The fiasco that was the process by which Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska came to be chosen as John McCain’s running mate, gives us a good insight into the kind of President Senator McCain would make, and the picture it paints is a disturbing one.
It is one of a man who makes hasty, spur-of-the-moment decisions, based on nothing more than a gut instinct, without gathering the proper information upon which to base that decision. Not the qualities or the temperament we need in the next President, who will be facing so many decisions crucial to the future of our country.
An article in today’s New York Times goes into the details of how and why Gov. Palin was chosen, and how the incomplete, or better said, non-existent vetting process now has the McCain people scrambling to try and cover their tracks.
It seems that up until the middle of last week Sen. McCain wanted either Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge for his VP nominee. But there, he ran into a problem. From the NYT:
“But both men favor abortion rights, anathema to the Christian conservatives who make up a crucial base of the Republican Party. As word leaked out that Mr. McCain was seriously considering the men, the campaign was bombarded by outrage from influential conservatives who predicted an explosive floor fight at the convention and vowed rejection of Mr. Ridge or Mr. Lieberman by the delegates.”
So what did the “maverick” do? The man who makes it a point to tell us how he goes against his own party when necessary? He caved, and nominated a person acceptable to those elements of the Republican Party he once called “agents of intolerance.”
McCain then had his first face-to-face interview with Palin on Thursday and immediately offered her the job, after which his advisers claimed that she had been “thoroughly vetted.” Well I guess that depends on your definition of thorough.
More from the Times:
“They didn’t speak to anyone in the Legislature, they didn’t speak to anyone in the business community,” said Lyda Green, the State Senate president, who lives in Wasilla, where Ms. Palin served as mayor.
Representative Gail Phillips, a Republican and former speaker of the State House, said the widespread surprise in Alaska when Ms. Palin was named to the ticket made her wonder how intensively the McCain campaign had vetted her.
“I started calling around and asking, and I have not been able to find one person that was called,” Ms. Phillips said. “I called 30 to 40 people, political leaders, business leaders, community leaders. Not one of them had heard. Alaska is a very small community, we know people all over, but I haven’t found anybody who was asked anything.”
The current mayor of Wasilla, Dianne M. Keller, said she had not heard of any efforts to look into Ms. Palin’s background. And Randy Ruedrich, the state Republican Party chairman, said he knew nothing of any vetting that had been conducted.
State Senator Hollis French, a Democrat who is directing the ethics investigation, said that no one asked him about the allegations. “I heard not a word, not a single contact,” he said.
Now the McCain campaign people are in Alaska checking on Palin and her background, after all the furor over her past record as Mayor and Governor has erupted. I’m no political consultant, but it seems a bit bass-ackwards to me.
In the parlance of the dice tables that Sen. McCain has been known to frequent in Las Vegas casinos, Johnny, as any experienced gambler knows, sometimes you roll a winner, and sometimes you crap out. Better luck on your next throw. I’m just glad your gamble came as candidate McCain and not as President McCain.
P.S. Starting today there is a zero tolerance policy on comments regarding Gov. Palin’s family. That subject is now off limits, let’s stick to relevant issues, please.