I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure
projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now--while our
congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.
It appears her opposition to the bridge welled-up primarily after it became clear that Alaska was going to have to pay for the bridge on its own, and she took great pains at the time to assure her constituents that she wasn't going to slow the federal gravy train that makes Alaska one of our biggest pork barrel welfare states.
Look, this isn't a big deal, all by itself. Politicians fudge like this all the time. But doing it on the first day, when anyone with a lick of experience would understand that a hundred investigative reporters are on airplanes headed for Alaska right now to look at everything that has anything to do with her governance or her life...well, starting out with a little fib just isn't smart.
I'll tell you the truth: I've got a bad feeling about this. Comparisons with Dan Quayle are easy, but my first thought when I heard this was Tom Eagleton, who was George McGovern's running mate for exactly 18 days before the media uncovered juicy personal details McGovern's investigators missed. Sarah Palin seems likable enough, and I enjoy the idea of having a Vice President whose spouse is a professional snowmobile racer. Their family seems really, really sweet.
But this is high-stakes politics, and she's come out of nowhere to secure a nomination backing up a cancer survivor who'd be oldest President ever elected. Despite the vast experience Republicans are touting, she's never been through the kind of scrutiny she's going to go through in the next few weeks. Mass media careers are made chasing down dirt, and you know every reporter in the world understands that knocking a V.P. candidate out of the box can mean the difference between a career of page three bylines in Des Moines and a permanent seat next to David Gergen on CNN's election night panel of experts.
Starting things out with a lie isn't going to buy her any good will.
I hope Team McCain did a good job of vetting Governor Palin. I hope they looked in every corner and asked every uncomfortable question and checked every fact, because right now people with a lot more dirt under their fingernails than any team of campaign lawyers are descending on Palin's little home town, raking for muck. In a couple of weeks, they're going to know every rumor, every grudge, every short tip she left at the diner.
I hope she doesn't end up like Eagleton did. I hope she doesn't end up, as my mother used to say, a grease spot on the highway.
No matter which party wins the Presidential election, it will be historic. If John McCain wins, it will mean the first female Vice President. If Barack Obama wins, it will mean the first Vice President with a hair transplant.
There are going to be a lot of "our guy is just as qualified as your guy" accusations flying around as a result of John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin to be Vice President. I think there's an important distinction between her level of experience and Obama's.
Whatever his experiential shortcomings, Obama won a long, hard primary battle against a worthy adversary. He went out to the members of his party, he made his case, and he prevailed. He was, no doubt, toughened and tested by the experience. He showed his executive abilities by building a large organization that performed nearly flawlessly during a year and a half of highly intense, highly scrutinized political competition.