Saturday, August 30, 2008
In a move that was nothing short of ingenious, John McCain chose Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. There are obvious advantages and disadvantages to adding Palin to the Republican ticket, but the reaction to McCain's decision has mostly been met with enthusiastic approbation by supporters who were expecting the worst.
The Pros of Palin (politically speaking)
1) Gender. By adding diversity to his ticket, McCain can reach beyond the cliched white male, Protestant voters, and has equal footing in courting what are traditionally regarded as minority groups.
2) Conservative. Sarah Palin seems to exhibit the same views as John McCain on social issues like abortion. Those of us (like me) who cringed at the thought of having Tom Ridge or Rudy Giuliani as the vice-presidential running mate are relieved by Palin's selection.
3) Commonality. Sarah Palin's describes herself as a "hockey mom" and has a new-born child diagnosed with down syndrome.
4) As governor of Alaska she fought and implemented a tax hike on the oil industry that reflated the state's treasury. She also battled corruption, and favors drilling for oil and gas in off-limits Alaskan territory.
The Cons of Palin
1) Unlike Joe Biden, she has absolutely no significant experience in dealing with foreign policy matters.
2) Is the subject of an ethics investigation in her home state.
3) Skeptics look at her choice as a political gesture to court a specific voter demographic as apposed to the selection of someone with experience.
4) Her glasses.
In short, Sarah Palin offers pronounced positives to the Republican ticket this election year, but inspite of these contributions she can't afford to procrastinate or become distracted. She has to quickly become well versed in national and international affairs since she will undoubtedly face at least one debate with her opponent Joe Biden, who is convincingly more experienced than she is in dealing with governmental affairs, and who is also well knowledge in the foreign policy arena.