By Brigitte L. Nacos
By selecting the 44-year old, first-term governor of Alaska Sarah Palin as running mate, Senator John McCain takes a big gamble and the wind out of the lack-of-experience sail that he flies against Senator Barack Obama.
By selecting a woman, McCain hopes to win over those supporters of Hillary Clinton who have not lined up behind the Obama-Biden ticket. I believe that his calculation will not work. It is difficult to imagine that those who supported Hillary Clinton and her agenda could possibly vote for McCain simply because of Sarah Palin’s gender—especially not after Senator Obama laid out a Clinton-like agenda during his acceptance speech last night.
I for one wanted
Hillary Clinton become the first woman president but I would have never
supported her without the conviction that she has all the qualifications and
the right policy agenda. A primary season in which an African-American, a
woman, and a Mormon were among the competitors should do away with voting for
candidates simply because of gender, race, ethnicity, religion.
Perhaps, if Senator McCain had chosen a woman like Senator Olympia Snowe of Vermont or former New Jersey governor Christie Todd Whitman, he may have won the support of dissatisfied Clinton supporters.
But Sarah Palin who is far more palatable to the conservatives than McCain himself? Although younger than Senator Obama, she brings no change to the Republican ticket besides her gender.
If the 72-year old McCain were to win the fall election, Palin would be a heartbeat away from the presidency in the nation of 300 million. And that with less than two years of experience as the governor of Alaska with a population of less than 700,000!
Nassau County on Long Island, where I live, has a population of 1.4 million, double that of Alaska. What would the reaction be, were a presidential contender select a Nassau county executive as running mate?
Senator McCain seems content that a person like Governor Palin who knows how to hunt moose and is a member of the National Rifle Association has the qualification to be commander-in-chief.
Or perhaps, as I heard a taking head on CNN say a few minutes ago with admiration, because as a basketball player on her high school team, she was called "Sarah Barracuda” because of her intensity.
Not exactly a testament to the Republican presidential candidate's wisdom and judgment.