I’ve been avoiding saying much about this because it’s all so freaking hard to believe. First, McCain stuns the world (and even his senior staff) by choosing a political nobody to be his running mate. The gulps were loudest in the GOP, let me tell you. Not a shred of foreign policy experience and not a moment on the national stage. My first thought was that it was interesting, but made McCain look frightened. As I dug deeper it became more ominous – surely he knew her? Was familiar with her and her policy history? Nope – he had met her once prior to offering her the gig. But this weekend he told FOX News’ resident assface-in-chief Chris Wallace that Palin is his “soulmate.” Seriously? Am I dreaming this?
But I rub my eyes, and am awake to hear that his vetting team landed in Wasilla last night to check her out. Wait – last night? They’re vetting her now? – after the fact? So this is now looking more like what it really was – a rash, shoot from the hip act of confused desperation, and no one in the room to say, “Senator, sir, I understand your enthusiasm, but…”
McCain himself had said that his prerequisite for the VP slot was that it was someone who, “on day one,” would be ready to step in and serve as President. Really, Senator McCain, this was the best person you could think of? Are these the kinds of decisions you will make as a President?
And think about how cringeworthy her debates are going to be with Biden. She’s spent her entire life in one place, and just got her passport in 2007. How is it even going to be fair?
The only item of significance in her acceptance speech (as McCain stood nervously behind her, fidgeting, glancing up and down) was about Hillary Clinton’s “18 million cracks” in the glass ceiling. Her implication was that her gender itself entitles her to pick up Senator Clinton’s torch. First of all, if you wanted to light a fire under Senator Clinton’s behind and get her out there fighting harder for Obama, you just did. And second, does Senator McCain really think women are just morons? That they’re going to just skip the pesky issues and say to themselves, “I liked Hillary Clinton, and she was a lady. Now McCain has a lady, so I’m going to vote for him.” I know people are dumb, but even I don’t think they’re that dumb.
When discussing her son’s deployment, she told the local press that she wanted an “exit plan” for Iraq – Iraq being a central issue of this campaign. Yet McCain has resisted calls for an exit plan – insisting instead on “victory.”
Now there’s the news about her pregnant daughter. Some were scolded over the weekend for pointing out how pregnant this young girl looked. Other conspiracy theories swirled around the web over the weekend. Finally the statement today – and the question – did McCain know this in advance? I don’t think he did. It’s just not something that would sit well with the evangelicals, Senator. We need more proof – not less – that the abstinence-only education (that Palin supports) is effective. And it’s so messy – unmarried, pregnant, teenage daughter? Is this a reality show or the GOP bid for the Presidency? How would the hardcore gasbags of the right treat a similar pregnancy in the family of the Democratic candidates? I can already hear the cries of how their family demonstrates firsthand the failures of liberalism. But instead we hear platitudes about Governor Palin keeping her family together. Look, I feel really bad for Bristol Palin for many reasons, and I am almost at the point of feeling sorry for Governor Palin. She’s never had to survive the intense glare of the media spotlight. My spidey sense says she will not do well.
This is not a decision that is going to wear well. The first day it seemed like an exciting surprise. Now it has a kinda grimy, shameful, hangover feel to it.
McCain once described his decision making process thus: “I make them as quickly as I can, quicker than the other fellow, if I can… often my haste is a mistake, but I live with the consequences without complaint.”
But McCain’s constituents – and advisers – are not living with the haste and consequences “without complaint.” The noise level in the GOP is rising. They’ve tried to put on a good face – play along with the team – but the hardcore righties are pissed, and McCain’s team is hearing about it.
So, I think Palin is the new Eagleton; I’ll be stunned if she makes it through the month. So now I’m pondering what’s worse for McCain – if he dumps her (quickly) or if he keeps her all the way to the finish?