King Maker Versus Queen Killer
Four years ago, desperate for any advantage that would keep him from being rolled over by the up and coming Democratic junior Senator from Illinois, Arizona Senator John McCain tossed caution to the wind and selected the young Governor from Alaska to be his running mate in his bid for the White House. Mr. McCain wanted someone who could overcome his own shortcomings. He was old and rather stodgy. Sarah Palin was close to half his age and was a vibrant up and, if her national debut was any indication, was herself an up and coming star in conservative politics. Picking a woman to be his Vice President was a bold move.
Too bad the person selected didn’t have much in the way of intellectual depth and personal integrity to make the move count. Instead, once the public was able to get over the dazzle, all that was left was fizzle. Ms. Palin’s shortcomings quickly became evident with her insistence of giving the same speech full of the same fierce rhetoric in every public appearance she made for like the first month of her accepting the nomination. Her debate performance was void of specifics but was chock full of vague generalities that may have sounded good to people with little interest in politics but left just about everybody else scratching their head wondering why Mr. McCain would pick such a person to be just one unfortunate incident away from becoming President of the United States.
Instead of conservatives coming out and denouncing Mr. McCain’s choice they totally and publicly backed Mr. McCain all the way to that fateful November election that put Barack Obama in the Oval office. With rare exception the conservatives talked about how Ms. Palin was so much more qualified to be President than Mr. Obama could ever hope for. She had executive experience and a devotion to her constituency that was second to none. She knew how to throw red meat to the fanatics that idolized her. However, most people weren’t convinced that Ms. Palin had the chops for the enormous job ahead of her and suspected Mr. McCain’s judgment. He lost by a rather humiliating landslide.
That was four years ago. And now four years later when all the dust from that election has long since settled, former Vice President Dick Chaney wants to criticize Mr. McCain for selecting Ms. Palin as his running mate? Why? In the world of politics that shit’s older than John McCain himself. Mr. Chaney should have given Mr. McCain and the world a solid back when it would’ve counted. Instead, like a lot of people, he kept his honest opinion to just a few and let McCain ride that sad horse to defeat. And now he wants to say something? Really?
To be fair a lot of conservative political pundits are ready to speak more truthfully about Ms. Palin than any conservative ever was four years ago. Back then Ms. Palin could do no wrong. Now, people admit that she’s a flawed candidate that is more polarizing than most. Instead of doing the seriously hard work that is the reward for a politician winning an election, Ms. Palin is happier putting on the political show that drives her legion of fans to gobble her every word. She would rather be a king maker instead of being a king because being king comes with the type of responsibilities that simply takes too much work to pull off. A lot of people are ready to describe exactly what they see in Ms. Palin and are breaking away from all the political hype that has consumed a large chunk of the conservative base.
But the people who do the open criticizing of Ms. Palin are hardly the high profile politicians of a Vice President. When the VP speaks a lot of people will stop what they’re doing and listen. So when Mr. Chaney says that the VP selection of our years ago was a mistake, that message speaks volumes. The only problem is that it s a volume speaking message four years too late.
I’m no fan of John McCain. I think the old geezer put the good of the nation second to his personal ambition. He could’ve picked a qualified woman to be his Vice President. Instead he picked Sarah Palin. There was nothing illegal about what he did. But nevertheless, it showed a lack of prudence and wisdom. While people may have been attracted to her as a person, popularity should not factor into the equation when determining someone’s ability to actually lead a nation. In that respect, I think Mr. McCain let himself and the country down.
I’d like to think that if he had a little advice from the sitting Vice President, Mr. McCain could have corrected his choice and done things a lot differently. From the moment he picked Sarah Palin he lost the election. But he could’ve lost with integrity instead of losing with her. He could have gotten Ms. Palin to resign the nomination and rode his second choice to defeat. Instead, he kept Ms. Palin by his side, made her a star as he faded away into just another guy he tried but didn’t have the goods to be President. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially when you consider the fact that he’ll always be known as the man who introduced Sarah Palin to the nation.
Mr. McCain is going to have to live with that mistake for the rest of his life and then some. He’ll defend his choice of Ms. Palin to his dying day with his last breath. But can we expect anything less from the man who selected Ms. Palin as his running mate?
So this begs the question, what was the point of Dick Chaney rehashing that embarrassment to Mr. McCain? Mr. Chaney made a lot of mistakes as well. But what would be the point of bringing up all that old garbage now? Maybe George Bush, Jr. has a few anecdotes that he could share with the world about Dick Chaney’s mistakes. At least Mr. McCain can travel the world. Mr. Chaney knows he’s much better off not leaving American soil under the threat that some country would snatch him up and put him on trial for crimes against humanity. If Mr. Chaney wants to talk about past mistakes so badly why doesn’t he start with a few of his own. Instead, he’ll throw stones at the queen of the tea party to try and take her down when she’s got nothing to come down from.
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