In a clumsy play for the still simmering Hillary voters seventy two year old John McCain chose Alaska's forty four year old Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate today.
The pretty and principled Palin is a preposterous pick.
Don't get me wrong. I am a big Palin fan. Here in Kodiak she enjoyed early strong support during her unlikely run to unseat Frank "the Bank" Murkowski. She stood up for fishermen when the federal government tried to privatize Alaska's codfish. She stood up for Alaskans when oil companies tried to bribe and cajole the state into an unfair tax rate. But oil and fish corruption pretty much cover her areas of expertise, and she's still learning about them.
The fact is Sarah Palin might well be VP material. In about fifteen years. The Governor of Alaska can afford to paint in broad strokes. Alaska's issues tend to be big and wide, like the state. Even so, Governor Palin has made some expected rookie missteps: the firing of our top cop amidst a scandal surrounding a rogue state trooper who Palin's ex-brother-in-law is the latest. Sarah is still learning her chops. She is the former mayor of Wasilla, an entirely pleasant patch of near wilderness between Anchorage and Fairbanks. She walked out of the woods to become governor. Alaskans are happy that an outsider with very few connections and little experience is shaking up what had been a corruption encrusted state government.
But we are talking about someone who could be leader of the free world in the matter of an instant. The idea of our Sarah being suddenly thrown into a position that one rookie error could result in worldwide catastrophe is alarming indeed. McCain's campaign is centered on Obama's supposed lack of experience. But Obama is Churchill compared to Palin.
Because Sarah is not just voter provoking arm candy for McCain. She will be his replacement should that senior statesman fall to one of the many perils of his presidency. It is chilling to imagine the vacuum in the room as President Palin ponders her options to back down Russia or Iran.
Senator McCain has again shown he no longer possesses the judgement to be president.