The story of 2008:
It looks like Obama will win the election. That will be historic. Also, the economic situation (present and going forward) will have a huge impact on our lives.
But I cannot help but think that the selection of Sarah Palin will be seen as one of the most bizarre, and reckless, actions ever taken by a major party.
- She's unqualified. Her political resumé is incredibly thin and she's not been engaged with issues of national importance.
- She's ignorant and can't think straight.
- She's a vindictive and overly self-confident mediocrity.
- She hasn't given a press conference since being selected as the Vice-Presidential nominee.
- She hails from a place that is not, as Palin likes to say, a microcosm of America. Most significantly, Alaska is a petro-state.
- She has no understanding of what Republican economic policies are all about. For example, she says she had problems with health insurance until she and Todd got "good union jobs". Increasing union power is not a Republican goal.
- Her record as mayor of the 5,000 person city of Wasilla isn't sterling.
- Only when she was mayor of Wasilla, were women charged for rape kits (a policy she supported).
- She blatantly lies about her ethical performance.
But basically she's unqualified.
When she was announced about a month ago, the inital reaction was: "Who?"
Then it was: "Maybe Palin is capable; talent can be found in all sorts of places".
Followed by: "Palin's getting good press and the Republicans are jazzed. She could be a big deal". If the election were held two weeks after the Republican convention, McCain/Palin might have won.
That was when the phenomenon peaked. In subsequent weeks, Palin's stock fell as she came off poorly with Gibson and (especially) Couric. At the same time she started slinging mud at Obama which eroded whatever appeal she initially had.
Then some conservatives (Frum, Brooks) came out and said Palin was unqualified which isn't something you expect from reliable water-carriers.
So what are we left with? Palin exposed for what she is, a "big wheel" in Wasilla, but that's about it. And this is the Republican choice for Vice President?
Some conservatives are already thinking of Palin in 2012. No way. Whatever status she now holds, it is set to drop and never rise again.
If this were a hockey game, McCain would be called for icing - and not on the cake.
She is and even folksier Bush III without the lineage but with better command of the English language.
Depending on how she and the GOP spend the next four years, she could very well position herself for 2012.
Misunderestimate them at your peril.
The greatest thing about Sarah Palin is that she effectively drove a wedge between the paleo-cons and the Christian fundamentalist wing of the Republican party, leaving the neo-cons not so sure who to side with on this one. If she manages to play a significant role in party politics over the next four years, it should be quite amusing.
Come January 2009, Sarah Palin will have a gig on talk radio or Fox TV.