Forget the juicy if ultimately irrelevant story of Bristol’s pregnancy, Sarah’s responsibilities as a mother versus her responsibilities as a worker bee, and the horrible MySpace page carried in the New York Post, among other places, where future son-in-law Levi Johnston expresses less than enthusiasm about “birthin' babies” — although that's what happens when one advocates abstinence-only education, it seems. (Why on earth didn’t anyone in the vetting process get the kid to take his page down, or at least clean it up a little?)
Forget even, Palin’s wonderful interview with Lawrence Kudlow where he tries, futilely to explain to her just what it is the Vice President actually does.
I mean those are all fun as heck, but are they the real reasons Palin has no business being our next veep, never mind a heartbeat away from the presidency?
Not even that she has not a smidgen of foreign policy experience and didn’t even own a passport until recently (ah, shades of George Bush) completely disqualifies her. That she is eminently so easy to poke fun at, with her breathy little girl voice and beauty queen past as Maureen Dowd does better than I ever could, is a problem but not, perhaps, an insoluble one. But all of the above does draw attention to the fact that Sarah Palin is one of McCain’s Quick Draw McGraw choices he writes about in one of his books. One of those choices he sometimes regrets.
I think he is going to regret his off-the-wall pick. Soon. If he doesn’t already. She was not his first choice, even as he is trying to spin it.
Try as hard as he might, conservative mouthpiece Richard Viguerie, once again appearing on the Ed Schultz show Tuesday, had to concede that Palin is not perfect, not by a long shot, although he worked hard to make the case that she is better than any other choice. For the conservatives, that is. Who, if McCain had chosen Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman, would have stayed home. Yup, stayed home. Given up and not voted. Wow.
So we have Palin to thank for the fact that Obama has just passed the fifty percent mark. Imagine where he would be if Ridge or Lieberman had been chosen. It boggles the mind.
Be that as it may, however. While much of the mainstream media was tripping all over itself to talk about unwanted pregnancies, the Washington Post and the Randi Rhodes Show were among the very few talking about the real problem with Sarah Palin.
Which is: she is no reformer. She is as corrupt as the rest of the Republicans. And she is about to get caught for it big time.
And McCain is about to get caught with his own pants down for not vetting her properly before he made that desperate late night phone call, after Obama blew even Republicans away with his Thursday night speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Some more things McCain is going to have to deal with:
Palin hired one of Alaska’s most connected lobbying firms and received nearly 27 million dollars in earmarks for the tiny town of Wasilla (population under 7,000) when she was mayor. This was the same firm that Ted Stevens' son worked for. She also campaigned for Ted Stevens, who is now under federal indictment.
The “bridge to nowhere” that everyone talks about her opposing? She supported it first. Campaigning for governor just two years ago, she actually asked for quick action on the more than $200 million bridge but changed her tune when the public opinion went against it.
She just hired a lawyer to defend herself against charges that she used her influence to get her former brother-in-law fired from his job in the state trooper’s office.
And, notwithstanding John McCain’s America First sloganeering, Palin and her husband were, in the 1990s, members of the Alaskan Independence Party, an organization that supports Alaska seceding from the United States. Read it and weep.
Each of the links above makes its own good case why Palin is a bad choice. All the evidence together makes it clear she is a very bad choice.
The fact is that his vetting team is still in Alaska, reading newspapers that are not online. McCain defends this as normal, but it sounds like there may well be more discovery. This story is not going to go away for awhile. And it’s going to draw attention away from whatever it is McCain would really like to talk about. Meanwhile, he still has a lot of splainin’ to do.