um, so, i need to explain that last blog entry i wrote, or maybe i need to delete it or something… i have often thought about myself that i’m too liberal to be conservative and too conservative to be liberal, and maybe this new entry will at least illustrate that point, if not explain it. i wrote that last piece early friday morning, immediately after the conversation referenced within and before john mccain made the announcement of alaska governor sarah palin as his choice for vice-president. i’m still not saying i’m voting for anyone (other than a potential write-in for jrb), but her presence on the republican ticket significantly increases the likelihood that i will vote for a major party candidate (mccain). it does of course depends on how she handles herself in the next few weeks, but what i’ve seen of her initially i’ve been quite impressed by. i may not agree with her on the various positions she holds, but at the same time, i have a lot more in common with her than i do with hillary, even if i’m not married with children nor a business owner.
what i’m finding interesting are the reactions of the democrats, in particular the argument that she has no experience. yet her résumé blows barack obama away, let alone the other two at the top of their respective tickets. she has executive experience being mayor and governor, which, no matter the size of the entities she has worked for, are to some extent microcosms of the federal government. and yes, alaska’s population is only slightly more than that of the county i live in (jackson county, missouri), but what is the population of joe biden’s home state of delaware? and, more importantly, does he have any experience governing there? from my vantage point, being a united states senator consists of little more than pushing papers and voting and trying to get fellow senators to vote your way. there’s a big difference in voting on policy and implementing policy, and, from my point of view, palin has a huge advantage over biden (let alone obama) in implementing policy.
as for the foreign policy experience question, well it does seem on paper that biden would have the advantage there. yet, as governor of alaska, palin has had to deal with russia on oil drilling rights issues, the same saber-rattling russia that just invaded georgia. and this is some speculation on my part, but being bordered by canada to the east and south, i’m sure she has had some dealings with them. before obama’s great middle eastern/european adventure early this summer, what was the extent of his foreign policy experience? i would certainly trust palin more as commander in chief (which she is of alaska’s national guard) to stand up to various aggressors in the world than obama. i do believe that there is a time for talk, but there is also a time for action and talking later, and from what little i know of her, i believe she would take appropriate action as necessary.
there is of course the argument that mccain chose her only because she’s a conservative and because of her anatomy. maybe, maybe not. but i think that even if she were a man, and her résumé was similar (let’s overlook the miss alaska competition :), i would at least give this person some serious consideration. by this same token, looking at obama, i honestly believe that if he were white and holding the same positions that he currently espouses (overlooking the black liberation theology thing), he would have gotten as many votes in the primaries as did his running mate (who, i might add, thinks obama is awfully articulate for a black guy). so i guess we do have obama to thank for hillary not being the one to break the glass ceiling.
i agree that there is much to be learned about her, which i have no doubt will happen over the next few weeks. however, at the moment i have nearly the same feelings about her that i do about condoleezza rice (who i have a crush on, despite her allegiance to bush). i love the diversity of palin’s history, from her being a lifelong member of the national rifle association (i have nothing against guns, *with* proper training and licensing), to her being a miss alaska runner-up, to her working as a professional fisherwoman, to her taking on the republican establishment in her own state. and the fact that she is a mother of five currently dealing with challenges faced by many parents, as well as being married to a union member who works in the oil industry – this all makes her seem down to earth, like she understands the issues of the average working person here in flyover country and will take those issues into account as she governs. and if, god forbid, something should happen to mccain while in office, i have little doubt that she would be up for the challenge. at any rate, i can’t say that this changes my voting plans any, but it’s making me think about it. and, if i do ultimately vote for mccain because palin’s on the ticket, it’s really not a vote for him; it’s definitely a vote for palin.