GOP nominee's pick is the best since Kennedy picked LBJ - but for totally different reasons
Slap me silly and call me stupid, but John McCain is on his way to being the 44th President of the United States of America.
Six months ago when Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham were trashing McCain and arguing he is unelectable and "not conservative enough," it was hard for even the most diehard McCain supporters like me to believe he had a chance of getting elected.
Sure, at the time he was on a roll with key endorsements from people like Florida Governor Charlie Crist, but the "establishment" within the party was still not behind the maverick McCain. The support from the party bosses and the right-wing of the G.O.P. is critical to any Republican vying for the White House. Or so goes the conventional wisdom.
Today, the conventional wisdom is out the door, and the irreverent view takes over.
The Associated Press reported today, "Republican John McCain shook up the presidential race with his surprise choice of little-known Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate on Friday."
No doubt, if you told any Republican worth a Pachyderm Club Card that McCain's pick of an obscure Republican governor from the state of Alaska as his running mate would "shake up" the race for the White House, they would have told you, "yeah, right."
Enter Sarah Palin.
What does the governor from America's 49th state bring to the ticket?
That's easy. Let's start with the obvious.
It's not that she is a female. It's that she has more experience managing problems than the other party's nominee for president. As governor of the state of Alaska, Mrs. Palin manages a state government of thousands of employees, deals with conflicting issues, and manages countless problems and interests on a daily basis. While she has only been the governor for a few years (elected in 2006), it will be awfully hard for Obama to suggest she's inexperienced when his own tenure in office as a U.S. Senator is almost just as short (elected in 2004). Add to that, that Mrs. Palin's experience is managerial, not legislative, and you have a stark difference Obama would prefer voters overlook.
In addition to her experience, Mrs. Palin brings a level of energy, youthfulness, and a wide-range of appealing characteristics Mr. Obama could only wish his boring pick of Joe Biden brought to his ticket.
Palin is the mother of five children (I have three of my own and can attest to the fact that dropping one or two off at a fire station has occurred to me from time-to-time - I can't imagine five!). Anyone who has kids knows being a mom or dad is probably the toughest job you'll ever have. Now imagine being the mother of five and the governor of a state!
She is also a hunter, a fisherwoman, a marathon runner, and a former beauty queen contestant - eat that Hillary Clinton!
And even better, Palin didn't get to where she is because of her husband's sucess, and never compromised her marriage for the sake of political success like Hillary Clinton. However, her husband's resume as a "real person" ain't bad either; and his CV accentuates her accomplishments. Mr. Palin is a commercial fisherman, union member, oil field worker, and world champion snowmobiler.
Add to her husband's accomplishments the fact that her eldest son is an enlisted man in the U.S. Army, and one of Mrs. Palin's children has Down's syndrome and you suddenly realize this chick has her hands full -- and she manages it well.
Now forget about all that, and focus on this question: does Sarah Palin possess the qualities, characteristics, and experience to be the President of the United States - the ultimate question for any V.P. nominee?
The obvious answer is: absolutely.
Mrs. Palin got to where she is because of who she is. Her first victory for elective office was for the P.T.O. - and being married to a former president (like HRC) or the child of a fomer president (like Bush) had nothing to do with it.
Sarah Palin is self-made. She's real. She's got guts. And she tells the truth (she admits to smoking pot - as opposed to saying, "I tried it, but I didn't inhale.")
Thank you Sarah. So did a lot of people - many of whom won't admit such a transgression to their children, much less the whole country.
In picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has shown he has faith in the future, the hope, and the opportunity for America and its future generations.
For that, I am grateful. America needs real leadership, not just a slick politician with a quirky name who makes liberals feel good about themselves for being liberal because they support "someone of color."
I'd rather feel good about someone because of what they've done, who the are, and what they will do - without engaging in the politics of class warfare the Democrats would prefer to engage in.
This is America. We're the land of freedom, opportunity, individual responsibility, and capitalism. John McCain and Sarah Palin represent those important ideals. Barack Obama and Joe Biden represent the ideals of government needs to take care of everyone, people more successful than you are evil, and those evil people should pay for everything you want.
America will reject those ideals. And Sarah Palin, in her short life in public service has shown us why we should.
Lagniappe: If you happened to be really bored and found yourself watching C-SPAN before Obama's speech on Thursday night, you heard some "average American" speaking about how he had worked in a U.S. television-set manufacturing plant since the 1970s and suddenly found himself with a 90 day termination notice in 2004 when the company closed its doors because it couldn't compete (probably against Chinese labor.) This poor loser cried and whined about how terrible this was, and how the government and the GOP were at fault. He was a perfect example of why Republicans believe in the self, and Democrats believe government should take care of everyone. How is that? Easy. Any self-respecting moron working in a TV manufacturing plant based in the U.S. in 2004 should have known his job is on the outs well before getting the pink slip in 2004. Pick up a paper buddy and realize what is going on around you. Then go find a new job.
Government is not the solution to your being a moron. It is the problem.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of www.IrreverentView.com. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Front Page Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at: Chris@411Communications.net.