It’s been clear since “Super Tuesday” primary election day, back in February that Arizona Sen. John McCain was going to be the Republican Presidential nominee. You’d think that in that six and a half month period, he would have had plenty of time to meet and court his vice presidential running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
But no. Sen. McCain had his first and only private conversation with the volatile political neophyte the day before he announced her as his running mate. The day when some someone told him about their arranged, “shotgun wedding.”
When there is no incumbent in a presidential campaign, the first real “executive decision” the candidates make is choosing their running mates. Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) chose veteran senator and foreign policy wonk Joseph Biden (D-Del.), a fellow presidential candidate whom the voters got a chance to inspect over months of campaigning and debate appearances. Joe Biden is a “lunch-pail,” “working class” kind of U.S. Senator who takes the train to and from work every day.
Sen. McCain’s choice, on the other hand, is a loose cannon, who believes that the illegal and immoral U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq is a “task from God,” and that the construction of a new Alaska oil pipeline is also “God’s will.”
“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right,” the governor told ministry students, speaking recently at her former church. “Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”
She is emotional and vindictive. She fired the State Public Safety Director because he would not fire her former brother-in-law. How trailer-park-trampy is that? When she was Mayor of the tiny town of Wasilla, Alaska she tried to fire the town’s librarian because the woman would not remove books from the library to which the self-proclaimed “Lipstick Pitbull” objected. A committee of citizens rose up and saved the librarian’s job.
She’s a poor and inexperienced choice to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, next to potentially the oldest man ever elected to a first term, who has already had four bouts with cancer, and who surely suffers from Post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD), and probably other health problems resulting from his being a prisoner-of-war during the Vietnam conflict. While that service was brave, and (compared to the sitting President) heroic, it is hardly a qualification to be Commander-in-Chief.
Sen. McCain is also said to have a volatile, abrasive, and argumentative personal style, and that’s just what his Senate Republican colleagues say about his not being fit for the White House.
“The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine,” Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), also a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told the Boston Globe in January. “He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.”
And Sen. McCain’s military career got off to a shaky start. He finished near the bottom of his class, 894th out of 899 at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. Probably the principal reason he was allowed to graduate at all was because his father was a Navy admiral and top commander, and his grandfather had been an admiral and top commander as well.
Sen. McCain was “a wild man” at the Naval Academy, writes Dr. Phillip Butler, a classmate at the Academy, who says “there are a number of reasons why I won’t vote for him for President of the United States.” Dr. Butler was already a prisoner when Sen. McCain joined him and others at the so-called “Hanoi Hilton.”
“I furthermore believe that having been a POW is no special qualification for being President of the United States. The two jobs are not the same, and POW experience is not, in my opinion, something I would look for in a presidential candidate,” writes Dr. Butler, who concluded his Navy career in 1981 after 20 years, his last post as a professor of management at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
So, here we have two, vindictive hotheads on the same Republican ticket. One, an old guy and cancer survivor, and the other a female rookie, with less than two years experience as governor of a state with a smaller population than Baltimore.
That’s bad medicine America. Neither of them is fit to command.