Young Senator Barack Obama achieved several important goals with his highly successful Democratic Convention and acceptance speech watched by 38 million persons on TV and more than 84,000 in Denver.
Obama proved that he is a strong and determined candidate who will pull out every effort required not to become like a Michael Dukakis or John Kerry failure candidate to his party, and will work very hard to win the election. To the American public, Obama promises the potential to be a great president with all of the talent potential to follow in the footsteps of both Roosevelt and Kennedy.
There was also a message to the African American community that Obama is running for everyone and will make every effort to rule as a great president and to bring pride and hope to that community to further break down any still existing discrimination barriers and spur every African American child to hope to become anything that they desire, even becoming president.
By contrast, John McCain hoped to steal a little headlines from the Obama message of hope and a promise for a bright new future with an outrageous choice for a running mate that is classic John McCain in too many unsettling ways.
John McCain's campaign for president has been plagued by putting exactly the wrong sort of persons into positions of authority such as former 1970's soft porn movie producer turned economist, Phil Gramm, and others who have only proved themselves to be embarrassing,insensitive and aloof to the actual state of things at hand. Many other goofy personalities that McCain has delegated responsibility have proven themselves to become an embarrassment to the campaign as well with plenty of resignations from the campaign as proof.
They say that pilots often make poor presidential candidates because they refuse to take orders from anyone. And McCain's life has been characterized by this. Even while studying in naval academy, McCain often found himself at odds with others and was even rated as the fifth lowest out of his entire class. In the Senate, McCain has often been a loose cannon, attacking members of his own party or major businesses, sometimes for good reason, sometimes not. It is classic McCain to be a fighter, but not always for a worthwhile cause. It is just part of his volcanic personality.
Sarah Palin is a typical John McCain type of pick. She is certainly not the most qualified GOP woman in America by any means, but she does manage to shake things up and question the ethics of others, while at the same time her own ethics remain under investigation in Alaska.
There will no doubt be a great effort to quiet down this ethics investigation while she runs for VP for the next couple of months by the GOP both in Alaska and nationally. But it's the same problem as John McCain, someone who claims to be a reformer, but is proven to be a little bit of a hypocrite. McCain was once in deep political trouble due to his role in Charles Keating Lincoln Savings & Loan scandal as one of the worst of the "Keating Five", and then reinvented himself as quasireformer and "maverick" for his own political survival while still ranking as one of the most conservative of senators. In a great many ways, McCain is far more of a loose cannon than any "maverick".
Palin will also be hard pressed to prove that she is just not some warped form of Republican affirmative action program where someone is simply chosen because they meet some sort of gender or racial stereotype, while holding wacky right wing political views that are odds of most in their community.
Clarence Thomas was a great example of this, as he seemed like an absurd right wing replacement for the excellent career of pioneer civil rights litigator Thurgood Marshall. Palin will have to prove that she is really indeed a qualified personality, who just a scant 18 months ago was mayor of a tiny Alaska town with barely more than 5,000 persons.
And indeed, Palin seems to remind one of comic Tina Fey playing a goofy character on SNL. Such an impression hardly seems to make her seem suitable if she were to become president to confront Vladimir Putin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong-Il in the event of a true international crisis should she become president. John McCain celebrated his 72nd birthday yesterday and has had several cancer scares in a land where few Americans live to be 80. Neither of my parents lived to be 80. There is a real possibility that Sarah Palin could become president more than most any vice presidents in American history.
Palin seemed like such a goofy choice to me, that I honestly admit I spent a great deal of yesterday laughing about her choice as VP running mate. I could not wait to see what the late night comics would say about this. It seemed to be another absurd choice like Dan Quayle, in which the GOP claimed that women would vote for him because he looked sort of like Pat Sajak. Well, that certainly proved to be a great qualification for office, and after his term of VP was over, Quayle quickly slipped from memory.
Palin will be hard pressed to prove how a small town city councilwoman and mayor, turned governor of a tiny state with a few igloos and caribou is somehow suitable to become president if the need should arise. And Palin doesn't bring another new electoral college state int play for the GOP either.
Well, if John McCain intended to steal a little of the headlines from Obama this week, then he certainly succeeded on that account, but maybe for all the wrong reasons. Once again McCain proved he picks unusual choices to delegate responsibility to that have only seemed let him down before. And once again McCain has proven that he's a sort of a guy who refuses advice and makes his own decisions, but which often turn out badly it seems. Once again McCain's judgment to lead is called into question.
Barack Obama left the week with a great impression of the kind of leadership that he is capable of. He left voters with the vision and hope for a great tomorrow for the U.S.
McCain by contrast only left many of us laughing.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!