Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Of presidential decisions

There are a couple of things that really hurt the intelligence of the American voter, and the Republican party’s recent justification of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate is one of them.

Let’s start from the beginning. When he announced Palin as his choice for veep, she said in a minor speech something to the effect that even though Hillary Clinton is out of the race, this move (and her becoming VP) could show women that the glass ceiling can still be broken. Fabulous. But for me, the entire point of Hillary Clinton was that she was someone who made it on her own. (You might say being married to Bill helped her, but I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that she would have kicked ass even if he hadn’t been a politician). So picking a random woman to be his running mate, the only qualification needed that she be female, makes McCain seem like a total idiot in my opinion. Harks back to debates in India about making Pratibha Patil president of the country simply because she was female. (And from what I understand this president has made no impact on the country, except for occasional reports about crass behavior from her family in the press.)

But back to Sarah Palin, who I’m sure must be a nice lady. But McCain met her in February for the first time. So let me try and wrap my head around this – he has decided to make this woman, who he barely even knows, his VP. And so, if he were to die in office (I know, terrible to talk about it, but the man is old, so you need to think of Plan B), then Sarah Palin, someone who admittedly has not given Iraq much thought, will be leader of the free world -- and in charge of foreign policy?

And then of course is the small gloating from the GOP about Palin’s 17 year old daughter being pregnant, which they think will make voters think she is just-like-them and can relate to them. You know the last time we heard such an argument? When they were selling George W. Bush to the Americans!

In presidential candidates, you don’t need people who are like the rest of us. You need people who have higher standards, who have excelled in life.

I think it was Bill Clinton’s speech at the Denver DNC when he said that in his first presidential decision (of choosing a VP), Obama has “knocked it out of the park”. I like Joe Biden. So what about McCain’s first presidential decision? I read somewhere he picked a Palin rather than one of the usual suspects because he still wanted to appear to be a maverick, and that he still had it in him to keep people guessing. Pick your battles, I say. And in picking a running mate, pick someone you admire and respect, not some person you barely even know, but think might fit into some narrative the media will love.

Very disappointing John McCain. Not that you had my vote (if I could) but you are losing the respect too.


IR said...

When they were selling George W. Bush to the Americans!- nice

mccains vp in charge was also a teenage beauty queen in alaska ,

i think obama is/was going to win anyway , i mean he is smart and he is black , there is nothing america would love more than this , they can tell the wrold they have elected a half kenyan-half american who goes by the name of obama hussein barack , and whose half family lives in muslim indonesia !

hillary clinon had it easy because of her husband , which is not to say she is'nt smart or anything , but i think it is true

Cyberswami said...

oh come on.

whom should he have chosen that would make you happy? it's easy enough to criticise the choice once it is made.

this Obama chap was an unknown in 2004 when he first shot to prominence after that speech. that in itself is not a weakness. it is a risk, yes, but with some potential benefits.

election season fast approaching usually brings out all kinds of electioneering. Saying that Sarah Palin is an everywoman and so vote for her is just that. Begging for votes. Again, not necessarily the wisest strategy but understandable in the moment.

let's at least wait to hear this lady speak before we write her off.

mahima said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mahima said...

cyberswami, i am not writing her off (thought it sounds so). what i am saying is, in such a media rich country like the states, the *reasons* and *justifications* given for SP as choice seem hollow.

to your point, obama first came on the scene only in 2004 (yes, agreed) but that is four years of being on the national stage, isn't it?

ETA: typos typos, i can't seem to edit my own comments.. !

Anonymous said...

Like her or not, its getting McCain ALL the media attention he needs. Of course to an extent it goes to show how twisted the human psyche really is to be more interested in Palin's 17 year old than Gustav that was hitting the home of Jazz once again. But I am sure McCain isn't complaining.

I am also not sure if H Clinton can be called 'intelligent' and I have serious doubts that she would've managed without Bill. She would've been in the Republican camp had it not been for him. And honestly, she fits rather well with the likes of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and McCain. While on the campaign trail, a lot of the things she said reminded me of Bush and his rather 'infamous' Bushisms. As far as her take on politics is concerned, Obama put it rather well. 'Sometimes I can't tell whether its Hillary I am contesting with, or (Bill) Clinton.'

egg style said...

Too bad Groucho Marx aint around anymore to comment on "American-voter intelligence" (or the logical consistency thereof).

But assuming the ol grouch would've been wrong (always a probability), the high-resonance soundbyte to emerge from the four-day DNC was this:

"America must not show the world examples of its power, but the power of its examples."

Or words to that effect. Spoken by Bill Clinton. And articulated clearly and coherently (without demanding a linguistic-legal deliberation on what the meaning of "it" is).

Well said, sir. Belongs to the mile-high club of those with thoughts that are absolutely airborne (of course, Groucho aint invited to join)

mahima said...

Oh i absolutely loved that comment too... I've been quoting it all over the city! Saw Palin's speech -- she's quite a gifted speaker but man is she a bitch! Dissed Obama soo badly, but painted McCain as the second coming.. (suppose she had to) .. then her energy blah blah.. Wow.. She wasn't nice at all... I thought .. but you can't help but admire her confidence..