There is some irony in the selection. Obama is preaching about change and how we need new faces in the Oval Office and the Senate to rid the American people of “politics as usual.” Yet, he chose Sen. Biden from Delaware as his running mate. Biden has more than 30 years’ experience in Washington, building his bridge between lobbyist and the “good ol’ boys” in Congress. Not much of a change there. Interestingly, both Palin and Biden represent small states, Alaska and Delaware, providing very little political advantage for either party. Biden does have some connections to Pennsylvania but that shouldn't be much help for Obama.
Obama was under a lot of pressure to select Hillary clinton as his running mate. With her as his partner, he couldn't lose the election. But now, with Palin as McCain’s choice, the Arizona senator may win it all.
Although Palin was overlooked by every pundit following the process, she was one of the names on the short list of possibilities. No one gave her a chance. So much for those expert pundits. However, if they would have researched her background, they would find that she fits in perfectly with the Republican right-wing conservative mold.
Palin was born in 1964 in Sandpoint, Idaho and comes from English and German ancestry. Her mother was a school secretary and her father was a science teacher and track coach. The family moved to Alaska when she was 3 years old. She and her father would sometimes start hunting moose at 3 a.m. before school started. Consequently, she is still a strong advocate and supporter of the National Rifle Association.
Palin, while attending Wasilla High School in Wasilla, Alaska, was the leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter at the school. As an adult, she is still a conservative Christian opposed to the woman's right to abortion and the legal partnerships of gay men and women.
In her own way, she is tough like McCain. Evidently, she inherited her athleticism from her father. She was a standout point guard on her high school basketball team. In 1982, despite having an ankle stress fracture, she shot a critical free throw in the last seconds of the game to win the Alaska small-school basketball championship title. She earned the nickname “Sarah Barracuda” because of her intense play and being the leader of the team prayer and rally before the games. In 1984, she demonstrated her charm, intelligence and beauty by placing second in the Miss Alaska contest. As a welcomed change to the previous drab campaigns, she will no doubt bring that same stage presence to the national political arena.
Like McCain, palin is somewhat of a maverick and doesn’t always follow party lines. Before becoming governor, she was appointed to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. She chaired the commission and also served as an ethics supervisor for the state. She resigned from the commission, claiming “lack of ethics” of her fellow Republican members; specifically Republican State Chairman Randy Ruedrich.
After her resignation, she filed formal complaints against Ruedrich and Alaska Attorney General Gregg Renkes. Both were forced to resign and Ruedrich paid a record $12,000 fine for working too closely with a company he was supposed to regulate.
McCain did make the right choice in selecting Palin as his running mate. Arguing that McCain may not live out his term and she could become president, many questions will have to be answered in the upcoming debates.
Yes, she is inexperienced in foreign affairs and hasn’t been tested in the worldwide political arena, but neither has Obama. And let's not forget that former Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton didn't have any experience either. But unlike Obama, she does have executive experience as governor of Alaska. Obama has none.
The next president will have to deal with Russia, North Korea, Iran, Iraq and its neighbors. The conflict between the Jews and Arabs will be going on for the next 2000 years, but we still have to deal with it. The economy is in shambles, health care for all Americans should be a top priority and increased taxes on the wealthy have to be a consideration.
In the next two months we will have a chance to see exactly what Palin brings to the Republican platform. But I have a feeling that, possibly, Sarah Palin will be the star of the show, leaving Obama and Biden to join Hillary on the top of the list of the Democrats’ presidential candidates four years from now.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Web site is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.