Friday, August 29, 2008


Republican Presidential candiadte John McCain selected Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate today. According to the announcement sent out by the McCain campaign,
Governor Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president. She has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her Administration and has a record of delivering on the change and reform that we need in Washington.

Governor Palin has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources. She leads a state that matters to every one of us -- Alaska has significant energy resources and she has been a leader in the fight to make America energy independent.

In Alaska, Governor Palin challenged a corrupt system and passed a landmark ethics reform bill. She has actually used her veto and cut budgetary spending. She put a stop to the "bridge to nowhere" that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars.

As the head of Alaska's National Guard and as the mother of a soldier herself, Governor Palin understands what it takes to lead our nation and she understands the importance of supporting our troops.

I think this is an excellent choice on many levels. First, Governor Palin has the executive experience that both Biden and Obama (and McCain himself, to be honest) so conspicuously lack. Secondly, as the youngest member of either ticket, she is able to challenge Obama's youth-based celebrity (she was herself a beauty contestant in her younger days). And she, like McCain, is a maverick- she has consistently fought the special interests and corruption in her own party and defeated several Establishment candidates to win her current position. She is someone who can bring a voice of reason to the energy debate, as she is Governor of the state with American's largest oil reserves. Finally, as a working mom, she can connect to women on a level that neither Biden nor Obama can, and McCain's choice shows once again that he is the real agent for change and is willing to take risks- in short, as Pajamas Media's Jennifer Rubin so aptly put it "he thinks he can win".

Palin is solidly conservative. As governor, she reduced spending, exposed corruption and worked to make Alaska independent of federal money. She has a long record of fighting corruption and is not close to either of Alaka's corrupt Congressmen- Senator Stevens or Representative Young. She is also a hunter, a lifelong member of the NRA and she is a confirmed pro-life candidate- she chose to have her latest child even though doctors told her that the child had Downs Syndrome. Her oldest son is in the Army, and is preparing to deploy to Iraq.

The risk here is that Palin's experience is limited. Before being elected governor, she was a member of the city council and later mayor of Wasilla, a small town of only 5400 residents in Alaska. However, both her mayoral and her gubernatorial experience trump either Biden or Obama- neither has any executive experience at all. And she, like McCain, has a long record of reformism- in fact, her reformer credentials are even more solid than McCain's- she was never involved with the Keating Five.

In conclusion, Palin may be weak on the experience bit, having less than ten years in elected office. But she has executive experience as both a mayor and as a governor- no one else on either ticket can make that claim. And she is as much the outsider as McCain- in contrast to the Chicago machine politician Obama and the ultimate Washington insider Biden. And she also brings intangibles that neither Biden nor even Obama himself can- she is a woman, and with the Hillary supporters still unhappy with the way their candidate was treated, she may be able to siphon off some of the female support Obama desperately needs in order to win.

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