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Is she really the next best?

Fri, Sep 12th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The selection of Sarah Palin for McCain's running mate was a surprise to almost all the pundits and most of the politicians. Her introduction to the country at the Republican convention was a smashing success according to the media. She did a good job of reading the speech written by Matthew Scully, another G.W.Bush staffer on the McCain payroll.

It was written as a generic speech a week before anyone knew (including McCain) who the nominee would be. Later the biographical part was edited in. The attack lines were the generic part.

The story unfolded that McCain had met her once before, had talked to her over the phone, and had her vetted before inviting her down the week before the nomination. In the manner of another fighter pilot politician he made a rapid off the cuff decision, apparently.

Palin has warts. She wanted to fire a librarian who would not consider censorship of book lists until popular support for the librarian was evident.

She believes creationism and "intelligent design" should be taught in science classes so that faith should be compared to science.

She believes abortion should be banned except for the eminent death (not just health) of the mother. That would include incestuous rape, anencephaly and apparently other gestational horrors.

She denies the consensus science of climate change.

She not only took earmarks she actively sought them as mayor and governor. She hired a lobbyist in DC for a town of 6,000 to get earmarks. She was for the bridge- to-nowhere before she was against it.

She apparently tried, as governor, to settle a beef with an ex-brother-in-law by having him fired. She then fired the State Safety Director who resisted firing the highway patrolman.

I was contemptuous about her selection, but then I reconsidered.

The speakers at the Republican convention were Vice Presidential wannabe's and guys that managed to convince the party, no matter how bad they were and how limited the Republican voters support for McCain was, that McCain was better than any of the rest of them. Their performance solidified that conclusion.

Mitt Romney in a head snapping spin announced, "We need change all right, change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington."

No one could point out that the conservatives have been in power for most of this century and obstructed the Senate for the rest of the time.

Fred Thompson reminded everyone how effective an actor can read a script. His sonorous tones were wasted on the lines about the bad economy being overplayed. It reminded everyone in Michigan about his "something you always find in a vibrant economy" referring to unemployment. Maybe not as bad as Phil Gramm claiming the worry about the economy was coming from a bunch of whiners and it was only a "mental" recession.

Rudy was all over the place. One thing was certain with Rudy, radical Islamists are our only problem. They are everywhere but not to worry for every radical Islamist there is a Republican under your bed to counter act them.

Rudy did defend Palin as keeping the taxes low in Alaska as if she could as Vice President do the same here. In her 20 months as governor she has benefited from the revenue of oil being as high as 140 plus dollars per barrel. With Senator Stevens and Representative Young (both under investigation) Alaska has managed to have the lower 48 pay for everything. Even with earmarks for Wasilla the press is reporting the city is in debt after her administration to the tune of 21 million.

Joe Lieberman, in a monotone whine, managed to insinuate that Democrats do not love America or plan to protect our country. His summation appealing to democrats to vote for McCain intimated that to vote Democratic if you are a Democrat would seem to be unpatriotic.

Other than 10 Republican Senators running for reelection being absent from the convention, there were some other notable absentees, including George Bush and Dick Cheney.

Phil Gramm, if he was there was kept well hidden. This is the guy McCain once thought was the best Republican to be President. He is also the guy who was single handedly responsible for deregulation that led to Enron's demise (shortly after his wife left the board of Enron) and the mortgage meltdown that is likely to cost the taxpayers up to hundreds of billions of dollars. Gramm was touted as Treasury Secretary for McCain until he declared the recession was all in our heads.

Amidst all these fun and games, the fundamental election question needs to be asked: Is Palin the Republican next best qualified to be President after John McCain (who the Republicans think is the best qualified)?

Considering the alternatives mentioned above, maybe she is.

Robert Sauer lives in Preston. He can be reached at

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