Many of us were taken aback yesterday when word leaked that Sarah Palin was McCain's choice for VP. I had long ago written her off as someone he was vetting in order to add women to his short list and secure Alaska's three electoral votes. But no. He chose the woman presidential historian Matthew Dallek called "the most inexperienced person on a major party ticket in modern history." She has absolutely no foreign policy experience, no education to speak of, no business experience, no experience with the law, and she's the number two to a man who will surpass his life expectancy within his first term, if elected. Let's look at some other, more qualified people McCain could have chosen:
Elisabeth Shue -- The blond actress from Adventures in Babysitting and Leaving Las Vegas shares many of the traits that make Ms. Palin so enticing: She's beautiful, in her mid-forties, and a mother to several young children. Shue, however, attended Wellesley College and Harvard University, earning her degree in government. Palin has a degree in "journalism" from the University of Idaho. Shue was nominated for an Academy Award. Palin placed second in the 1984 Miss Alaska contest. Shue was raised in a political household and had a father in the U.S. Senate. Palin's father woke her up at 3a to hunt moose.
My mother -- Neither Jackie Leo nor Sarah Palin have fancy degrees, but the former founded Child Magazine, served as Editor-in-Chief of Reader's Digest (whose U.S. circulation is more than 10 times the population of Alaska), and was the Editorial Director of Consumer Reports. My mother was an active member of the Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences for ten years. Sarah Palin doesn't believe in evolution and thinks global warming isn't man-made. I might also add that my mother came to all my ballet recitals, so there "hockey mom."
The lady Sarah Palin lost Miss Alaska to in 1984 -- Maryline Blackburn, a singer and entertainer, was born to a career military family and spent her youth in Fairbanks Alaska. She has performed in Spain, Argentina, England, Ireland, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Switzerland, Russia, and Japan while touring for the Department of Defense. Sarah Palin lives kind of near Russia.
Everyone else on John McCain's short list -- I am loathe to praise Mitt Romney, but at least he was governor of a real state. Carly Fiorina ran a major business, she ran it into the ground, but none the less was in charge of 172,000 people world wide, 20 times as many people as there were in the town that Sarah Palin mayored. Tom Ridge was the Secretary of Homeland Security, Sarah Palin protected us against thinking polar bears were cute.
Of course, many of these people are not Republicans. But if you're compromising everywhere else, why not on party affiliation? Has McCain considered how embarrassing it's going to be when Sarah Palin has to face-off with Joe Biden--arguably one of the fiercest minds on foreign policy in politics today--at the VP debate in October? Does he not understand that she's going to get torn apart by a man with almost as many years in politics as she has on earth? Eh, well, should be entertaining!