Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Disappointed with McCain’s judgement

To the editor:

Along with lots of folks, I’ve been scratching my head over John McCain’s “maverick” choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.

Obviously, he believes she’ll help him get elected. One of Palin’s strengths is her admirable record of cracking down on political corruption; even social progressives have got to admire that! The McCain campaign will certainly showcase this aspect of her political career and make the case that she’s accomplished more in her brief tenure than Barack Obama in his.

Sarah Palin’s reputation as a courageous reformer is, in my view, her strongest selling point to the electorate, and her greatest weakness once elected.

If McCain wins, she will be viewed by her colleagues not only as a negligible political featherweight (a la Dan Quayle), but also as an ambitious loose cannon whose reformer mentality threatens to expose their weaknesses. They’ll like her, but they won’t trust her. They’ll shoot moose with her, but they won’t ask her advice.

The naïve Palin will be easy prey for skillful manipulation by the Republican power elite. She’ll be marginalized within the administration and excluded from the innermost circles of decision-making when sensitive matters are discussed. She’ll be relegated to sitting quietly in the Senate chamber, dutifully presiding over proceedings as past vice presidents have done. She’ll be denied the opportunity to grow in office.

McCain is older than me, which makes him older than dirt. His medical history puts him at risk of incapacity, and it is likely Palin will have to act in McCain’s stead at some point. Is it wise to risk electing as president-potential one who is at best under-informed or (quite possibly) misinformed?

If you worry about Obama’s relative inexperience, please consider Palin’s. The potential for disaster is frightening. Maverick John McCain’s choice of Palin might have been short-term clever, but it was long-term reckless. I’m disappointed in his judgment.

Paul Thompson


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