I find myself unable to completely fathom Senator McCain’s choice of Sara Palin for Vice President. Earlier I suggested that McCain was supremely confident in his chances to win in November. After thinking this through, having the initial shock subside, and reading more about Governor Palin, I’m changing my mind.
I can’t imagine that McCain honestly believes selecting a running mate with less than two years’ experience as Governor of a state with the third lowest population in the country is the way to get elected. Palin would be a heartbeat away from the highest office in the land—and a 72-year-old heartbeat at that; is Palin really ready to be President should the unfortunate happen?
Maybe McCain is scared witless, or throwing the election.
Perhaps he feels he can’t possibly win. The Electoral College map is breaking in Obama’s favor, and the Democratic party finally seems to have united behind their candidate. If he can’t win, he wants to at least go down in history as the presidential candidate who put the first woman on a Republican ticket.
Or perhaps McCain realizes that, at 72, he doesn’t really want to be President. He can’t just quit, so he choses someone so woefully under-qualified that no one could legitimately vote for them. After all, the very charges McCain has been leveling at Obama are can now be brought against Palin. If you shouldn’t vote for Obama because he’s “dangerously unprepared”, how do you vote for Palin?
There’s one more possibility. Palin is completely untested on the national stage. We don’t know how she’ll handle the pressure, or what skeletons might be in her closet. Could this be a total red herring? A political flea-flicker? Could they be planning to enjoy the media bounce from choosing Palin, only to have her step down just before the elections “for personal reasons”, and then bring in their “real” choice?
Of course, perhaps I give too much credit to McCain; perhaps he truly believes this selection is the way to victory. Nothing surprises me anymore.