The Worst Vice-Presidential Candidate Choice of the Century

"For once the Libertarians have a shot at coming in second." The above quote is taken from a comment on this article, which is from a blog I read regularly. (See my blog roll.) It made me laugh immediately, and although the prospect of Bob Barr being the runner-up in November is pretty much ludicrous, the quote is still hilarious because it actually has some truth in it. Mudflats, the afore-mentioned blog, took on quite a bit more (as in hundreds of times more) traffic than usual after its "Alaskan perspective" on Palin was picked up by others across the internet. I'm coming in a bit late to the news, I admit (even the Ketchikan Daily News has already published the news on Palin) but I think I still have something to say about McCain's VP choice for those who'll read it.

When I walked into Calculus Friday morning, the TV was on. It was turned to CSPAN. Mrs. Karlik immediately said "Did you hear?" and told me that McCain had chosen Governor Palin as his running mate. She had to say it several more times before I began to believe her. Personally I'm still kind of getting over the shock. As many others have said both in person and on the internet, for us Alaskans it's like we're living in a different dimension. No one here can believe that one of the top two presidential candidates would be so stupid. The news was the talk of the school, and by the time I came into fourth period and there were kids who hadn't heard about it I couldn't believe that either.

It was a somewhat pleasant surprise, to be sure -home state pride and all that- and it's very pleasant to be such an authority on a national political issue just by virtue of the state I live in, but the obvious general consensus throughout Kayhi was that our governor was a bad bad choice to run for Vice President. It's almost as if these points should be no-brainers - things of which any self-respecting national political campaigh would be immediately aware. And yet, here we are.

1. Troopergate - Sarah Palin fired our Commissioner of Public Safety because he wouldn't fire her ex-brother-in-law. It's as simple as that. The Alaska legislature currently has the issue under investigation. I doubt it'll take much longer to finish up...

2. Bridgegate -  These are the facts: While running for governor, Palin supported Ketchikan's "Bridge to Nowhere". (For the record, I do not and never have; I think my home is too beautiful.) Once she became governor, Palin took money allocated for the bridge to use it for other projects. On Friday, Palin claimed that she stopped the construction of the bridge and refused the money allocated for it. In reality, she did neither. She used the money anyways, and it was Congress that stopped the bridge by virtue of not giving enough money for it. (Could that be one of the only good things they've done recently?)

3. Non-gates - As if these lies and scandals-in-waiting weren't enough, Palin is obviously underqualified and would be entirely unable to conduct herself as president, which would be a far more likely possibility were McCain president than perhaps with any other president in history. She wouldn't even be an impressive representative of this nation as Vice President, despite the fact that practically nothing goes along with that job.

Here is my final and perhaps most important note if neither of the two major scandals above is seized upon, which is quite possible. I believe McCain's choice further alienates certain segments of the Republican base. Palin may contain elements of a religious conservative, but her policy actions and record clearly place her as a moderate while McCain's makes him very much a liberal Republican, despite the fact that he's changed all his stances. I believe large portions of "true conservatives" just won't see much worth voting for in the Republican ticket, and that is why, in the end, I'll repeat this again: "For once the Libertarians have a shot at coming in second."


  1. Haven't made up my mind about Palin yet, but to reply to your points:

    1. Troopergate: I'll wait for the verdict.
    2. Babygate: I am utterly unconvinced. Kos Kids will write anything to further their agenda. I'll await responsible reporting.
    3. Bridgegate: Doesn't seem like a big deal. Can you show where she lied? (I mean, SHOW, as in link to articles or other sources, etc.)
    4. Palin is at least as qualified as Obama. She has more executive experience than McCain, Obama, or Biden (all of whom have none, unless you count McCain's military command).

  2. McCain statistically is likely to live for a dozen or more years, while skin cancer is typically not very serious and McCain's past fairly virulent case is many years gone and given a low, less than 10% chance of recurrence.

    Contrariwise, Obama's mother died of cancer (a disease for which genetic heritage is an extremely important element in one's general susceptibility) when she was only 6 years older than Obama is now. Meanwhile, McCain's mom is still going strong at age 95. Thus, the belief that McCain is especially likely to die in office whereas Obama is not, may well be mistaken.

    Michael McNeil


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