Let’s try to square John McCain’s pick with some logic. The most important choice the presidential candidates have to date is their selection of a vice presidential running mate. And the big litmus question is “Could this person step in as president at a moment’s notice?” 

For Sarah Palin, the answer is “no.” Sure the pick is a ballsy one by McCain, but it is terrifyingly flimsy, hypocritical, patronizing and just plain dumb.

For the past two months the American electorate has been bombarded with McCain ads questioning Barack Obama’s readiness to lead. Also, McCain has questioned Obama’s ties with convicted felon Tony Rezko, ‘60s radical Bill Ayers, et al. But then, McCain taps Palin’s shoulder, a woman who after only a year and half as Alaska governor actually has less experience than Obama.  

Furthermore, Palin is under investigation! Just Monday, Alaska’s legislature launched an investigation into whether Palin abused her power when she fired a public safety commissioner. Lawmakers are probing into whether or not Palin was mad at the commissioner for not firing an Alaska state trooper who went through a messy divorce and ongoing child custody battles with Palin’s sister. 

Firstly, I don’t know too many governors who are concerned with the minutiae surrounding state troopers. Secondly, the Republican-led state legislature is probing into an alleged problem that reeks of Bushian tactics (the Justice Department and the illegal firing of U.S. attorneys, anyone?). Thirdly, how can a presidential candidate add to their ticket a politician under the cloud of investigation? Had Obama done such a thing, the Republicans would cry “bloody murder.” 

And let’s piggyback on that hypocrisy for a moment. The Palin pick disarms McCain from his most salient argument against Obama on experience. More significant is that McCain and the Republican Party is anti-affirmative action, which means that they are against quotas and tokens. Can any Republican with a straight face say that Palin was not picked due to her gender? Can anyone say she is qualified to be president if, God-forbid, something bad happened to the 72-year-old McCain? Remember, it was Memorial Day weekend McCain gave reporters a scant 30 minutes to review 1500 pages of medical records.  

And finally, the patronizing. McCain’s pick of Palin tells Hillary Clinton supporters, “Look: I have a woman on my ticket. You should vote for me.” But the pick of an anti-abortion, pro-gun conservative like Palin antagonizes Clinton’s politics. It’s like expecting blacks to be happy with a Clarence Thomas as a Supreme Court justice when his political views are vastly different from the black majority.   

Make no bones about it, the Palin pick is just plain dumb.  

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