Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin, 2-year Governor of Alaska, Vice President?

(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.

Add to Technorati Favorites


  1. Well, I'll be! This is the first blog commentary I've read on Sarah Palin, and you've done a great job!

    The article I read said she had "energy" experience. That certainly sounded like a plus to me.

    And I agree, I don't need her to be an expert on the Middle East. McCain knows a lot already on that topic. And he's still good buddies with Lieberman.

    Anyway, it does leave me more hopeful. Hope and change, right?

  2. Trust me. The Democrats were not caught off guard. They are not naive. There are research files on every possibility. Perhaps Wolf Blitzer's staff did not have a file on her. but the DNC definitely does

  3. Leora-
    Glad you came! I've had more than 330 visitors to that page since I posted it three hours ago, and most of them have come by Googling Sarah Palin Jewish or Sarah Palin Israel. Lots of people rushing to find out who she is.

    Yes, I suppose you're right... although the political world really did seem to write her off when the scandal broke a month ago.

  4. heh - so what do you think now that the skeletons are coming dancing out of the closet?

    She sounds like just another Republican "do as I say, not as I do" hypocrite to me.

  5. Tzipporah-
    It's still going to be fun to watch a Biden-Palin debate. Lots more fun than McCain-Obama, frankly.

  6. I've only heard general statements like "she's a friend of Israel". Aren't all candidates portraying themselves as such? "Friend of Israel" in this turbulent era is a rather broad, unclear statement. What does she support? Will she be another "friend" like Condolezza Rice, coming to twist our arm to stop the building of Jewish communities in the territories (and say nothing about Arab illegal building at the same time)? Will she adopt a policy closer to that expressed by Huckabee, of not pushing Israel to cede an inch?
    What is her policy towards Arabs? Will she hold, like Bush does, that there can be a "peaceful democratic Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel" or will she have a more realistic approach?
    I am waiting for anyone to approach her with those questions for the public record.

  7. Rafael,

    Thanks for commenting. She actually did make some concrete on-the-record comments the other day, in an interview with Katie Couric. You can see a write-up here; I've seen video floating around as well.

  8. Thank you. I saw the video on YouTube. It was linked to from Arutz Sheva. She is talking about allowing Israel to make its own prerogative on the decision of whether to attack Iran. Still it doesn't say a word about pressuring Israel about land surrender to the Arabs. Will she push another Hitnatkut? Will she oppose it? Will she let Israel decide, regardless of who's in power?
    I am yet to hear her say anything to that regard.

  9. Hi Rafael,
    They will all push another Hitnatkut, regrettably. They just don't see it as we do, and I don't think there is any way they will.