Who Is Sarah Palin and Why Should We Care?

By William D. Randall

Governor Palin & Senator McCainFresh off the Democratic National Convention in Denver last week, the McCain Campaign announced the selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate. While many speculated that McCain would pick Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty or Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman (I), McCain’s pick of Gov. Palin reflects a sense of desperation by the McCain campaign to capture the support of HRC supporters who may have felt they were ignored by the party over the pick of Barrack Obama and Joe Biden as the Democratic ticket in the fall.  

But who is Sarah Palin? Besides the fact that she is a 44 year-old mother of five, and whose political experience is limited to being the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (total population 6,175) and Governor of Alaska (a state with a total population smaller then that of Austin, Texas) she is a relative unknown in national politics, unless that includes beauty contests (Gov. Palin was runner-up in the 1984 Miss Alaska pageant). Not to mention a star high school basketball player and local news broadcaster.  

As some have reported in the media, Gov. Palin would “be just a heartbeat away from the presidency” due to John McCain’s bouts with melanoma, a form of skin cancer that if not treated properly can become fatal. Not to mention that 14 of 44 vice-presidents have ascended to the presidency according to the Senate Historical Office. Moreover, while Gov. Palin has executive experience in governing Alaska, it has been pointed out that Alaska has a part-time legislature and that Gov. Palin is seriously deficient in urban issues, such as crime and transportation.  

John McCain’s pick appears to be a ploy to attract the “Tina Fey” fan base, someone who is attractive but also intelligent and successful. However, the slogan should be “Dems for Fey, Palin ney.” In an interview with CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, Gov. Palin alluded to her lack of knowledge over the role of the Vice-Presidency, stating “what is it exactly that the Vice-President does all day?” Well to inform the uninformed, the Vice-President must be an effective leader in ensuring the President’s policies are carried out, breaking tie votes in the Senate, and has the ability to step in when the President is incapacitated or unable to resume the Office of the Presidency. Additionally, the Vice-President acts as the envoy of the President in foreign missions. While some functions of the Vice-President are defined by the Constitution, the President determines the level of participation the Vice-President has in his administration. Al Gore was an active advisor to Bill Clinton on environmental issues, while Dan Quayle practically stuck in the shadows after misspelling potato. (Senate Historical Office – Vice Presidency)  

To say that a person, male or female, would have the experience to assume the office of the Presidency only after having been a small town mayor and governor, is saying that we as an electorate no longer value the ability of a candidate to “get things done” that comes with an insight on the political process. Senators Obama and Biden have more legislative experience combined then Gov. Palin would ever have, with both understanding the complexities that come with governing in the Nation’s Capital. 

In concluding, the pick of Gov. Palin to be McCain’s running mate says more about the person making the pick, then Gov. Palin herself. Gov. Palin would likely be an understudy to McCain, one who is told what to do and is expected to do it rather than being an effective advisor to the President. In an interview with 60 Minutes, Senator Obama stated that he selected Senator Biden due to his ability to push back and illuminate options that if elected President, Senator Obama may have overlooked or failed to have considered. This is what the Vice-President does, and unless Governor Palin has the ability to learn about the Georgian Conflict, understand the role of the federal government in a natural disaster, and develop an ability to deal with urban issues in a matter of weeks, we should all be weary of Gov. Palin being a “heartbeat away from the presidency.”

  11 comments for “Who Is Sarah Palin and Why Should We Care?

  1. Citizen Betty
    September 1, 2008 at 12:30 am

    Why should we care?

    The average lifespan for the American male is 73!

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/
    What_is_currently_the_average_lifespan_of_an_American_man

  2. Republican Dementia
    September 1, 2008 at 7:01 am

    The Republican party, McCain, Palin, and their apologists don’t even pretend to be serious or honest people anymore.

    It’s all politics over principle, talking points trumping truth, and an amazing ability to push out the big lie.

    Palin is a ruthless, lying clever anti-intellectual who is there to advance the Republican agenda.

    The only reason she is on the ticket is to energize the wingnut evangelical base, proving that McCain is indeed a POW – prisoner of the wingnuts.

  3. Mike
    September 2, 2008 at 7:51 am

    We can’t tax ourselves into prospertity, especially if Obama is pushing to raise taxes on anyone making $42,000 a year or more.

    Home foreclosures will be going up under Obama and everyone will blame Bush. Bush caused Katrina, 9/11, and global warmning, and everything else.

    Palin represents the middle class better than any other candidate. I, like Obama, “HOPE” her middle class lfiestyle will bring a true perspective into Washington to correct the problems middle class and lower class Americans are facing. Obama, McCain, and Biden are all rich and elite. She’s not rich; She’s not corrupted by politics. Look to her to really become the voice of the middle class.

    Obama is a great guy but his policies, especially when it comes to businesses, are absolutely wrong.

  4. Dan Chmielewski
    September 2, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Mike —
    you are absolutely wrong on your claim Obama will raise taxes on those making $42K a year. You’re covering all of your McCain talking points, but we’ve already run a side-by-side comparison of the McCain and Obama tax plans courtesy of the Washington Post and the average American does better under Obama.

  5. William D. Randall
    September 2, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Mike-

    I would also like to add that you misunderstood the role of the Vice President. First,Gov. Palin’s role would be not to institute policies on her own but to institute the policies of the President. When John McCain states that being middle class is making less than $5 million a year, it’s an obvious sign of what McCain’s policies will be towards the middle class. Second, you mention business. Obama announced that he would provide a tax break for technology start up’s in order to jump start our nation’s stalling economy. Finally, on the issue of home foreclosures, you are correct in stating that if foreclosures go up everyone will blame Bush as the economic conditions leading to home foreclosures occurred under Bush’s presidency. No one President, whether it be McCain or Obama, will be able to turn the ship around in a matter of days, but it will take a collaborative effort between Congress and the President to ensure that corrective policies are enacted that strengthen the economy. Obama has detailed his policies, what about McSame?

  6. CDW
    September 3, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Please don\’t bash the pregnant child. None of us are perfect but as Christians we are forgiven. What does concern me is Mrs. Palin\’s praise and pride in her child for having a baby at 17 out of wedlock. What kind of message is that when we are telling our own children to abstain? This is like having Bill Clinton back in the White House setting a moral example for our young men to follow. Now when our teenagers come home and say \”I\’m pregnant\” we are expected to say \”Oh, I am so proud of you.\”
    Why couldn\’t McCain have chosen Mike Huckabee?

  7. CDW
    September 3, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Where are the Ronald Reagans of the Republican Party today? Is this the best we can do? A filp flopping Presidential candidate who currys favor with liberal nutbags and morally bereft Vice Presidential candidate married to a snowmobiling succesionist husband who belongs to a party of national traitors? Is it too late to draft DIck Cheney? At least he has the decency to not be proud of his daughter for choosing a gay lifestyle. I won’t be voting for Martin Luther Obama but this ticket is a scam. Huckabee/Buchanan in 2012!

  8. MSW
    September 3, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    CDW, you are right on. Thank God we still have people with common sense out there. There is a rumor that she would not let her daughter have an abortion so I guess, if that is true, she is on the right track some of the time–not a baby killer, I think McCain picked her because she won a beauty contest once. She is pretty.

  9. CDW
    September 3, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Don’t listen to rumors. THe left wing liberal nut bags are planting them all over the internet. One said that the retarded baby was actually the daughters when it was really Mrs. Palin’s. Another said the snow mobile dad is actually the father of the tennagers baby. It’s all smoke and mirrors. The Dems will say anything to win.

  10. CDW
    September 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    MSW – Is Mrs. Palin pretty? Well I guess everything is relative. She will look pretty good standing next to Diane Fienstien under a picture of Elanor Roosevelt. You know something about that beer selling rich wife of McShame’s that doesn;t seem right. She has that Michael Jackson look of too many plastic surgeries. And while we are on this shallow subject Hilliary weren’t no looker, not by a long shot.

  11. Rob
    September 3, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    TO ELECT SOME LIKE PALIN WOULD BE A POKE IN THE EYE OF SOMEONE AS COMPETENT AT HILLARY!

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