The nightmare for McCain and his pick is just beginning. When Mark Halperin — not exactly a flaming pinko liberal — questions your judgment for picking Palin, you know you are in trouble.
They will be playing a lot of defense over the next week because of this pick. It might even be worse than Quayle. Like I said in the last post, reminds me more of putting Mike "Heckuva Job" Brownie in charge of FEMA. Proves McCain does care about politics, and could care less about governance. We have had eight years of that, not sure we can afford another day past January 20, 2009.
What's particularly puzzling is that the Republican Party does include women who could be considered plausible Presidents. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Condi Rice. Elizabeth Dole.
Why he foreswore one of these more capable, proven leaders for someone with no proven talent or ability to lead at a national level is puzzling.
Because John McCain turns 72 today, and has battled cancer recently, Mark Halperin accurately judges the high bar Palin must get over:
But Palin is now going to have to perform at a very high level to
persuade the media and the public that she is truly ready to be a
heartbeat away — and a 72-year-old's heart at that — from the
presidency. How she handles questions about federal issues, national
security and foreign affairs will be closely scrutinized, and her
margin of error is next to zero.
Early mistakes, like the ones made by Dan Quayle in 1988, could be
devastating — not just to her, but also to McCain's chances. Those who
point out that George H.W. Bush was able to win despite Dan Quayle's
presence on the ticket forget that the country was much more solidly
Republican at the presidential level back then than in today's 50-50
Perhaps all of these potential problems will be avoided because Palin,
like Barack Obama, will turn out to be a young, once-in-a-generation
political figure who can handle American politics at the highest level
without the usual experience.
The problem Republicans have trying to tie her meager experience with Obama's is that he has operated under relentless scrutiny in the glare of the national spotlight for the past four years, and as a Presidential candidate for the past 18 months. He has won the votes and confidence of at least eighteen million Democrats from fifty different states. After all that time, and particularly after his speech last night, many millions of Americans have come to believe that he has the judgment, skills, talent and temperament to be President.
McCain's bizarre choice presents a double-barreled problem for him. He now has to convince tens of millions of voters that Palin is at all ready or capable of being President should he die in office.
And because that is such a difficult, perhaps impossible, argument for him to make, it should make all of us question whether John McCain has the temperament, skills, and judgment himself to be President.
Hiring good people is the first test of any great leader. Picking Joe Biden, Senator Obama got an A. John McCain gets an "F" for picking Palin. We've had one "F" student for the past eight years, we just can't afford another.