Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Brandon Friedman Headshot

Palin as Commander of the Alaska National Guard? Please.

Posted: Updated:

Desperate to prove that Sarah Palin has "national security" credentials, many McCain supporters have turned to her experience "commanding" the Alaska National Guard during her 21 months as governor of the state.

Of course, while these yo-yos might actually believe this nonsense, at bottom it's a pathetic, hail Mary stretch. Let McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds explain exactly why that is (with a little help from CNN's Campbell Brown):

See? Doesn't Tucker sound like a complete idiot when he has to defend the idea in public?

Here's the deal: First off, Sarah Palin plays no role as the commander of the Alaska National Guard outside of the state. She never has, she never will. The actual commander--Maj. Gen. Craig Campbell--said so himself:

Maj. Gen. Craig Campbell, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, considers Palin "extremely responsive and smart" and says she is in charge when it comes to in-state services, such as emergencies and natural disasters where the National Guard is the first responder.

But, in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, he said he and Palin play no role in national defense activities, even when they involve the Alaska National Guard. The entire operation is under federal control, and the governor is not briefed on situations.

According to Global Security, "the governor commands AKNG [Alaska National Guard] while it is not in active federal service. The principal executive officer of DMVA [Department of Military and Veterans Affairs], the adjutant general, is an appointee of the governor."

It should be noted, however, that the current adjutant general, Gen. Campbell, was appointed in 2003--more than three years before Palin took office. So she didn't even make the decision determining who would run the Alaska National Guard.

But Tucker Bounds' wildly misinformed performance on CNN Monday leads to a more troubling question: On Sunday, John McCain himself touted Palin's national security credentials by referring to her experience with the Alaska National Guard. So the question becomes this: Does John McCain even know what Sarah Palin's role in Alaska is?

As evidence mounts that she wasn't even vetted by the campaign, the answer becomes increasingly clear: Probably not. Unfortunately for Republicans, this leaves them with a fatally flawed candidate who would likely be a disastrous Commander-in-Chief should anything befall John McCain after the election. Simply put, there's no way that this woman can be allowed to manage a two-front war. After eight years of total defense mismanagement, the troops deserve better than this:

Also available at VetVoice

Read more reaction from HuffPost bloggers to John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin

Register To Vote