As an Obama supporter, I started off fearing the selection, by McCain, of Sarah Palin for VP. But the more I read about her, the less impressed I am with her, and the more problematic she seems. I bet that most people will go through a similar experience over the next two months, and her selection by McCain will make people less, not more, inclined to vote for the Republican ticket. Here, for example, is the blog reaction of an Alaskan resident, who lives quite near to Palin’s hometown. The blogger seems like a rational fellow, and thoughtful, and he expresses real perplexity at McCain’s choice:
Before her meteoric rise to political success as governor, just two short years ago Sarah Palin was the mayor of Wasilla. I had a good chuckle at MSN.com’s claim that she had been the mayor of “Wasilla City”. It is not a city. Just Wasilla. Wasilla is the heart of the Alaska “Bible belt” and Sarah was raised amongst the tribe that believes creationism should be taught in our public schools, homosexuality is a sin, and life begins at conception. She’s a gun-toting, hang ‘em high conservative. Remember…this is where her approval ratings come from. There is no doubt that McCain again is making a strategic choice to appeal to a particular demographic – fundamentalist right-wing gun-owning Christians. And Republican bloggers are already gushing about how she has ‘more executive experience’ than Obama does! Above is a picture of lovely downtown Wasilla, for those of you unfamiliar with the area. Behind the Mug-Shot Saloon (the first bar I visited when I moved to Alaska long ago) is a little strip mall. There are street signs in Wasilla with bullet holes in them. Wasilla has a population of about 5500 people, and 1979 occupied housing units. This is where your potential Vice President was two short years ago. Can you imagine her negotiating a nuclear non-proliferation treaty? Discussing foreign policy? Understanding non-Alaskan issues? Frankly, I don’t even know if she’s ever been out of the country. She may ‘get’ Alaska, but there are only a half a million people here. Don’t get me wrong….I love Alaska with all my heart. I’m just saying.
I, and all Alaskans will be interested to see how this whole process unfolds. This is definitely a gamble for McCain, and in my humble opinion, a gift to Obama and to Joe Biden who just got thrown a big hunk of red meat for the vice presidential debate.
If this blogger is reading his local politics accurately, then John McCain has made a very rash decision.
Here is the link to the Alaskan blogger’s full comments, as well as his picture of Palin’s hometown: