Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Vice Presidency

So "my friend" John McCain has chosen Alaskan governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Among the reasons he mentioned for choosing her are:

  1. Her understanding of "energy issues." (rather vague and ambiguous but I'll give "my friend" the benefit of the doubt on that one)
  2. Her understanding that Russia is right next to Alaska. (I should hope she understands that. Also I would hope that most other state governors have a basic enough grasp of geography to fully "understand" that).
Now, Palin seems like a nice enough lady. She's easy on the eyes and heck ideologically I have more in common with her than I do McCain. She seems to be a family-oriented yet career-minded woman which I thought was the goal of the feminist movement-- giving women the choice to pursue a career, be a mom, or both... So why is such a big deal being made out of a woman who seems to exemplify almost everything the feminist movement stands/stood for? Why is more focus being put on her family than on her?

I have reservations about Palin as a VP pick but they have nothing to do with:
  1. She's a woman.
  2. She's a mother.
  3. Her husband had a DUI arrest 20 years ago (Teddy Kennedy was guilty of vehicular manslaughter over 40 years ago and he got a tribute video done for him for his party's convention!)
  4. Her daughter is going to be a teenage mom.
Rather my reservations with Palin have to do with:
  1. Lack of experience
She's been the governor of the largest (in area) and least populous state in the country for two years and was a mayor prior to that. Now she may be a smart woman, may be ambituous and have a good head on her shoulders. And who knows she might even be vice presidential or even presidential material... with a few more years experience under her belt. I just don't think she's "there" yet.

All this focus and negative press being given to her private life, her family, her husband's past may very well help her become our first female Vice President. Focusing on her private life rather than her lack of experience will disenfranchise many who are still sitting on the fence about her. If enough focus is put on her private life with little or no attention being paid to her professional life... people might start asking-- "Are they focusing so much on her private life so much because they don't have anything legitimate to criticize regarding her career? Maybe she is actually qualified to do the job after all..."

People are sick of the negative campaigning... Sick of McCain's personal attacks on Obama and even though Obama is personally taking the high road there are others on the left (Moveon.org and that ilk) who aren't and their focus on her private life despite their candidate's personal stance that Palin's private life is "off-limits" could very well disenfranchise enough possible supporters of Obama to get McCain and Palin elected.

The next few weeks will be quite interesting.

5 comments:

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Did you catch her speech tonight? She is one tough lady but those speeches are written for them so I never pay much attention to what they say. It will be very interesting. I'm so sick of this soap opera of a campaign year.

Snooze said...

I agree that it is not an issue that she has a family or that her daughter is pregs. However, people are commenting on her daughter because Palin is vocally against sex ed and premarital sex. I still don't agree with commenting on her daughter though.

I admire the fact that she works but any sort of feminist movement is horrified by the fact that she is anti-choice to the point that she would deny abortions even to victims or rape and incest. I also take issue with the fact that she thinks Creation should be taught in school in science class. Thus it's not really her 'private life' that people are attacking - but her publically expressed views.

I'm with you though that the huge issue is her lack of experience.

Perplexio said...

barbara: She's an effective speaker, however her speech came across as a series of soundbites moreso than an actual speech.

snooze: from a strict constitutionist perspective it doesn't matter what her views regarding either sex-ed or creationism are. Technically those are matters that are out of the jurisdiction of the US federal government. The 10th Amendment of the US Constitution specifically states that powers not delegated to the federal government belong to either the state governments or the people. Legally speaking education is the responsibility of the individual state governments not the federal government. Also, technically the legality of abortion is outside the realm of the federal government. The individual US states are within their rights to set their own laws. The same can be said for gay marriage.

Brice said...

From my limited interest in US politics, it looks like both candidates have chosen VPs to cover the middle ground.
Obama chose a white guy, hoping to lessen any racism.
McCain chose a woman, for those that might be sick of this being a white-male-dominated position.

Just my opinion, when it really comes down to it I don't trust ANY of the politicians involved...

Perplexio said...

PS to snooze: She's not against sex-ed. She's actually pro-contraception. So, unlike many other pro-lifers she actually understands you can't "have your cake and eat it too." Abortions are still legal in the US and that's not going to change any time soon regardless of who is president and/or what his/her views on abortion are... So the best and only way to decrease the number of abortions is to improve sex education and access to contraception. I may be pro-life but I'm also pro-contraception and pro sex-ed in schools. Leaving teens to their own devices is akin to handing out driver's licenses like candy with no driver's ed. Or giving our enlisted soldiers guns without instructing them on proper usage and combat...