The news that John McCain has chosen the 44 year-old beauty queen and 20-month Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential choice is certainly out of left field. This is a real reminder that last Spring the Republicans chose McCain as their candidate out of desperation when no other candidate was even marginally acceptable to the republican base. When everyone else dropped out, McCain was all that was left as a desperation choice.
Now we watch as John McCain himself attempts to shake up his failing Presidential campaign by choosing Mrs. Palin whose main asset appears to be her appearance and the fact that she has something of a maverick reputation in Republican circles. Apparently she has not hesitated to go after other corrupt Republicans in the most corrupt state in America. (As an ex-artilleryman, I would describe Alaska as a "target-rich environment" for someone going after corrupt politicians.) I'm sure Mrs. Palin's gender and undoubted beauty was also a draw to the womanizing McCain, too. I wonder what her husband thinks of her associating closely with McCain, or if he feels that at age 72 McCain is not any real problem anymore?
OK. Mrs. Palin has occupied the office of governor of Alaska for twenty months, during which time she has also had her fifth child. I'm sure she does an excellent job of the ceremonial functions of governor. Prior to being elected governor she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a bedroom community "...69 km northeast of Anchorage.... About one third of the people of Wasilla commute to work into Anchorage every day. It has been pointed out that as governor she commands the Alaska National Guard (whoopee!) Believe it or not, FOX news has already touted her foreign affairs experience because "Alaska is right next to Russia." (Texas is also right next to Mexico, but even FOX wasn't so desperate as to float this idiocy for Bush.)
So somehow a beauty queen with experience primarily as mayor of a bedroom community of about 8,000 people is now being proposed by John McCain to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. McCain is an ex-POW cancer survivor who is today celebrating his 72d birthday and who some say is already showing symptoms of confusion similar to those Ronald Reagan showed in 1987. A fellow ex-POW, Phillip butler points out that the injury and privations suffered by the POWs held by the North Vietnam have a shorter life expectancy than other people. (The The 2000 actuarial table from Social Security gives an average life expectancy for someone age 72 to be 12 years.) If McCain is elected President, this woman will have a much better than average chance of becoming President.
Mrs. Palin brings to the table her gender, her obvious good looks, and her reputation as a maverick Republican who for the last couple of years has gone after corrupt Alaska politicians. By choosing her McCain is separating himself from George Bush, but he's also separating himself from the mainstream of the American Republican Party. McCain's choice of Mrs. Palin is a clear statement that there is no one in the Republican Party competent to be Vice President, so McCain has to roll the dice and choose someone with literally no significant resume or accomplishments on the national stage.
The choice of McCain himself as the Republican nominee for President last Spring was a desperation move when no one was able to get a majority of the party behind him. This roll-of-the-dice desperation decision to choose Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential pick is a further example of how totally disorganized the national Republican Party has begun.
I'm sure that some will hail this choice as a stroke of genius by McCain. Then the second thoughts will sink in, and what is going to happen is that all the questions about McCain's age and mortality and the clear desperation of the decision will surface. This was an act of utter desperation from the McCain camp without a shred of intelligence behind it. If the choice of a vice-Presidential running mate is the first Presidential-level decision a candidate makes, then McCain has just blown it - big time.