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A Woman's View of the Palin Decision

As a long-time Hillary Clinton supporter I can speak of the importance of having a female viewpoint in our national political stage , but I can't offer a first-person expression of the kind of insulting pandering McCain has accomplished with the decision to go with Alaskan newbie-governor Sarah Palin as his VP choice.

In my view, it smacks of political desperation. The kind of desperate grab at what, without thinking it all the way through, might have seemed like a good idea for the first 30 seconds. My guess is that 30 seconds is about as long as McCain gave this idea. Big mistake. He lost the election with this choice, in my estimation.

It demonstrates the shallowness of the Republican view of women in politics, as was clearly exemplified by the fact that no women were standing among the dozen white, male candidates seeking the Republican nomination.

But suddenly, a few days after Hillary Clinton is officially shut out of the Democratic ticket, John McCain has an idea. Seeing polls that show a still significant number of Clinton supporters who have not yet pledged fully behind Obama, the gears are put into motion that will insure a Democratic victory in November -- John McCain ignores his chief argument against Barack Obama -- that our nation will not be safe under an Obama presidency because of Obama's experience level -- and selects a woman with zero experience in national politics and zero foreign policy experience, and someone that he doesn't even know.

Grabbed off the plains of Alaska as a perfect choice to be one heartbeat away from the oval office because -- hey -- the polls say it's worth a point or two.

Which is where John McCain made his second mistake, and gave away the second argument he's used successfully against Obama. That Barack was putting his own election above the interests of the nation -- and now that's exactly what McCain did in the selection of Palin -- selecting a foreign policy novice that would -- McCain has been arguing -- put our nation's security at risk, and he did so simply because it gives him a chance at a few extra voters in November.

But I'm not surprised John McCain has no concept of the insult he gave women in choosing Palin -- in suggesting that female Democrats aren't issues voters, concerned about the economy, about Iraq, about a sensible energy policy, about national health care.

No, John McCain thinks that any woman, even one like Palin who's views on those issues is the exact opposite of Clinton's, will win those reluctant Clinton voters simply because she's a woman.

Simply -- that' s dead wrong. Meet Giovanna Negretti:

I actually used to like Senator McCain. Years ago, I heard him speak once at a convention in Washington DC. I was mostly impressed by his decency and compassion. During the Republican debates, when he promised a campaign that would be free of character slandering, I was equally impressed. However, the candidate I am seeing now is very different from the Senator I heard in 2002 and the one that ran during the primaries. It is actually disappointing to me because I was looking forward to an election that focused on honest debates and intelligent discussions around issues and policies important to the American people and the world. Instead, what I see candidate McCain doing is buying into the political tactics that we have seen in the past 8 years. His recent selection for VP just confirms this.

I find it incredibly startling that McCain would choose a person he hardly knows for a job as important as the Vice Presidency of the United States. It is so obvious that he is doing this as a political tactic that it makes me question his judgment. Is that the way he will make decisions about our economy, our security, our well-being as a nation? If, God forbid, Senator McCain dies during his presidency then he will entrust this nation with a person with zero foreign affairs experience, whom he hardly knows to be the Commander in Chief? How irresponsible is that?

More below the fold:

I can appreciate that this is a historic moment for women but what is insulting and shameful is that it comes as a result of political tactics and not merits. As a woman, I am insulted. I can't help but asking how does he dare insult the intelligence of millions of women who voted for Clinton with this tactic of trying to appeal to them by choosing a woman with no qualifications as a vice presidential candidate. What does he think, that women are stupid? Or is he implying that people supported Hillary just because she was a woman? People supported Hillary because they thought she was the best qualified person for the job. It just so happened that she was a woman, which made the decision to support her even more exciting.

I have watched with dismay how John McCain has transformed his message from the Primary to now. This VP pick really surprised me because at the very core, I wanted to believe that Senator McCain would come to his senses and run a decent campaign based on respect and dignity. However, now, I agree with Senator John Kerry, who said it best at the Convention last week: "Before [John McCain] ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself."

Prior to her two-year stint as Governor of the U.S. state that ranks 47th in population, Palin served as the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska for a couple of years.

And was it her 'experience' that drove McCain to chose Palin for his ticket over an experienced executive like Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty?

No, what drove John McCain to chose someone he didn't he even know well -- and someone who's not anywhere near as qualified as Hillary Clinton -- was the simple fact that she was female and a Republican.

Our nation's welfare comes in second -- just like with George Bush -- when Republicans are making a grab for control.


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Comments (18)

On the other hand, Obama may have problems of his own, insofar as retaining women's votes are concerned. Here is another woman's view, picked up in the comments section of another blog, a few days ago (before Palin was chosen):

As a proud middle-aged woman, I can explain this.

Barack Obama is every older woman's nightmare -- the slick talking, good looking, totally unqualified man who waltzes in and gets the big job instead of the woman who thought she would get it by sheer force of dogged hard work and experience. A huge number of women have had this experience or know someone who has. I personally have had it twice. Women like this see Hillary as having done everything right to earn the Democratic nomination, getting the most votes, having the best ideas and most complete plans, and just plain working harder, but somehow still getting screwed out of it by the slick young empty suit. It is viscerally impossible for such women to vote for Barack Obama, no matter how much they might agree with him on policy. They simply don't believe him on policy either - such men will say and do anything to talk their way into the job, and who knows what they will then do once they get it?

John McCain represents their dad or their husband - the guy who cheered them on as they pursued careers and gave them a shoulder to cry on when they needed one. He has earned the job, the way they think Hillary did. They trust him on the issues even if they don't agree with him (how many times did we smile when hearing liberals say this about Reagan?) This is not about policy at all, it is about how women think they should be treated by men and how men should get ahead in life.

If McCain is smart enough to pick a woman as his running mate, it will seal the deal with these women.

Karin:

How can you say that Sarah Palin has less credentials than Hillary Clinton? You need to do your homework, rather than just parroting what the mainstream media is saying about her. She has made astonishing accomplishments as governor - going up against corruption in BOTH parties, and winning. She cleaned house in Alaska. I am a woman. I am not insulted by this choice. I am extremely excited about it - and rather disgusted that you have dissed her without knowing much about her. I am disappointed in you for not doing the research you should have done. The desperation seems to be coming from the democrats who need to lie about Sarah Palin, rather than go head to head with any disagreements they may have with her.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Name the lies being told about Sarah Palin, Karin, and we can discuss them further.

She cleaned house in Alaska? Alaska is still a cesspool of Republican corruption, just as it was a year ago when I wrote that post, and just like it's been for decades. Look at Sen. Stevens for proof of that.

And Sarah Plin is the subject of her very own ethics investigation - talk about abuse of power! Talk about corruption -- 'she is one!"

But names the lies and what you perceive as the truth, otherwise we'll be "very disgusted that you have dissed Democrats" without providing any specifics...

Karin:

Lies...well, I've read that some have said that she didn't even have her youngest son - that her daughter actually did.

Maybe the deliberately left out information is what is most annoying. I was always taught, 'If you tell only enough truth to make someone draw the wrong conclusion, that is a lie."

Obama's first reaction is to say she was the major of a 9,000 resident city. No mention of the fact that she had been a governor for two years.

Experience...this is hysterically funny. As a person who has governed, she has more experience than anyone running, including McCain. The other three are legislators - which is not the same at all. Implementing laws is much harder than writing bills about them.

Palin is very knowledgable and articulate about our dependence on foreign oil and has some great plans to tap Alaska's resources rather than slinking to the Saudi's and asking them to lower their prices. I believe this is one of the biggest reasons she was chosen as VP. And yet, all we hear from the Democrats is that she was chosen only because she is a woman. What an insult. You are completely overlooking her accomplishments and hating her BECAUSE she is a woman.

She has already DONE some of the things that Obama TALKS about. Maybe Alaska is still needing clean-up, but it is TRUE that she got rid of a lot corruption on both sides of the aisle. We all know that campaigns are full of promises, and it is rare that anyone would accomplish as much as she did in the first two years. Obama used most of his first 18 months in office as a legistlator, campaigning.

The situation with the trooper who was married to her sister is being perpetrated by the corrupt Republicans that she has deprived of some of the perks they used to enjoy.

And saying that because her sister has made a poor choice in a husband should refect on the ability of Palin to be a good VP?? Are you kidding me? That is so below the belt that I won't even go there.

Hillary has worked hard and she has been a senator for a few years, but I would like you to seriously look at the credentials of both women and tell me that one is better than the other. Both of them have worked hard, championed causes, and neither should be discarded simply because they are women.

I think you are wrong that McCain did this as a publicity stunt because it is a very risky move. I believe he did it because Palin has a proven track record of standing up for what is RIGHT, whether she had to fight her own party or not, she is very knowledgable on energy, and she is strongly pro-life. The fact that she is a woman was just a bonus.

Give her a chance and look at what she has DONE. Obama is constantly talking about how he, his wife, his mother, grandmother, worked their way up from nothing. Suddenly, when it's Palin, people are disrespectful of her upbringing. I saw a Democratic article that said Palin would be going back to Alaska to get back to her 'moose hunting' at the end of this campaign. How rude.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

So, if I understand the situation correctly, Democrats are not spreading lies about Palin as you asserted in your first comment.

Which would mean that you are spreading lies saying they are.

And tell me again, who's being unfair?

Liberal and progressive women have learned that they do not have to play the victim in order to get what they want. I suggest conservative women do the same if they want to attract votes in a significant number. I put up a post earlier today where Cindy McCain is unfairly playing the victim also - it seems to be spreading... this conservative woman victim mentality. It really doesn't help.

Palin will have every chance to prove her qualifications. Neither side needs to lie in order to have her truly vetted.

Senator Stevens and the other corrupt Alaskan politicians are going to be under even greater scrutiny now, so I suggest your rework the "Palin cleaned up corruption in Alaska" meme a bit, Karin.

And saying that because her sister has made a poor choice in a husband should refect on the ability of Palin to be a good VP?? Are you kidding me? That is so below the belt that I won't even go there>"

It's the abuse of power exercised by Sarah Palin that is reason behind ethics investigation -- not the asshole brother-in-law -- and don't worry -- you won't have to go there. Me and other liberal bloggers are all over it for you.

You'll just paint Palin as a victim in an attempt to mislead voters further, is my guess. Good luck.

Mel:

I am still scratching my head at the decision to pick Sara Palin.

Especially because Republicans discounted Charlie Crist over his lack of experience (he's only been governor of one of the biggest states in the country for two years, compared to Palin who is governor of one of the smallest).

Especially because if McCain wanted to choose a woman, then why not Kay Bailey Hutchinson or Olympia Snowe or Linda Lingle?

But most of all, because McCain doesn't know Sarah Palin. He shook hands with her and had his picture taken with her ONCE, followed by a brief telephone conversation when she was at the Alaska State Fair and he was relaxing in Arizona, before offering her the VP spot. Seriously! How would anyone who really cared about their country entrust it to someone they met for all of five minutes at a convention?

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Palin has, from research I've done so far, done a decent job of negotiating the natural gas pipeline deal. Apparently she hasn't backed down from Exxon and the big players' demands, and that alone may be enough for John McCain.

The TV ad McCain ran over and over during the Olympics said he's "taking on big oil" -- a big HUH? for anyone who follows closely.

Well, Palin *may* (I need more research) have done a decent job negotiating on the pipeline, and that may be the one bit of flash that caught McCain's attention. She's a woman, and she's tough on big oil.

Never mind that she's so under qualfied in so many other areas....

jon:

I don't suggest that I can view this issue as a woman but as a citizen of this great country I find it insulting that Mr McCain has such little disregard for the officew of Vice President that he would select someone who has no worldly experience other than Mayor of a small town in Alaska with a population of 8-9000 people, having been elected to governor by 100,000 people who had been given a choice between a corrupt candidate and one who had run on honesty and reform following a huge corruption scandal. It appears to me that both Mr McCain and Mrs Palin are opportunists who count on taking advantage of situations rather than earning qualifications and credit based upontheir knowledge and expertise.
For me give me the most qualified and smartist person for the job. To clean up Washington the cleaners need to be versed in the Constitution and the law as well as the workings of the culture there. It appears that Mr McCain has minimal qualifications other than he has been there for a long time, he seems to change with the wind ( maybe because he was trained that way by the military and his captivity) and he makes poor decisions for our co8untry but he thinks he makes good decisions for himself ( dumps wife for beauty queen, can't get his own campaign moving and has to ask Karl Rove to help him manipulate the electorate, chooses novice to be second in command of the most powerful country in the world).
Given my choices I will take an intelligent person who knows his limits and tries to balance the ticket with more intelligence to protect our people and make this country greater rather thatn make poor decisions based on his own needs. Could there be something to the rumors that Mr Mccain has some defect in his mentation that would effect his ability to do his job and he needs someone around to be his caretaker, like Cindy or Sarah??

Patti Sterling:

Amen. As a woman I am offended by the selection of Palin. I am offended that John McCain is pandering to women by selecting this unquaified person as a VP. Please some one explain to me why McCain thinks women are so stupid as to vote based on gender.
Also can you explain how you can be Pro Life and a warmonger at the same time? these two are made for each other. But not for this country.

Kathleen Schofield:

As a Senior Citizen nearly the same age as McCain, I personally think there is no one out there that has paid the price for the Office of the Presidency as he has. Not just his Military time, or his Prisoner of War time though both were very impressive, but the time he has spent in the Legislature fighting for what he believes is right for our Country. I haven't always agreed with everything he's done, but I surely do agree with his choice of Gov. Sarah Palin! She is truly a breath of fresh air. Her acceptance speech, her family, her background, her track record, her experience and her approval rating (80+%) by the people of Alaska tells me that Gov. Palin is one very special Politician. I agree that Hillary has some really special qualities and she is a hard worker, but compared to Sarah, she looks like an ambitious woman that won't be satisfied until she matches her husband and betters him. She is definately not my idea of what the ideal woman is. Like I said, Sarah Palin is one very special person and is measuring up to my idea of what I would like to see in a Politician and most emphatically, as our Vice President. Go Sarah!!!!!!!!!!!

Kathleen Schofield:

Patti: You wonder how a person can be Pro Life and a warmonger as you put it. I am both Pro Life and I also believe that there are times for war. If you know anything about your Bible you will find that there are times when God actually directed His Chosen People to go to war. You will also find that He said "Before you were formed in the womb I knew you!"

I believe our President did the right thing and I believe that History will confirm it.

Peter:

Not that related to the topic, but I wanted to discuss Hillary Clinton for a second.

First, losing to Barack Obama was probably the BEST thing that could have happened to her political career. She went into the Democratic Primaries as the front-runner... and she was criticized by many as an opportunistic, inexperienced, scandal-plagued ultra-liberal who was riding on the coat-tails of her husband. After losing, she has somehow morphed into this experienced, populist, champion of women everywhere... who fought tooth-and-nail against all odds on her own strength (i.e. not Bills). Funny that.

Second, Hillary has 4 more years experience in the U.S. senate than Barack. That's it. People somehow tacked on her husband's experience. But why? Is someone qualified to perform surgery on me for the simple fact that they were married to a doctor? But no matter. As I mentioned, Hillary is now transformed, and if she runs again, or stays in the senate, her own personal legacy is locked up.

And Third, I'm still tired of people who attack Obama for winning the Democratic Primaries... as if he did it to put Hillary (a woman) in her place. She was the front-runner, the annointed one, the "Clinton" who had the money lead and the political star power backing her... until she started losing. That's the simple truth of it. Obama was the underdog, he was the New York Giants, beating the New England Patriots.

Peter:

I wanted to post about one more thing that's been bugging me... this push (every since Bush was elected) to pick someone "common" to be President. I don't understand it. I want the best, brightest, most educated person as President. I don't want someone "common." To put it another way, who do you want performing open heart surgery on your loved one, the doctor who's pretty normal, or the best, brightest, and most skilled doctor you can find. So why would we put someone who is less than the "best and brightest" in the two most powerful positions in the world. I'm not even going to attack any candidate, because it's clear where that would go anyway.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Peter: "After losing, [Clinton] has somehow morphed into this experienced, populist, champion of women everywhere"

Perhaps that's what you saw from your perspective, but Clinton was championing women all along - the "pantsuits for Clinton" (heh) movement grew and became more powerful towards the end of her run, so maybe to you it appeared to emerge afterwards - or at least talked about more afterwards as news pundits tried to guess if these hard-core "We want a woman" voters would pass over to Obama or move toward McCain.

As you undoubtedly know by now, Palin's oldest child is 5 months pregnant. Apparently, the timing belies the possibly that Palin's youngest child is actually her grandchild; she'll be a grandma soon enough.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

How convenient.

And I've heard "about 5 months pregnant" -- which means it's four months a change.

And we won't know if in fact it's closer to three months until the child is born.

How convenient.

That Karl Rove works miracles -- here we have a "miraculous conception" of sorts, just in time to save a PR GOP nightmare.

How very, very convenient....

Cara Ebarri:

Pro-Life - Warmonger? How about pro-abortion - Anti war? Similar contrasts, however, war can be justified in many cases, what can ever justify abortion? How many contraceptives are available to prevent unwanted children. How many people abort un-perfect babies and who defines unperfect anyway. Prisons are full of "perfect" babies. Those voting for Obama better hope he picks a good administration, because if you're worried about Palin's experience, you should really be worried about his. And please, don't think because someone doesn't vote for Obama and his socialistic distribute the wealth, liberal social policies, anyway, anyhow means that they are racist. I would love to vote in a African American president, but I wish his policies were closer to mine.

All the talking heads constantly have said before vp nominees were named that voters only vote for president, that the vp choice is usually never a decision maker. I listend to both msnbc and fox to get both viewpoints and boths stations constantly stated that. Now, after Palin, all of a sudden msnbc and Lee Ward are acting like Palin is most important. When's the last time a president died in office? Quit worrying about it. How much does a vp do? And regarding choice of a women to replace Hilary, those women are too excited to get those abortions for anyone and everyone to consider a Repulican ticket so I don't think McCain was even considering them. He's looking to bring back his conservative base.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

It's what the pick of Palin says about McCain that is most distrubing.

McCain railed at Obama for months that he wasn't qualified, then picks a lesser-experienced VP choice - throwing the chief argument he had against Obama out the window.

Stupid mistake, and indicative of McCain's poor judgment.

Why did he do this? Pandering for voters -- another example of poor judgment and poor choices on McCain.

And Palin brings a roster of her own poor choices with her to the party.


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