“I think Sarah Palin can do a one-two punch better than Muhammad Ali,” Kansas state senator Karin Brownlee said after the speech. “And I think she delivered it just square on the opponents’ face. I think she has energized the Republican Party like we haven’t seen in a long time.”
Giving a rousing speech and being aggressive is, I guess, fun to watch. But why does the Republican Party need energizing? And why does it have to come from a vice presidential pick, instead of their candidate for the presidency? Most agree that the vice presidential pick adds very little to the popularity of the president. George Bush won, not because of Cheney, but because he is a good politician (in the winning votes sense). Either Obama or McCain will win based on who they are, not who the vice president is.
Speaking of which, I’m not very happy with Obama’s pick, but I am less so with McCain’s. This has nothing to do with Palin’s private life. This has everything to do with a presidential candidate who has a history of severe health problems choosing someone who no one in their right mind would want as the Leader of the Free World. Palin has almost zero foreign policy experience, as the Anchorage Daily News reports:
Later, when questions were raised about Palin’s lack of experience in national and international affairs, the McCain campaign pointed again to her military command experience as governor. Some reporters have tried to follow up. “Can you tell me one decision that she made as commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard?” CNN journalist Campbell Brown asked Monday while interviewing McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds. “Just one?” Bounds couldn’t, because Palin has never personally ordered the state guard to do anything.
And, in an age when overseas travel is relatively inexpensive, Palin has only been outside of the U.S. to visit four countries:
Palin has also visited one fewer country than originally acknowledged by her Alaska office. Earlier in the week, the governor’s Alaska spokeswoman was quoted as saying Palin had traveled to Iraq, Kuwait, Germany, and Ireland, McCain campaign spokeswoman Maria Comella acknowledged yesterday that Ireland was only a refueling stop on a trip in July 2007 to visit Alaskan National Guard troops in Kuwait and Iraq. Comella said today that the 2007 trip was her only foreign travel apart from visits to Canada. Comella said Palin first received a passport in 2006.
Someday Palin might make a good president, but that time is clearly not now. Heaven forbid something happens to McCain, you would have President Palin, passport issued in 2006. I realize that Obama is criticized for lack of experience, but he has traveled extensively (his last trip not included) and has had as much foreign policy experience as George Bush had in 2000 — maybe more, considering he had to make some foreign policy decisions as Senator. In a globalized world, experience abroad matters. He was also smart enough to choose someone with more foreign policy experience than McCain as VP.