Friday, August 29, 2008

Northern Exposure

Will the GOP be updating their anti-Obama NotReady08 site now that Palin is on the ticket?

Extra points to the reader who can dig up the clip of Pawlenty going on and on about Obama's lack of experience (while highlighting his time as governor of Minnesota) hours before McCain picked the former mayor of Nowhere, Alaska as his running mate. Here is a local news link that has the goods in print:

He appeared at a news conference called by "Citizens for McCain" at a TV studio in an industrial area south of downtown Denver. The stage was draped in signs bearing the image of Democratic nominee Barack Obama, with the banner "Not Ready 08: A Mile High, an Inch Deep."

"I want to start today by congratulating Senator Obama and Senator Biden on their nominations, and we look forward to a robust campaign," Pawlenty said before getting down to the real business of the day.

"Just because he's not ready to be president doesn't mean we won't see a lot of glitz and glamour tonight."

"We already know he's a rock star and can bring 85,000 people to the stadium, but what happens about the show's over?"

The McCain camp is pushing the message that the Illinois senator, at age 47 and in his first term in Washington, isn't prepared to deal with the national security threats posed by terrorists and "rogue" leaders, such as the presidents of Iran and Venezuela.

"Our question for Obama is 'What have you done? And what have you run'?" Pawlenty said.

"The answers are not much and nothing."

I love how all this celebrity talk has ended up with McCain picking a woman who has appeared on the cover of Vogue. Maybe John can talk about that during his next appearance on the Tonight Show.

One question for McCain: Is this the type of decision you make at 3 in the morning? Initial reports are that McCain has only met Palin once. Knee-jerk decisions at 3 in the morning. Boy, that's exactly the type of leadership this country needs.

In all seriousness, this pick will cost McCain whatever chance he had at the White House. First, the selection is 110% reactive. It only makes sense in the context of wanting to appeal to disgruntled Hillary voters (however few of those people are left after the DNC) and to increase his bona fides with a group of people who were going to vote for him anyway. Second, McCain is one lesion away from Stage III melanoma. He has serious arthritis which may require surgery (and a temporary replacement in the Oval Office). Earlier this year it was revealed that he had early stage squamous cell cancer. He has a recorded history of taking Ambien. Even without his personal medical history, men of his age have a 20% chance of developing dementia. (UPDATE: I can't believe I missed this before, but according to his recent voting record, McCain actually has a better chance of developing dementia--20%--than he does changing the country's direction from the path Mr. Bush has placed it on--10%.) There may also be warning signs of un-treated mental health issues arising from his time as a POW (more on this subject in a future post; he hasn't had a mental health screening in over 8 years). In light of these real-world medical issues, I find it amazing that McCain would pick someone with as little experience as Palin. It's simply baffling.

Third, McCain's most effective attack against Obama was his lack of experience. This push was considered to be so effective that it was a central plank in the GOP's attack efforts during the week and was to be highlighted during next week's RNC. The GOP literally launched a website (linked to above) called NotReady08 in order to attack Obama on this front. All of that is out the window with the selection of Palin. Even if you stretch your mind to the outer edges of winger-dom to make-believe that Palin has more experience in actually running things than does her VP competetor,'ve just made the argument that she is more experienced than the man at the top of the GOP ticket.

Fourth, getting back to the disgruntled Hillary thing, what Hillary supporter in their right mind is going to vote for a creationist right winger who has a conservative view of reproductive rights? I think all 20 of the PUMA folks have found their savior.

Fifth, as mentioned above, it looks like McCain didn't exactly perform his due diligence in the vetting process (which should set off all sorts of warning bells as to how he'd process information in the White House). Palin comes complete with an Alaska-based scandal of her own that is under investigation by an independent panel whose findings will be made public...wait for it...literally days before the November election.

Finally, I can't say this loudly enough: McCain just sacrificed nearly each and every single argument he made against Mr. Obama up to this point in the election with his selection of Palin. Lack of experience? Dead. Lack of foreign affairs prowess? Dead. Not ready to lead our armed forces? Dead. It goes on and on and on. Mr. McCain has repeatedly reminded us that these are important and dangerous times that require someone with grit and experience. He was the man for the job because of...well, his plane was shot down a long time ago and he's been angry ever since. Palin's selection doesn't make the slightest bit of sense.

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