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Linda Bergthold Headshot

The VP Choice that Lost the Presidency for McCain

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I think we will look back at today as the day when the Republicans most certainly lost the Presidency. In choosing Sarah Palin of Alaska for Vice President, the Republicans have made a cynical but clever choice. At least they think it is clever. She is a woman, young (44 years old), a Governor (only two years), a mother (five children), pro-life, and pro-gun. But what is she not? She is NOT pro-choice. She has NO national experience. She has never been under the intense scrutiny of a national campaign. She is under investigation for some incident in Alaska that is messy and personal. She has no international experience. Her experience governing is in a very small state, famous for its "Bridge to Nowhere" kind of political graft. Her Republican colleague in that state, Senator Ted Stevens has been indicted for corruption.

When Republicans and independents go into the voting booth, will they have the confidence to vote for a McCain-Palin ticket, knowing that John McCain has had several recurrences of his skin cancer, and will be the oldest President ever? Can they imagine Sarah Palin stepping into the Oval Office and dealing with all the problems we face right now? The Russians and the terrorists must be quaking in their boots.

It's a slap in the face of other Republican women like Kay Bailey Hutchison, bless her heart, who was forced to stumble through an interview on TV trying to make the case for Palin whom she has never met. There are certainly women in the Republican party who were "in line" for this before Palin. Did the Rovian type advisors to McCain just cynically think that throwing a young attractive inexperienced woman into the mix would satisfy women who long to see a woman president? Women, and Republican women, are not so stupid as to fall for that! It is reminiscent of the Republicans putting up Alan Keyes to run against Barack Obama for the Illinois Senate just because he was black. Voters saw through that pretty quickly.

It's also a slap in the face of Democratic women voters. They don't get Hillary but they get Sarah as the first potential woman President? In fact, I can just hear Biden saying, "Sarah Palin, you are NO Hillary Clinton!" I would imagine that the few remaining Clinton supporters who are wondering if they should support John McCain are even more leery now. There is absolutely no overlap between the positions Hillary Clinton has fought her entire life for and Sarah Palin. The two women are not remotely substitutable. They are as different as they can be.

How will this cynicism play with American voters? It is insulting to women to suggest that just "any" woman will do!

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