Tuesday, September 9, 2008

WTF? Are we really that stupid?

Current polls show that McCain is an average of 2.4 percentage points ahead of Obama. Of particular interest is the ABC News/Washington Post poll that shows Obama's lead among white women has flipped to McCain. McCain now leads Obama among white women by 8 points. More importantly, that number represents a 20-point shift.

As a white woman myself, that is the single most appalling factoid to come out of the Republican convention. Bad enough is the choice of Sarah Palin for a running mate and McCain's rambling and almost incoherent acceptance speech that leaves me acutely concerned for his health. With a record like Palin's, one expects the far right of the Republican party to be agog, but does it follow then that women are going to shift their allegiance to McCain?

Why is this happening? Are there really so many women upset with Hillary's loss that they would throw away their reproductive rights, their hope of healthcare, their nation's chance to rebuild it's economy and instead embrace four more years of disastrous Republican management simply because Palin has ovaries? Can they be that blind?

If you want to protest Hillary's loss of the nomination there are other things you can do besides vote Republican. Vote for a third party candidate. Don't vote at all. Make sure Obama hears your concerns. But why risk Palin's ascension to the Presidency of the United States because Hillary Clinton isn't the Democratic nominee?

And believe me, I don't really feel that I'm exaggerating when I say electing Palin as VP puts her chances of being President as much higher than Hillary's. For one, McCain is 72 years old and looking older every day. Check out this You Tube video of McCain berating Dolores Alfona. Then compare it to this clip.

Setting the content aside, I was struck by the difference in delivery and appearance in the two clips. There are several instances in the second one where McCain just plain looks old. In news clips in recent days, he appears to have aged considerably. Perhaps it's just the comparison to his young and vibrant running mate. Perhaps it's just the rigors of the campaign trail, though he had several weeks to rest prior to the convention while Obama and Hillary continued to duke it out. Whatever the reason, no one can argue that if elected, he will be the oldest individual to ever achieve the presidency. Ronald Reagan is the next oldest, who ascended to office just 16 days shy of his 70th birthday.

Even if McCain doesn't expire in office, his age may make it unlikely he will seek a second term, thus placing Palin in the position to ride his coattails into office. Would Hillary beat Palin in a one on one race with Palin as the current VP? It's hard to say but history shows us that being the current VP gives a significant advantage, even if it's not always enough to win.

More importantly, for me anyway, is the fact that if you take the time to study Palin's record, she is an odd choice at best for VP. McCain appears to be appealing to the far-right and the disenfranchised Hilary backers with one candidate. Though, in truth, the only appeal to the Hillary supporters is Palin's ovaries. She has nothing in common with Clinton except a tendency to steamroll the facts. (Not a Clinton fan, sorry.)

She does not have the experience necessary to be President. Obama does. Check out this comparison that shows how Obama stacks up against a few well known Presidents. If you added Palin to that list her line would read State legislature-0 Governorship-2 US House-0 US Senate-0 Age at inauguration- 44. How can the McCain camp not be laughed at when they try to say that Palin's political experience matches, let alone betters, Obama's? Yet that is exactly what they are doing.

As I watch the news and read the blogosphere, I am continually amazed at the sheer number of people that find Palin appealing. Yes, she's pretty, Yes, she's a mom, Yes, she's a decent speaker. But there is nothing substantial about her as a candidate and plenty to indicate that she has lied and is continuing to lie about many things. Is that really who we want to have win the White House?

I, for one, plan on writing to Hillary Clinton and telling her in no uncertain terms that she needs to get off her ass and tell her supporters to vote for Obama and not for Palin. If she is truthful about setting their differences aside and supporting his candidacy, she must do this.

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