I hate to disagree with my good friends, the Republicans, especially in the midst of their badly mangled convention. But they've got their ticket all wrong. No, I'm not trying to promote Obama and Biden. Or Nader, Barr or even Ron Paul. But from what Republicans themselves have been saying these days, I conclude that their ticket would be much better if they simply turned it around. In other words, Palin-McCain makes more sense than McCain-Palin.
Let's start off with executive experience and responsibility. Which of the two has more? Obviously the answer is Sarah Palin. As governor of Alaska for almost two years, she runs our largest state, some 600,000 square miles in size - fully one fifth of the size of all the lower 48 - with a population of almost 700,000. Not to mention all that oil and gas and other minerals and goodies. And before that she spent six years as mayor of Wasilla, a city of 8,000.
Compare that with John McCain's puny executive experience. After all, the biggest unit he ever commanded was a Naval Air Force training squadron. Such units have fewer than 2,000 personnel and less than 200 planes. And today, while Palin is a top dog, McCain is only one of 100 senators, and not even in his party's leadership.
And what about foreign policy and national security experience? Both Steve Doocy, an Emmy-winning Fox News reporter and McCain's own wife cited the same clear Palin credential. As Cindy McCain pointed out on ABC last Sunday, Palin is fully qualified because "Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia. So it's not that she doesn't understand what's at stake here."
Fortunately for John, Cindy didn't compare Palin's foreign policy qualifications with his. Because he'd surely have come out second best. After all, Arizona only borders Mexico. And Mexico has no nuclear weapons and no leader like Russia's Vladimir Putin who loves thumbing his nose at the U.S. by keeping his military in the territory of our ally, Georgia, and enjoys stealing our Humvees there.
Not to mention Putin's junior partner, Dmitri Medvedev, who's just proclaimed a Russian sphere of influence in what he calls "the border region" and beyond. The border region! Yikes! The Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska is only 53 miles wide. And the distance between two islands in that strait, one Russian, the other American, is only 2.4 miles! Palin better start getting tough on the Russian Bear before its claws threaten to rake in her territory.
On ABC, Cindy McCain pointed out something else about Palin: "She has a great mind." That's still another argument for reversing the Republican ticket. After all, John finished fifth from the bottom--894 out of 899--in his Annapolis class of 1958.
Then there's the matter of family values. John McCain is an adulterer, who dumped a once-beautiful, later-crippled wife to marry a blonde heiress 18 years his junior. Sarah Palin has been married to the same man for 20 years, refused to abort a child she knew would have Down Syndrome, and is standing by her 17-year-old pregnant, unmarried daughter.
Finally, of course, there's age and health. Sarah Palin is 44, a marathon runner with no known problems. And we all know the 72-year-old McCain would be the oldest person ever to become president, can't remember Sunni from Shia, and has suffered all those cancers, of a kind that often recurs.
Tell you the truth, either way I think the GOP ticket would be disastrous for the country. But if Republicans really believe some of the nonsense they've been spouting these days, they might be better off turning it around.
UPDATE: Omygosh! I meant for what I wrote above to be satire. I would never have predicted that it would become reportage. But, according to the AP story below, it has. Once again, truth is stranger than fiction. Note especially the headline below. Where have you seen it before?
McCain-Palin becoming Palin-McCain?
By SARA KUGLER, Associated Press Writer Sat Sep 6, 4:26 PM ET
"Sa-rah! Pa-lin!" came the chant at a Colorado Springs rally on Saturday moments before Republican nominee John McCain took the stage with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a woman who was virtually unknown to the nation just a week earlier. The day before, thousands screamed "Sa-rah! Sa-rah! Sa-rah!" at an amphitheater outside Detroit."Real change with a real woman," read one sign at a Wisconsin rally. "Hurricane Sarah leaves liberals spinning," cried another.
In the short time since McCain spirited the 44-year-old first-term governor out of Alaska and onto a national stage as his running mate, Palin has become an instant celebrity. And since her speech at the Republican National Convention, watched by more than 40 million Americans, she is emerging as the main attraction for many voters at their campaign appearances.
"She's the draw for a lot of people," said Marilyn Ryman, who came to see her at the Colorado rally inside an airport hangar. "The fact that she's someone new, not the old everything we've seen before."