The Collective
Thursday, September 4, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

At NRO former Bush speech-writer David Frum writes

From the beginning, the internal controversy (such as it is) over Sarah Palin has been a controversy not about Palin herself, but about John McCain. What kind of a decision-maker is he? How much information and consideration does he bring to bear?

If John McCain gambled on Palin without adequate research and preparation, the fact that he won his gamble does not reassure me very much. Gamblers sometimes do win. But the longer they play, the more they lose.

While perhaps not 100% my view of the overall subject, it captures one of the most important elements perhaps more succinctly than I have expressed them myself.

Other key points that Frum makes:

On Palin’s Privacy

How sustainable is it for the GOP to put Sarah Palin’s life half in the spotlight and half out of bounds? Republicans have highlighted her baby - while denouncing as sexist all questions about the raising of the baby. Republicans have invited America to admire Sarah Palin’s reproductive choices - while fiercely disallowing any discussion of the reproductive choices of Sarah Palin’s under-age daughter.

Exactly–the bottom line is that one can decry the notion that the Palin’s privacy is being invaded, but the fact of the matter is, Palin’s private life has also been considered a resume line in her roll-out by the McCain campaign. Plus, as Frum notes, Republicans in particular have long made the argument that how one conducts one’s private life is a direct reflection of how one will conduct one’s public life.

On Palin’s executive experience:

Sarah Palin is exciting and appealing. But what kind of executive is she? None of us have even the remotest idea. We don’t know whether she takes advice from a wide circle or a narrow one, whether she tends to decide quickly or slowly, whether her budgets are realistic, whether she is calm or excitable in a crisis. We have no idea whether she is decisive or vacillating, prompt or procrastinating, curious or incurious. These things matter enormously in a president. Yet they do not matter much to us. And that’s a big problem.

Indeed–and that is much of what I was getting at when I stated that the speech didn’t help us know what kind of VP she would be (and, by extension, what kind of President).

Giuliani touted the importance of executive leadership in time of crisis, but the bottom line is, we have no idea how Palin would react in a crisis, as there are no examples of a crisis occurring during her tenure in government.

h/t: Sullivan

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Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | |


  1. The executive experience argument is overdone. Conservatives should be reminded that, according to their own logic, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton should’ve worked out well.

    Comment by Greg Weeks — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 2:08 pm

  2. True. And I was thinking as I watched Rudy last night that a lot of the arguments he was slinging at Obama on that topic were equally applicable to McCain.

    I, personally, would simply like to have an idea of what Palin thinks she would do at veep and even pres. Last time I checked, “Hockey Mom” wasn’t much of an explanation in that arena.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

  3. The more I learn about Palin (and I am learning just as everyone else is) the more I doubt that my initial thinking - that McCain was gambling with her - was right. In fact I think I was wrong, and I’m not too big to admit it.

    I’d like to call the folks who are saying McCain did not adequately research Palin to the carpet and ask them to show me - show me right now - the proof that McCain has not been quietly researching and talking with Palin for a very long time. Show me proof that it was a crapshoot and not a cunning, crafty, and politically astute decision. We don’t have much to go on so far, but from what I’ve seen - he made a bold, carefully thought-out decision. Why is that position any less plausible than the idea that he just rolled the dice? Show me some proof that it was a crapshoot, Mr. Frum, or shut your pie hole! Can’t anybody concede that maybe - just maybe, not for certain, but maybe - they were wrong about McCain’s judgement on this? Are we all perfect all of a sudden, we never get things wrong? Are the analysts so much smarter than everyone else that they are above getting it wrong?

    I’m beginning to think that that’s the biggest problem we have in this country - too many pie holes and not enough pies to stuff them with.

    Comment by Captain D — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 2:46 pm

  4. Well, the best I can do off the top of my head is this from yesterday’s WaPo:

    Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was not subjected to a lengthy in-person background interview with the head of Sen. John McCain’s vice presidential vetting team until last Wednesday in Arizona, the day before McCain asked her to be his running mate, and she did not disclose the fact that her 17-year-old daughter was pregnant until that meeting, two knowledgeable McCain officials acknowledged Tuesday.

    Palin was one of two finalists in the vice presidential sweepstakes who were interviewed last week by former White House counsel Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr., just days before McCain introduced her to the nation as his choice. The other finalist was Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. One of the officials said Culvahouse was chasing down last-minute information about Pawlenty at the request of the campaign as late as last Thursday, the day McCain offered the job to Palin and she accepted.


    McCain did not speak face to face with Palin until Thursday morning, at his retreat in Sedona, Ariz. He also talked to her by telephone the previous Sunday. McCain had spoken with all of the others on his shortlist over the course of a selection process that went on for several months, but he was least familiar personally with the person he finally chose.

    I meant to blog the piece when I read it, but never got around to it. I am not sure if that is going to satisfy you or not, however–although all of the reporting that I have read, as well as my observations about how all this has unfolded, seems to support what is described above.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 2:53 pm

  5. I am not sure if that is going to satisfy you or not, however–although all of the reporting that I have read, as well as my observations about how all this has unfolded, seems to support what is described above.

    Given the fact that he has described her as a “soul mate” after meeting her only for a couple of minutes, I can only imagine what President McCain will make of Putin!

    Comment by Ratoe — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 3:03 pm

  6. But it is at odds with what the McCain campaign is saying. They are saying she was vetted the same way all VP candidates have been, and that the process has been a lenghty one. He claims that his research goes back 6 months.

    This is what McCain’s campaign says about the matter:

    “Her selection came after a six-month long rigorous vetting process where her extraordinary credentials and exceptionalism became clear.”

    Full quote is here:

    What this stuff from WaPo amounts to is only what the author knew. The author claims that McCain was the least familiar with Palin. How does he know that? So maybe McCain didn’t speak face-to-face with her. So what? Does that mean he didn’t do any other research? Isn’t it more important that McCain research the actual history and record of a person? Don’t actions speak louder than words? Isn’t there a public record available for Sarah Palin? How do we know the McCain campaign didn’t pore over everything from her gubernatorial record to the minutes of city council meetings held while she was a mayor? All of this could be achieved quietly and without raising suspicion that she was on the short list. I’m a reference librarian. I took classes on government records. Heck, if I wanted to, I could get these documents quickly, anonymously, and without raising a lick of suspicion. It’s a matter of public record. Why is it that we are assuming, without knowledge, that McCain or his staff didn’t do these things?

    These folks are making assumptions that they can’t back up with any kind of certainty. They’re guessing at the vetting process when the truth is they just don’t know.

    I understand the Obama campaign’s irritation. They had already spent considerable money putting together attack ads for Romney and Pawlenty which became useless overnight and left them scratching their heads and searching for material. I gotta say, as a tactician, my hat is off to McCain for doing this. It was a smart tactical move to keep his VP off the table until the last possible minute.

    Show me proof that McCain didn’t deliberately keep his real VP short list a secret as a tactical maneuver. Show me proof, not anecdote, not some analyst’s opinion. Show me proof! I believe that politicians do what is in their best interest, and that these moves are almost always deliberate. I find it infinitely more plausible that McCain - who knew what he had to do to win - planned to keep his real short list secret, than it is plausible that he just drew a name out of a hat. And that’s what WaPo and the rest of these guys want us to believe, that he just drew a name out of a hat at the last minute, and they have no way to prove it.

    Fact of the matter is, it comes down to he-said, she-said. The McCain campaign says she was vetted thoroughly over a period of up to six months. A bunch of bloggers and columnists say he picked her at the last minute. And when it comes to it, that’s all the substance there is. That’s it.

    Personally - I don’t think it’s the job of the media or the bloggers to vet the VP candidate. And that’s what this is really about, it’s just an infantile rage at having what they perceived to be their journalistic right taken away from them. But it’s McCain’s call who his running mate is. Not the bloggers. Not the media.

    If I don’t see some real evidence of lack of vetting, I’m inclined to believe what the McCain campaign is saying - that it is a faux media scandal that has no basis in reality - because it is more plausible than the alternative.

    Comment by Captain D — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 3:33 pm

  7. Cap’n D;

    Two can play this game: show me proof that the McCain campaign did serious vetting of Palin during that period of time. My guess is that neither of us will be convinced, although it seems to me that your new position (that this was some sort of cunning, well thought-out plan) is based more on faith and hope than anything else.

    I don’t deny that she was on a list for 6 months (she had been reported to be on the list for some time, in fact), but there really is no evidence of serious vetting during that period of time.

    Regardless, I vehemently disagree with you here:

    Personally - I don’t think it’s the job of the media or the bloggers to vet the VP candidate. And that’s what this is really about, it’s just an infantile rage at having what they perceived to be their journalistic right taken away from them. But it’s McCain’s call who his running mate is. Not the bloggers. Not the media.

    It seems to me that it is precisely the media’s job to help us understand those who would aspire to power. Are we to take the word of politicians that we shouldn’t worry our pretty heads over such things? Indeed, I don’t get the notion at all that these questions should only be asked by the candidate. That would be true if he was hiring a personal employee, but that is hardly the case here. Further, all of this goes to the question of the judgment of a man who wants to be the President of the United States. His decision-making process is very much on trial here.

    Certainly as a citizen (blogger or not) I have every right to want answers to questions about someone who will potentially have a profound effect on my life for the next four years.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

  8. FAITH?!!!!

    For crying out loud, how many times do I have to say it:

    I don’t have faith in our government or its ability to produce candidates who are interested in service beyond themselves.

    I am admitting that I made an error before in thinking that McCain rolled the dice. I think I was wrong, and I’m able to admit it.

    I believe that it is possible that Palin was a last minute pick, but that given the greater context, it is more plausible that she was deliberately kept under wraps. McCain has known for a long time that he’s up against a formidable opponent and that he will have to take his advantages where and when he can. This was a tactical move.

    The fact that I personally like the person he picked doesn’t change the facts. We can yell at each other all day and probably neither of us can prove positive our point, and that’s all I was trying to say.

    As far as the vetting process being public - since when has that been a requirement? It hasn’t been a feature of recent history for the public, the newsmedia, or bloggers to pick the VP. That has been a choice left up to the presidential candidate.

    There is plenty of time between now and November for the media and the public to do their inquiry about Sarah Palin. And it will happen. It’s already happening. All I’m saying is that I don’t think it’s spelled out anywhere in the Constitution that John McCain had to tell us who was on his short list, and to keep us in the loop every step of the way. Now that it’s public, she will be subject to press scrutiny.

    But I don’t believe that we have any right to that knowledge beforehand. For most of our history we didn’t even know who it would be until the convention.

    We are locked in a silly and petty argument. I’ve said my all on it.

    Comment by Captain D — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 4:51 pm

  9. “How sustainable is it for the GOP to put Sarah Palin’s life half in the spotlight and half out of bounds?”

    So it was okay to say Chelsea Clinton is off limits, even when she was on the campaign trail? Lack of evidence (belly bump) of copulation doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Is she being asked, since her mother is pro-choice, if she ever made the choice? Or is THAT question off limits.

    Granted, people want to know more about her and what kind of executive she would be. But neither of the Dem candidates are being asked this question. What kind of POTUS would Biden be? Geez, if something happens, how would he govern?

    She has clear, very clear, opinions and views. She has at least some track record of her governing style. Where is the governing style of Sen. Obama or Sen. Biden? Even McCain has leadership and experience as a Navy Squadron Commander.

    I guess I still don’t get why she is being subject to a standard that NONE of the other candidates are being subjected to.

    As to the vetting process…., the selected candidate has historically been given the exclusive option of making the VP choice, or as exclusive as his party will allow. JFK was stuck with LBJ, for example.

    This argument seems like smoke and mirrors. Ask questions in a way that don’t make you seem stuck on stupid (and I mean that as a joke and not a slap).

    Even when they give you her creditials, it doesn’t seem to be enough. She also has a complete book written about her. Do an Amazon search if you really want to know.

    Given the last few election cycles, I can’t say I’m impressed with the VP choices, or why everyone was so freaking hysterical about the “one heartbeat away”. As far as I’m concerned, thank you God, we didn’t have one heartbeat away from John Edwards.

    Honestly, Dr. Steve, the more I read your arguments, the more I have to roll my eyes because you haven’t made the same standard for any man! And when I pointed that out, you said this is about her only or this candidate only.

    Was she vetted properly? Was Biden? Was Obama? Why the double standard? Because no one is scratching too hard on the mansion Obama lives in that could be another Whitewater scandal. Wouldn’t that be great for the country, to spend more time and energy on another Special Prosecutor?

    Did you guys see the SNL skit where they give Obama a pass or swallow every answer without even a cursory rebuttal. Is this sexism, only from guys who are supposed to be educated and informed?

    As to raising her baby; gawd dang boys, none of you heard of nannies? Or baby sitters? Or care givers? Or how about her mom? Or the childs father! Trig could have an Alaskan Granny helping out. Grannies rule.

    It isn’t like the VP job doesn’t come with perks or a nice salary. Or do men just jump to thinking that she has to be mommy or VP but not both.

    You keep beating a drum that has answers if you’d only look. It almost feels like you can’t see the forest for all the trees.

    I’m getting mad because it is more sexist s//t, only this time it is coming from within our own flank.

    Exactly what is the proper vetting process? Exactly how many minutes of face time is required? How many vetters are needed? If he had chosen Pawlenty of MN, would everyone even ask this question at all?????????

    I think not.

    Comment by Ohio Granny — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 4:55 pm

  10. Cap’n D/OG:


    Look, I think Palin is under-qualified for the position she was chosen to hold and I find the process that selected her to be problematic. I would prefer someone with broader experience. I also think that she will yet prove to be a political liability.

    You both like her and like the pick. No problem there, you both have that prerogative.

    At this point I am getting dizzy with trying to sort out the specific points to address in your comments (and I supposed to be working on an afterword to my book that publisher wants in 11 days…).

    I will say this, and you can respond as you please:

    1) Cap’n D: it comes across to me that you have decided that you were wrong about McCain’s gamble after you decided you liked her and have retroactively decided that this was a cunning tactic on McCain’s part (that is why I said hope and faith, as I really don’t think you have evidence to support your position other than you would prefer it to be that way, at least that is how it comes across.) Being on the list doesn’t qualify, to me, as “vetting.”

    2) Ohio Granny: I ma not concerned with the baby-raising issue (and I have not personally raised it). What I find problematic is that is it clear that the family was used as a resume item, and yet there has been pushback from the McCain campaign when the family is scrutinized. I just don’t think you can have it both ways. I don’t recall Chelsea (or the Bush twins or the Obama daughters for that matter) being presented as part of the package for those candidacies. Even in those cases, some scrutiny came with the territory.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 5:03 pm

  11. I will respect your need to meet your dead line and leave you with one last thought:
    Replace the “she” with “he”, and the Govenor Pawlenty with Govenor Palin .
    If you would still be asking the same questions, then I will eat my hat.
    Respectfully yours.

    Comment by Ohio Granny — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 5:13 pm

  12. Pawlenty is in his second term as governor and has been involved in politics since the late 80s. So no, I wouldn’t be asking the same questions (I might be asking other questions, but that is for an alternative universe me to deal with). It has nothing whatsoever to do with gender.

    If he had picked Kay Bailey Hutcheson, I wouldn’t be asking the same questions (although, again, maybe different ones).

    I really do not see where anything I have written can be construed as sexist.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 5:19 pm

  13. And, btw, I am not asking you to go away, mostly just chastising myself.

    Although, in regards to Palin, I am beginning to wonder if the conversation may not have run its course at this point.

    Clearly you and the Captain were affected by the speech differently than was I.

    Ultimately I am betting that a lot of the Palin talk will fade after tonight in any event, as we get back to McCain v. Obama.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 5:21 pm

  14. I may be a little late for this, and I don’t want to beat a dead horse.

    Even so, the original reason the media said Palin wasn’t properly vetted appears to be that the media was surprised by the pick. The facts, as best I can find them are:

    * McCain really wanted to make a daring pick
    * His original “daring pick” was Lieberman, and he floated trail balloons to that effect weeks ago, but those were shot down
    * Palin had been on the “long list” for months
    * The vetting team did as thorough a job on Palin as they did on any other candidate, since vetting is to turn up skeletons in the closet, not to determine experience/qualifications ( , ), that review looked at Alaska’s biggest newspaper but not Wasilla’s because asking for the Wasilla newspaper archives might have spoiled the secret
    * The vetting team, according to McCain, included 25 people
    * This vetting did not turn up the “my daughter’s pregnant” issue, because as far as I can tell there’s no way for something like that to turn up
    * After this, McCain met with Palin, fell in love with the idea, and asked her to be on the ticket
    * Palin, realizing that the pregnant daughter thing might be important — probably because of the questions she’d already answered on the intrusive questionnaire and several interviews — brought it up at that time
    * McCain — the 71-year-old — decided that in today’s world an unmarried pregnant daughter isn’t the same scandal as, say, cheating on you terminally-ill wife and kept the offer open

    I disagree with Dr. Taylor regarding whether Palin is experienced enough for the job, but that is a separate issue. From what the McCain campaign has said, Palin’s vetting was as thorough as could be hoped for.

    Comment by Max Lybbert — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 8:00 pm

  15. You ignored most of my last post, on the vetting process, and I know I said all I’d say about it but I just can’t keep myself out of a good debate.

    My point is that you don’t know - I don’t know, with any certainty - that Palin was just “on the list” until the last minute. I spent many hours when I was in Library School, in a stuffy work space in the Government Documents Repository at the University of South Carolina digging up this or that as part of some class requirement, and I know how easy it is to research a public figure’s record quietly and annonymously. I know that political figures have people like me on their payrolls; in fact I almost took an internship with a republican congressman from North Carolina back when I was in school. I didn’t because the pay sucked, the hours were horrible, and I’d have had to move to his district which was, to say the least, an undesirable place to move to.

    We are making assumptions, both of us, about the vetting process. I’m just thinking what is more plausible to a person who wants to win the election - picking a name out of a hat, or doing what I’ve described. Regardless of my decision that I like Sarah Palin based on what I’ve seen so far, and when I came to that decision - it doesn’t change the fact that I think it’s more plausible that the secrecy was premeditated. It is more in McCain’s self interest to do that, and that’s why I believe it’s what happened. If I hated Sarah Palin but she managed to add the dynamics to the election that I think she has added, my conclusion would be the same.

    Lacking evidence that is more than anecdotal - it is as much a leap of faith to believe that she was a last minute pick as it is to believe that she was thoroughly researched.

    Perhaps we’d best let this issue rest in peace and move on, as it appears we’ve locked horns on the details of the vetting process, which neither of us is likely to ever be privy to. I don’t think either of us could take our cases into the Temple of Empirical Evidence and speak our piece with holy righteousness. As scientists it’s probably time for us to shake hands, agree to disagree, and get on to talking about the next issue.

    Although I’m sure there will be plenty more Palin talk in the coming months. . .

    Good luck with your book, by the way. Post the ISBN on the blog when it goes up for sale. I wanna read. Someday I’ll get to putting in print my experiences. I should do it before much more time elapses and my experiences become irrelvant to our future; as things sit I have a unique perception of the world, in particular the hotspots that I was rushed to starting in the 90’s and ending with my last injury in 2004. I don’t know how you guys do it. I’ve been trying like mad to write this memoir for the last four years, based on the notes and photographs I took throughout my military career. I just can never seem to organize my thoughts coherently, and one tale drifts into another without a unifying theme.

    Maybe that’s why I’m so bitter. All that time, all those places, all those deaths (not so much on our side - but it does affect you, when you see it, whether you killed someone, they killed someone you knew, or you just happened to be in a place where a lot of killing was happening), all that energy. My youth, gone. And for what? Through two presidents that most people seem to think are so dynamically different - the reality to little old warrior me was never different. It never made sense. I rarely understood the larger political context of things. I couldn’t even properly spell ColOmbia until you fixed me on it, and my helicopter was shot at there, twice. If I’d been hanging my leg out the door like I ususually did (the breeze was nice in my trousers) I’d have caught one there, too.

    I envy you folks with a gift for writing books.

    Comment by Captain D — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 8:20 pm

  16. Cap’n:

    I will confess to a bit of burn-out by the time of your last comment (and it was almost dinner time).

    Look, you are right: neither of us can know for sure what happened. I guess part of my point of view is that if they vetted her as much as you think they did that they would have been better prepared for some of the stuff that came out at the start of the week and the speech last night wouldn’t not have needed to be quite as defensive as it was in parts.

    I would construct more of an argument, but I think we are kind of going in circles, and really, I am betting that Palin-mania will start to fade a bit after McCain speaks tonight. Indeed, if the news and commentary is still Palin-centric after tonight, McCain is in more trouble than I already think that he is.

    But yes, consider hands shaken and all that.’

    Thanks about the book. And, no doubt, I will be posting on it once it is out. How fun a read it will be, however, is another issue. It is pretty political science-y in parts ;)
    Still, I appreciate the interest.

    And I do understand your frustration as much as someone who hasn’t seen combat can. I think it is also a time of life thing, when you realize that the world doesn’t work quite the way you hoped it did and the people who make decisions aren’t nearly as smart as you thought they were.

    Keep plugging on the memoir, and I would continue to recommend the blog route, as I did in the e-mail the other day.

    And, as always, I appreciate your readership and willingness to comment.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, September 4, 2008 @ 8:34 pm

  17. Dr. Steve,
    As a woman I bristle whenever I hear men talking about the qualifications of women for jobs.
    I don’t think you are a sexist, any more than whites who don’t vote for Obama are racists, or blacks who don’t vote for McCain are racists (well, maybe that might be stretching it a tad too much).
    Just because you haven’t heard of Gov. Palin, doesn’t mean she hasn’t been around. I heard of her, over a year ago, and on the Food Network of all places. I heard about how she was totally engaged in promoting Alaska, in every way, including Alaskan salmon.
    I heard about her as background noise about women in politics that were successful. I’ve heard of her as one of the new breed of GOPer’s, like Bobby Jindall, that are shaking up the establishment.
    So she wasn’t new to me.
    Captain D is right. You can vet someone and not tip your hat.
    After the McCain speech last night, I think he picked someone who would best compliment his goal of Country First, not because he was looking for a chickypoo or just wanted to pull the wool over anyones eyes, or even make the big splash. I think, believe, he met her, decided she was right, and then quietly went about vetting her, along with some guys in case she didn’t pass the process.
    I don’t think the Bristol scandal was a negative. All news is good news, and when your opponent just spent $6 million dollars on a set with fancy/smancy columns, sucking the air out of the gushing media isn’t such a bad thing.
    McCain couldn’t have engineered that, but it certainly filled the media with something besides gushing glory for the big O.

    We haven’t won yet. But then, we are still in the game, which is much much much better than I thought we would be with McCain against the Holy One.

    Comment by Ohio Granny — Friday, September 5, 2008 @ 10:28 am

  18. Bristle as you wish, and I understand the reaction. However, if Palin were male with the same resume, and even the same usage of the family, my reaction would be the same.

    And I had heard of Palin as well, so that is not the issue, per se. Although the fact that you know of her from the Food Network kinda bolsters my position, not yours. ;)

    And yes, vetting can be done quietly, but the evidence suggests that the vetting was not as complete as it could or should have been, but I think we are unlikely to come to agreement on that point.

    The bottom line is that her resume isn’t exactly one that one would have looked at in a vacuum and said “presidential material!” especially with a pile of other resumes to compare hers to.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, September 5, 2008 @ 11:00 am

  19. You misunderstood me, so maybe I wasn’t clear.
    Bristling is a reaction I have whenever any man says “inexperience” about any woman seeking a higher/breaking the glass ceiling type job.
    I wasn’t bristling at you!
    I was agreeing with you.
    I just wanted to add that maybe the vetting process, since it was sooooooo successful as a secret, wasn’t all that “roll of the dice” as it appeared to be.
    I think lack of experience isn’t the same as lack of judgement. Or lack of skills.
    I think she is an apprentice to the future of the GOP, and McCain is the wise old teacher who is going to groom her into a world class leader.
    Sadly, everyone seems to be betting that he won’t last out his first 4 years, will have 1 foot and 10 toes in the grave by the time the next election cycle comes around, and that Gov. Palin will still be a rookie IF and WHEN she gets called into the chair behind the desk of the Oval office.
    Last night, I saw a future I can believe in. Senator McCain showed me a long term plan for doing what I have been hoping for since the Gingrich Contract with America.
    And Sarah Palin, unknown and inexperienced as she may be today, is an essential part of that future.
    The last 8 years have been daily torture for me as a Republican. I hate my choices on the ballot in Ohio. I hate pork. I hate the lack of veto use. I was scared to death that we would lose in Iraq, not because it would make Republicans look bad because it was bad for America and bad for the world.
    So, in light of that, I have to state that is wasn’t a gamble or a gambit or a purely political move but a step, a giant leap for mankind (and grannies too) on how a man of honor would make decisions. He is thinking long term. He is thinking honor, dignity, reform. He is thinking she will attract others, men and women, to join in the reform movement.

    Comment by Ohio Granny — Friday, September 5, 2008 @ 11:17 am

  20. Since you are quoting Frum (not my favorite but a respectible mind), allow me to quote the WSJ with this
    If you’re concerned about Sarah Palin’s lack of experience, Politico’s Alexander Burns has some numbers that ought to put your mind at ease:

    For a man who has lived 72 years and 67 days (McCain’s age on Election Day this year), there is between a 14.2 and 15.1 percent chance of dying before Inauguration Day 2013, according to the Social Security Administration’s 2004 actuarial tables and the authoritative 2001 mortality statistics assembled by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
    Going by the Social Security Administration’s tables, that’s nearly ten times the likelihood that a man aged 47 years and 92 days (Barack Obama’s age on Election Day this year) will die before Jan. 20, 2013.
    Let’s take the average of the two figures and say that McCain has a 14.65% likelihood of dying before Inauguration Day 2013, while Obama’s likelihood is 1.465%.

    For the sake of argument, assume further that Joe Biden and John McCain are equally qualified to be president, and Sarah Palin is as unqualified as Barack Obama.

    That means that if McCain is elected, there is better than an 85% chance that America will have a qualified president at the end of the term. If Obama is elected, the likelihood of having an unqualified president at term’s end is higher than 98.5%.

    Comment by Ohio Granny — Friday, September 5, 2008 @ 11:38 am

  21. Ok, I think a quick read made me misunderstand the bristling business (although it seemed you were taking me to task on the gender issue earlier, which may have fed my confusion).

    BTW, I think that the extreme success of the secret makes my argument more plausible, as the need for secrecy appears to have trumped the need for more thorough vetting. The problem with vetting is that you have to talk to people, and the more people you talk to, the more difficult it is to keep a secret.

    And, it seems to me that calling her the apprentice to the wise old teacher also feeds into my other argument: she is insufficiently ready to be vice president. And, btw, that issue is more than just one of taking over, it is about the ability to advise and help McCain govern on a daily basis.

    I, too, have been quite unhappy with the Bush administration (and that is after having voted for it twice, and I even voted for Bush once for governor when I lived in Texas). I gave Bush every benefit of the doubt and ignored warning signs because I liked him. I am not going to do that again with McCain. Having watched such people as Mike Brown and Harriet Miers as Bush appointees, I think that I have every reason to be cautious and demanding regarding Palin.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, September 5, 2008 @ 2:14 pm

  22. *sigh*
    NOW the old boys are hauling Kaye Bailey Hutchinson to the fore front as a choice.

    **double sigh**
    She is a well vetted policitian WITH A UTERUS.
    Honestly, do you think most voters are that shallow? Maybe the PUMA women are that shallow. Maybe the hysterical Hilliary voters are that shallow but KBH would have been pandering for votes. And any other “woman” would have been seen as a second place. A place were women resent being placed.

    And yes, Hilliary voters do seem to be that shallow because, in the Youngstown/Canton area, where my daughter-in-law runs a specialty store, many women are whispering to her that they plan to write in the name Hilliary. Can’t bring themselves to vote Obama, would never vote GOP. She’s chuckling and encouraging them because she has to hide her Red State of mind.

    Here is another powerful woman whose impact on this race is getting lost in the Palin/Hilliary woman thing. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones. She was the rah rah girl for Hilliary in the largest, blackest voter block of Cuyahoga County. She died recently. No one is there to shout Obama from that pulpit now. Her voice still echos from the grave, Hilliary.

    Some say Kerry lost in Cuyahoga county. If only a few more ballots had been stuffed…..

    We’ll see what happens in the next 60 days. I saw a CNN segment while in line at the discount mart where the CNN reporter was scouring Alaska for anti-Palin info. They found that all the old boys she deposed weren’t happy with her. Then they asked 20 undecides if they were leaning for McCain before the convention. 3 hands went up. They asked if they were leaning Obama. 5 hands went up. Then they asked if they were voting McCain after the convention. 12 hands went up. The reporter startrd to stammer. I nearly had an accident, wished I was wearing Depends, I was laughing so hard.

    Have really enjoyed this. Hope I’m giving you something to chew on.

    Comment by Ohio Granny — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 9:58 am

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