I have nothing against partnering up with attractive Alaskan women and proved it by marrying one once. But has John McCain completely lost his mind? A man who was among the most palatable of the Republicans for his rogue views, unwavering principles, and independent thought has spent the last five years
First it was the Christian right, who he started pandering to all of a sudden despite a history of public contempt for them, when someone finally convinced him there was no way he was ever going to be the Republican nominee without their support.
Then it was his about face on offshore oil exploration, which he’d always been adamantly against until recent polls apparently led him to believe he should be otherwise.
And now he’s selected Sarah Palin, a 44 year old, staunchly pro life, ex beauty queen with negligible experience as his running mate.
”I’m appalled actually,” my friend Shelby remarked after staring with her mouth agape at a bit of the coverage. “I used to respect the man but he’s turning into some sort of senile old goat. What, I’m supposed to vote for him now because he’s doddering around the stage with this evangelical chick from the NRA who's half his age?”
"Well that's insulting!" another friend commented after almost spitting her coffee across the dash as I broke the news. "We didn't support Hillary because she uses the same restroom as us but because she was in tune with the issues we care about. This lady doesn't sound like she understands women in the slightest. Probably because there hardly are any other women in Alaska. Isn't the ratio like ten to one up there? She's probably used to breaking balls not chatting with the gals about their concerns. There's nothing more offensive to me than a conservative woman. At least you can understand why men want to keep the good old boys in power."
And since one of McCain's big fighting points with Obama is the difference in their experience levels, how's he going to rationalize that disparity now? He's taken his trump card and folded it away before the pot could even grow. McCain is 72 years old. His chosen next in line has spent a mere two years running the state of Alaska, population 670K. That makes the mayor of Tucson (population 600K) just about as qualified and I'm quite sure McCain never considered him. Old Walkup is just that though and not likely to look anywhere near as good as Sarah does while striding across a bridge in Iraq.
I have no doubt Mrs. Palin is a capable woman and it’s not her I take issue with. My dad, who did a lot of work in Alaska, used to say that the place seems like a vast frontier chock full of men’s men until you get up there and realize that, from roadhouse to hunting lodge, its usually a woman who runs the place behind the scenes. She’s probably a tough cookie, a good parent, a hearty sportsperson, and a decent governor. But the fact that John McCain so clearly wouldn’t have even considered her if she were a man makes the whole situation reek of desperation, sexism, and the cynical calculating Karl Rove type crap that we’ve all hopefully had enough of.
If the pictures of the good Governor that are emerging are any indication though, it should be an interesting couple of months on the old campaign trail.