Monday, September 01, 2008


We've been thinking a lot about McCain's pick for Vice President. In  another life at another time a long time ago, we worked on a campaign that made a decision for Vice President.  In the end we have decided that there is nothing bold about McCain's pick. It is not "transformative" and it will not help the Senator from Arizona. 

John McCain will be 72 when the next president is sworn in. If elected he will be the oldest person ever elected president of the United States. His choice for Vice President, as much as Senator Obama's, needed to reflect the very best individual ready to become president in the flicker of an errant heartbeat. The choice of the extraordinarily inexperienced Governor from Alaska does not nothing to to prove that McCain  chose the very best person able to become president if tragedy or illness strikes. 

The title to the post links to the NY Times article in which it seems clear that John McCain wanted to pick Joe Lieberman, the independent senator from Connecticut, but was unable to get past the religious right's threats of abandonment over Lieberman's pro-choice position on abortion. So once again Senator McCain buckles under to the very same people who savaged him personally and his campaign in South Carolina in the 2000 primaries. If McCain cannot stand up to a bunch of evolution-hating,  religion bating nuts, how is he going to stand up to the President of Iran or Russia? 

And just imagine this 44 year old governor from Alaska, who was a small town mayor before being Governor all of two years, trying to manage the war in Iran, the war in Afghanistan, and a Russian bear on the rampage-it's army rebuilt by a treasury swelling with oil riches. Now that is a frightening thought. We've already had one woefully unprepared Governor become president and run this country into the ground, and the last thing we need is another one. 

We think McCain's choice was not well thought out (he met with Sarah Palin once before selecting her) and was a bit of panicky choice with time running out and pressure from the religious right that he obviously found too intense to bear. The sad fact is that this once great Senator has become what he abhorred: a politician willing to say and do anything to be elected. 

Contrast the vast inexperience of Sara Palin with the experience of Senator Joe Biden- if the election was between those two for president, which one do you think has the ability and experience to run the country? 

In the final analysis John McCain is making it harder and harder for this old Ronald Reagan supporter to vote for him. 

Enjoy the day off- I'm going for a run.


Fake Joe Lieberman said...

Its official, Rumpus is not a member of the tribe. One mispelling of my name would be an honest mistake, two mispellings is unmistakable. Phil, your off the hook.

Miami Boy said...

The generally accepted idea that the President of the US constantly makes extremely difficult decisions is one that I think is largely false. I think that, on average, a criminal defense attorney in trial or a Judge who honestly cares about what he or she does, makes more difficult decisions than does a sitting President. So too, a caring cop on the beat or a doctor in an ER.

The President's decisions are certainly on a larger scale, but they are usually quite easily and leisurely made. Let's face it, the office of President is largely a figure-head. The President is surrounded by advisors, the Joint Chiefs, department heads, etc., all of whom provide the President with information and advice.

How many difficult decisions has Pres. Bush really had to make in the past 7 years? Not many. He had to react to 911, react to Katrina, and react to other events, but by and large all the hard work is done by those well below Presidential level. His decision to invade Iraq wasn't rushed or difficult, albeit wrong by many people's standards. Certainly there are decisions made which are not public, such as classified national security decisions, but again those are vetted and made by the President with the help of a lot of other experts. The most important decision a President makes is nomination of Supreme Court Justices and that is usually done on party or political lines.

So really, as long as the VP is honest, smart, decent, able to make an informed decision, and cares about the US, I don't think the level of experience is much of an issue. Ms. Palin is a Governor and seems to fit all those attributes, as does Mr. Biden. To me, it is a non-issue as to the level of experience of the VP candidate.

And I too am going for a run. Enjoy your Labor Day.

Rumpole said...

I am a member of no tribe. A is A. And I am me. But I did correct the spelling

Anonymous said...

Palin has more executive experience than Obama....and she is for VP not pres.

Anonymous said...

I think the prior post is absurd about decisions the president makes or does not make. the current POTUS decided to invade a country, occupy it, bomb it, kill 100000 people, 5000 of our soldiers dead, 15000 seriously injured, 100000 young Iraqis who defended their country incarcerated. the commander in chief is responsible for when and where we use our military. in the last 8 years this president has done nothing about school shootings, handgun violence, porous borders, unscrupulous lenders and wall street corruption, tolerates 20% of the population who doesn't work at the fortune 1000 without health insurance and afraid to go to the doctor and tens of thousands of homeless or people living in trailer. he is an ass hole and he and his father have done irreparable damage to this country. McCain flew bombing missions in Vietnam, dropped bombs on peasants, killed them, thier crops , livestock, rice paddies and homes, he too is a republican asshole! vote for him so we can build another monument on the mall with 58000 names on it because he will stay in Iraq and invade Iran.

Anonymous said...

Saw Lurvy running in Aventura shortly after this post went up....hhhmmmmmmm.

Scott Saul said...

Is it not troubling that Palin has 5 kids, including a young Downes syndrome child?

Setting aside if she is qualified or not, how can one be a Vice President and mother of 5 children (who still are at an age that need their mother)?

If she maintains her maternal duty, it must interfere with the VP job. If she is totally committed to her job, then what kind of mother is she?

What if she becomes president? Neglect her young child to run the country.

I am just a solo practitioner and my family duties, which takes precadence over anything else, frequently interferes. My wife, who was a brilliant and successful lawyer left the field to raise our kids. I think I can effectively run the courthouse but not the country!

9:07 a.m. I really disagree with you. I do not think that the VP is an easy gig. A background in law, macro economics, political structures, military science etc must place you in the position just to understand the issues and be in the position to make choices.

Some of the other presidents and candidates, although they started out as commoners, they were in fact brilliant, enterprising, highly motivated people. Many of them overcame tremendous obstacles to get to their position.

I am a big Obama fan. His credentials are incompareable to Palins.

I am not a big political guy and, in that field, I frequnetly do not know what I am talking about. However, the beauty of America is that my opinion counts. The selection of Palin smells of politics rather than the GOP picking the best person for the job.

If "family values" is the crux of the right wing contigency then I find that a 44 mother of 5 is quite the ironical selection for she will inevitably, be forced, to ignore her coveted family values.

Pacificus said...

Didn't McCains pick play "Karen" on "Will and Grace"?

Her previous foreign policy experience is as Mayor of Wasilla or spelled backwards " All I Saw"

Anonymous said...

Wasilla City Hall: Smaller than a McDonald's.


Anonymous said...

If we followed the rationale of miami boy 9:07am post, there's no real argument McCain can make against Obama, outside of him being a liberal Democrat.

McCain has spent the entire of his negative ad campaigning developing commercials adopting all of Hillary's primary arguments and the fact that Obama didn't choose Hillary. He chose the 3am ad, he chose her other fears and then he made an ad where a purported Hillary supporter tells us how she switched and how, "Its OK to vote for McCain."

But his most compelling ad, is one where he claims Obama said Iran is elatively nothing or little concern as a threat, and how he misjudges the situation where they are going to wipe out Israel and that Obama is "dangerously unprepared" to lead.

Because if a VP can lead without issue, then either Pres can lead without issue, since the figurehead will always have competent staff around him to make him or her look good.

Maybe someone ought to tell McCain this, so he can work on a less dastardly strategy?

Anonymous said...

There were TWO woefully unprepared governors who ran the country into the ground: Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush.

As to Sarah Palin, I like the fact that she's a hands-on, blue collar, self-sustaining, pro-life and pro-gun woman. At least, she has executive and administrative experience as a mayor and governor (where she's doing a great job), something that cannot be said about Barack Obama, whose only experience is legislative.

This VP choice highlights the confidence of McCain on his own experience, just like Obama's VP choice suggests just the opposite.

Anonymous said...

McCain is the type of person who likes to take risks. The New York Times article mentions that he emphacized this part of his character in his autobiography. I have also heard that McCain was shot down in Viet Nam in his FIRST MISSION. I'm not a huge Obama fan and used to like McCain, but I don't think that he is the type of person who I want running the country.

Fake John Berryman says said...

Raise a toast to St. Joe Strummer

I think he might’ve been our only decent teacher

Getting older makes it harder to remember…we are our only saviors

We’re gonna build something, this summer

Rumpole said...

I disagree that Palin has more executive experience than Obama. Obama has run a nationwide campaign, and done it magnificently, without any gaffes, or problems. He out-fought the wife of the best politician in this country (Bill Clinton) and he energized a nation. There is a testing process that the primaries put people through and Obama passed that test. I have confidence in him to run the country, I have confidence in Biden to run the country, I have confidence in McCain to run the country (although I am certain now certain choices he would make-like judges- would be dictated by the religious right). I DO NOT have any confidence in this unknown from Alaska to run the country. And with McCain's age, that is a deal breaker for me. I would have strongly considered him if he picked Lieberman, but he has lost my vote.


Anonymous said...

Sara Palin as VP-- she is not giving women the right to choose as a pro-life supporter, yet running for Vice President she sends a message that women can do anything.

Two steps forward, one hundred steps back.

Miami boy said...

Anonymous at 10:31:00, you are not disagreeing with my premise that the President really doesn't have to make a lot of "difficult" decisions. Rather, you are arguing that the decision to invade Iraq itself was wrong. That's a totally different topic.

Scott Saul at 11:26:00 a.m., I do think the VP job is a relatively easy gig. And I think it quite possible for a parent of either sex to be a good parent and a good VP. The Pres and the VP have so many assistants, advisors, bureaucrats, etc., to help them along, that it is actually not very difficult to parent and hold that position.

And Anonymous at 12:12:00 p.m., I do think that Obama fits into the same category--honest, smart, decent, able to make an informed decision and cares about the US. So, yes, I do think that McCain's only attack is that he is too far left, too liberal.

I think both candidates for VP and both candidates for P all fit into the category of being able to make decisions and do the job. The issue is what their vision is and what plan for America they will each be pushing.

Anonymous said...

Memo to Scott Saul -- this isn't the 1950s. Women are allowed to work, even in really important jobs. Is it your position that mothers of young children are not qualified to run for office? Listen, I am an Obama supporter, but that may be the most sexist post of all time.

CAPTAIN said...

Scott ask some good questions:

If she maintains her maternal duty, it must interfere with the VP job. If she is totally committed to her job, then what kind of mother is she?

What if she becomes president? Neglect her young child to run the country.

And that was before he and we now know that Palin's 17 year old daughter is 5 months pregnant. Palin says her daughter will have the baby and marry the father.

Where was Plain when her daughter was having unprotected sex? Undoubtedly, she was running the State of Alaska.

Anonymous said...

At least none of Dina Lohan's kids have been knocked up.

Anonymous said...


Sarah Palin's 17 year old, unmarried daughter is 5 months pregnant and will very shrtly marry the father, who is only known as Levi.

Living the American dream.

old guy said...

Anti-abortion is one thing, but anti-contraception? Is she Catholic? Perhaps she is not my choice on the family values front.

Or does she like to sing my favorite ditty from Monty Python's Meaning of Life:
"Every sperm is holy".

Anonymous said...

Why can't a woman be both -- hold a successful full time job AND be a good loving mother? Why must the public insist it has to be one or the other? And now we are learning Sara's seventeen year old daughter is pregnant. I suppose the press and some of the public will call Sara a 'bad mother' We pay far too much attention to the candidates personal lives. I have nothing against Sara Palin but I do not feel confident enough in her.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the otherwise sensible-seeming Captain joined Scott Saul's unforgivably sexist rant against working mothers. If mom is so busy in an important high-pressure job, setting a good example for her daughters, surely daddy can pitch in? What, only women can raise kids? High-powered executives and busy people everywhere shouldn't have kids? Stay-at-home parents have the luxury of raising kids without working only in certain exclusive social classes. Working people have always (and will always) stretch to provide for the children and keep the household afloat. Peer down from your lofty clouds, Scott, and see how working-class and most middle-class Americans really live.