Believe it or not, the Vice Presidency is a job.
It is a job Sarah Palin is woefully unprepared to assume given she can’t explain the inherent responsibilities of the role. In the real world, as a real American, I have never applied for or been hired for a position without knowing the scope of responsibilities and functions I would be required to perform and being able to adequately explain how my skill sets will enable me to excel at performing those duties. Apparently, this isn’t how things work in the world of politics. When Sarah Palin showed she has no idea what the Vice President of the United States does and shared this new ignorance with the rest of the world less than a month ago, I was astounded. Ok, maybe astounded is the wrong word when talking about Sarah Palin and anything. The truly scary thing is, that this is the job McCain hand-picked her for and even worse, the job which around 40 percent of “real” Americans actually think she's qualified to handle. Wow. This one fact outside of the shopping, abuse of power and separatist para-militia association, should be registering on some level as we go into the polling stations to cast our votes. It’s important alone and outside of the fact that she could become President in the event that something prevents McCain from fulfilling his term---not that I believe there will actually be a term. McCain’s camp could and probably should have given Palin at least a simple overview after the first flub but apparently they no longer don’t care what comes out of the mouth of babe.
Palin does not even appear to have had any intellectual curiosity about the job. Remind anyone else of Bush?
To give the very briefest outline of the Vice President’s role in relation to the Senate, he or she is the "President of the Senate" but their only power is to cast tie-breaking votes. That's all folks. The Vice President does not "run" anything. He or she cannot write bills, argue over legislation, engage in pork barrel spending or filibuster, you know, all of the great things Senators do. The Vice President historically presides over the swearing-in of new Senate members as well but that is about it. Sorry Sarah, no “getting in there” for “good policymaking” for you.
Then again, it isn’t exactly new for a running mate or even the actual holder of the Vice President position to have problems understanding this role. Take Palin’s predecessor Dick Cheney and the example he has set for her during the Bush administration. If Palin is learning and accepting pearls of wisdom from Cheney during their hunting trips, it is no wonder she’s throughly confused. Hell, Cheney’s assertations and actions in the name of ultimate executive power confuse us all but Palin's inability to nail down the precise duties of the Vice President should be troubling enough to stop all but the truly stupid from rallying around her. And Tuesday, we have a chance to marginalize this darker, uglier side of America unearthed as a last resort for a very desperate McCain.
Of course, if the Vice President's only job is to be a narrow-minded, myopic, hawkish fear-monger, Palin is totally up for the job.