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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/16/08

Palin a liability; McCain's judgment fails

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Message P. A. Triot
John McCain thought he cleverly shuffled the electoral deck of cards earlier this month when he chose Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, as his vice-presidential running mate. True, as long as she read McCain's speechwriters' scripts from the TelePrompTer and was kept away from reporters (or anyone else) who might question her about anything germane to being vice president, the telegenic "babe" from the North not only fired up Republican religious-right fanatics, but also caught the imagination of a large part of the American voting public. 

A few of us publicly and privately asked, "What was McCain thinking?" It was obvious that his vetting process at best stumbled along, or, at worst, was nonexistent, assuming that no one really cared about the VP choice. After all, George H. W. Bush produced Dan Quayle, didn't he? Bush Sr. got away with a dumb choice.  

One difference between McCain's choice and Bush's is that Quayle had served as a U. S. Senator. Another difference is that Bush Sr. wasn't in his dotage and certainly didn't look as if he had one foot in the grave. The same cannot be said about McCain. 

Still, McCain's choice of Ms. Palin managed to limp through the first week or so after the Republican National Convention by keeping her closeted away from any but the most controlled exposure to the public. Her remarks were limited to praising McCain and marveling at how he sustained himself as a prisoner of war some 35 years ago––all while gazing adoringly at him (and he leering at her). 

The babe and the geezer bubble burst Sept. 11 when, after seeing her son off to Iraq with the Alaska National Guard to Iraq, she sat down with Charlie Gibson of ABC News to answer some questions. It's hard to call the exchange an interview, because Ms. Palin kept strictly to talking points prepared by McCain's handlers. Nevertheless her answers shed some light on several facts: 

* Ms. Palin is little more than a pretty face with a vacuous mind.

* Ms. Palin is incapable of serious thought, other than to skewer her opponents with snide remarks, which probably were written for her by someone else.

* She has done no serious thinking about important national issues and is proud of it.
* Ms. Palin knows nothing about the Republican-championed "Bush Doctrine."
* Ms. Palin is nothing but a babe who looks good (may I even say sexy?) in front of a television camera, a well scrubbed, vastly improved version of the late Tammy Faye Bakker. 

 The issue of sexism is long past regarding criticism of Ms. Palin (after all it was Republican apologist Rush Limbaugh who labeled her a "babe").  The reality is that she's simply too dumb to qualify as vice-presidential timber. The results from this single encounter with a serious person such as Gibson only underscores the fact that, should McCain win (or steal) the election, she will be irrelevant as a member of the his administration. 

After the initial glow of Ms. Palin's decorative appearance on the national stage began to wear off, attention turned to McCain himself. The "what-was-he-thinking?" question forced its way to the forefront. McCain's first, and perhaps his only, important decision as a candidate revealed his incompetence and poor judgment. 

It proves what I've always thought about McCain: he's not a maverick, he's simply not too bright--and he tries to cover that fact with false bravado. He's nothing but an old guy who deserves kudos for surviving war prison nearly four decades ago but who is not capable of leading a nation for the next four years.  

McCain's choice of a babe who turned out to be a bimbo only revealed that he is not qualified to be president. So, as McCain tries to pass off Ms. Palin to the American public as a "maverick's choice," he finds that the joke's on him.  



Copyright 2008 by P. A. Triot, reproduce and distribute at will, with proper attribution.

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P. A. Triot is the pen name of a retired journalist.
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