someone who could be his "wing man person," someone loyal to him, someone he's known and would be comfortable with at his side, facing the tough decisions with him.
He didn't choose her because she has some long record of reform or a litany of achievements relevant to the position of Vice President, because she doesn't.
He chose her because he needed a gimmick to compete with the massive excitement that Barack Obama's candidacy has been able to bring to the race. And for at least this weekend, it seems to have worked.
Her selection is ridiculous to say the least, but it's especially disturbing in light of the numerous misstatements made by McCain dealing with the complex issues on the ground in Iraq and the "war on terrorism" at large.. for example, the differences between Sunni and Shia, Al Qaeda and other militias operating in Iraq.. lumping them all into one large container as though the differences between them don't matter in relation to the formation of policy.
have suggested that at 72, it's simply old age getting the better of his mind, I think beyond that, it raises the question the question of whether or not McCain should have someone at his side who's already well versed on the issues, and who has the judgment and credibility to help him make decisions on the biggest issues of our time, and if something were to happen, someone who could step in and take over.
That person is not Sarah Palin.
And at 72, with a history of health problems, including cancer, the selection of someone who has no foreign policy chops should give any conservative who believes McCain's lines about the threats we face pause.