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Omid Memarian

Omid Memarian

Posted: September 1, 2008 03:03 PM

Will Palin Cover McCain's Age Problem?


One might think that McCain's extensive experience gives him the security to choose a younger, relatively inexperienced running mate. But this is not the issue. The fact of the matter is, if something happens to McCain's health (and that is a definite possibility), does Palin have the experience to lead the country?

A VP must be able to successfully assume presidency should something happen to the president before the next election.

McCain should have chosen an experienced person, who not only has been a player in national politics but also is familiar with in the international atmosphere and the United States' current problems in the world. Sarah Palin is a capable local politician with a shining future, but her youth does not compensate for her lack of experience or Sen. McCain's shortcomings, particularly his age.

McCain deflected questions about his age during the primary campaign by mentioning the good health of his 96 year-old mother. But the president's job is tough; it requires hours of relentless work without sleep and asks one to make critical decisions under tremendous pressure. The president needs to be highly intelligent, energetic, and sharp in both brain and body.

Some of McCain's recent mistakes, like his Internet illiteracy, references to the "Iraqi-Pakistani border" and accusations that Iranians are training Al-Qaeda operatives, are the direct consequences of his age.

Serving the country with bravery and then writing a compelling biography are not enough to lead a country. McCain's Vietnam experience is an extraordinary, fascinating story, but does not enhance his current mental abilities or decrease his risk of a heart attack.

To place the well-being his country first, McCain should have selected a more qualified running mate with the potential to be president, not somebody whose first foreign policy lesson will be matching names with the appropriate country on a map. Sen. McCain's effort to attract disenchanted seems to be the main factor in choosing the unknown Alaskan governor.

Contrary to McCain's campaign promise, he is not putting the country first, but rather his dream of occupying the White House.

On June 26, senior adviser to McCain Steve Schmidt claimed that, "Too many in Washington are putting politics first and country second." It seems McCain is on the same path. Mark Salter the co-author of McCain's five books and a close advisor said recently: "We're not going to do anything dishonorable. But we are going to try to win." Well Sen. McCain, you are on track!

Read more reaction from HuffPost bloggers to John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate


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