My earlier posting on Sarah Palin generated some interesting (and pointed) comments, some of which I tried to respond to directly, but I thought that perhaps it called for a more thoughtful response. I think the choice was both bad and (probably) stupid.
Why It's (probably) Stupid. It's probably stupid because it will gain McCain little and may lose him a great deal. Nobody can possibly know, at this point, how she will perform on the stage she is about to enter onto -- debates with 100 million viewers, a daily crush of reporters, speech after speech after speech, where one bad gaffe puts you in the dustbin of history forever. It's unspeakable pressure, she's never faced anything like it, and I'd happily put money on the following: she will make at least one serious gaffe over the next two months. Plus, I don't care how carefully vetted she's been by the McCain campaign -- I think it's close to even money that 10,000 reporters and bloggers who will now descend upon Alaska (at least virtually) will find something less than savory.
Why It's Bad. It's a bad choice because John McCain is 71 years old, and his vice president will have a non-trivial chance of becoming president, and absolutely nothing suggests that Sarah Palin would be credible as President of the United States. I do NOT think this is just a matter of adding up the number of years spent doing this or doing that. Sarah Palin has been in public life, basically, for two years. to my knowledge, she has never articulated (because she was never called upon to articulate) any views whatsoever on:
military strategy in the Persian Gulf
the proper response to Iranian nuclear weapons
the Russian invasion of Georgia
the United Nations
US immigration policy
the Federal Reserve Bank
the effectiveness of international aid programs
federal support for basic research
European Union integration
the US Constitution
the optimal means of protecting US borders from terrorists
Guantanamo, and the proper scope of interrogation techniques
Deficit financing and Keynesian economics
the Supreme Court
Should I go on? I could, of course. But hopefully you get the idea. How anyone could say that knowing what they know now they'd be comfortable with her as President is entirely beyond me.