(updated 12:06 PM)
I was thoroughly disheartened after watching last night’s speech by Senator Barack Obama. I heard a lot of beautiful promises, but came away with the sense that the man was promising the world without the means to provide it.
Going line-by-line through the budget to eliminate pork and provide efficiency, and raising taxes on 5% of the population, don’t strike me as ways to foot the bill for everything he discussed. Also, there was no recognition of the work he would have to do to bring people on board. The teachers proposal, for example, was ludicrous - dramatically increase the number of teachers while raising standards for education? You and what army, Senator?
I was disappointed because I really wanted to like Senator Obama, and because I was discouraged by the McCain campaign. If their idea of “new and different” is a campaign ad congratulating Barack Obama, then the Republican party is in deep trouble. I was sure that the final blow would come today with a pick of Tom Ridge or (yuck) Mitt Romney, and that would just kill it entirely.
And then came word about Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, being selected as John McCain’s running mate.
Google Trends shows that 8 of the top 10 searches are Palin-related at the moment. I’m sure quite a few of those are from Democrat strategists wondering how they were caught so flat-footed.
I don’t know whether to be happy or not with Palin as Vice President, but Palin as a candidate sure is a fun thing to think about. Palin may be the only person out there with a shorter resume in public service than Barack Obama. (CNN says, “Congressional Quarterly notes Sarah Palin's other past occupations, including commercial fishing company owner, outdoor recreational equipment company owner and sports reporter.”) I would love to see her debate Joe Biden; against all odds, the Republicans may have found someone who can out-sass him.
I'll admit that I’m not much of a Conservative on domestic issues, so I’m not thrilled that she is a lifetime member of the NRA or that she takes a strong stance against abortion.
I'm disappointed that I can’t find anything substantive about her approach to Israel, or foreign affairs in general. (See, for example, here. And there's nothing on AIPAC's site, although I'll bet that changes soon.)
But you know what? As I said here, I don't really want my chief executive to focus on the Middle East. The less the American (Vice) President sees the Middle East as a legacy trophy, the better. Gd knows they have enough to do, without adding "Pressure Israel and the Palestinians into a bad treaty" to the list.
And I like the fact that she is a maverick, and I love the fact that she is committed to ethics and to eliminating budget pork, even at her own expense. And I am thrilled that she’s not an old white male. Or a young white male, for that matter.
Thank you, Senator McCain; this race just became fun again.