A few years back I had some inside exposure to the reality show, The Apprentice. I was amazed at how remarkably un-exceptional the contestants were, and started to notice a trend. Most were attractive, some had interesting stories, and some just looked like they would make for good television (I’m thinking of the woman who made a living selling the clothes she “bedazzled” at the flea market). But rarely did any of them have the background that would qualify them to be the general manager of a major business.
But that’s because it was show business. Television, even “reality” based television, is a make believe. But what about politics?
After months of John McCain’s whining about Barack Obama being a “celebrity”, and bragging about how McCain puts “country first”, John McCain has delivered on one thing that people want, transparency. Unfortunately what’s transparent is that he has selected someone with no real experience to be his Vice President.
To say Sarah Palin lacks the experience to be a Vice President, especially under a President in his 70’s with cancer, is a massive understatement.
McCain had plenty of experienced people to chose from. No one can question the experience of Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee. And even if he wanted to add a woman to the ticket, there were plenty of very qualified women candidates to chose from. Regardless of your take on her politics, there is no doubt that Secretary of State Rice would have at least been able to claim superior experience (if not judgement) to the ticket.
I’m guessing that when people look back on the McCain campaign, this will be where they saw things go south. McCain’s clear attempt to pander to the disgruntled Clinton supporters by adding a woman to his ticket whose views are a complete 180 from everything Hillary Clinton has fought for her entire political life.
To McCain’s defense, there doesn’t seem to have been a lot of thought put into this. He had only met Governor Palin once before this decision, and she wasn’t even interviewed until the day before the offer was extended. The ideology behind the ticket is clear, and I think it will backfire. Instead of exciting the base with a solid conservative candidate, he has brought a touch of unneeded drama to the race by adding his biggest gimmick since the gas tax holiday.
For a good laugh, check out Jon Stewart’s take on the hypocrisy of the GOP on this decision.