Significance: First woman vice-presidential candidate for her party.
Foreign Policy Experience: none.
Years holding a political office: 10+.
The opposition party claims that her limited political experience makes her unqualified to be placed only "one heart beat" away from the Oval Office. She is seen as a "token" pick, selected for her gender not her political agenda or ability. It is asserted that she has been selected to bring youth, energy and glamor to her running mate's stodgy image and lackluster campaign.
On Her Qualifications: "There's not only what's on your resume that makes you qualified to run for or to hold office. It's how you approach problems and what your values are. I think if one is taking a look at my career they'll see that I level with people; that I approach problems analytically; that I am able to assess the various facts with reference to a problem, and that I can make the hard decisions."
On Her Experience: "My feeling, quite frankly, is that I have enough experience to see the problems, address them and make the tough decisions and level with people with reference to these problems."
On the Problems Facing America: "€¦what we are talking about are problems that are facing the entire nation. They're not just problems facing women. The issues in this campaign are the war-peace issues; the problems of deficits; the problems of trade deficits."
Who is this woman who was propelled to the national political stage as the first woman to be selected by her party to be a candidate for vice-president? Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska? Nope. Guess again. The correct answer is Geraldine Ferraro, Congresswoman for the 9th District, New York who was named as Walter Mondale's running mate in 1984.
Isn't it amazing that the Democrat Party, which was so proud of their woman VP candidate in 1984, with comparable if not less experience, is now so appalled that John McCain would select a female governor as his running mate? Equally amazing is the Democrats' lack of concern that their presidential nominee, Barack Obama, has less experience than either of the two women vice-presidential nominees. Here are some typical reactions to the pick of Governor Sarah Palin as Republican VP candidate:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "John McCain and Sarah Palin will not bring the American people the New Direction they need." Right, Nancy. With the 18% approval rating for your congress, you are the "New Direction" we are looking for.
New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer: "...her lack of experience makes the thought of her assuming the presidency troubling." As opposed to Obama's "lack of experience" which does not make the thought of his assuming the presidency troubling for Chuck.
Barack Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton: "Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency." Never mind that she is governor of the largest state in the country. It's better to have a former "community organizer" with zero foreign policy experience be the president immediately.
Executive Director of MoveOn.org Eli Pariser: "It's not only fair, but critical in this case, to ask if she's up for the job of commander in chief. We just can't afford a gamble like this with our future." Palin's a "gamble". Obama cannot even admit that the surge in Iraq has succeeded. No gamble there. It's a sure thing that he's not "up for the job of commander in chief."
What are Her Values?
Sarah Palin is the 11th governor of Alaska. During her first legislative session, Governor Palin implemented an overhaul of the state's ethics laws and a competitive process to construct a gas pipeline. She was recently named chair of the National Governors Association Natural Resources Committee. She is a lifetime member of the NRA and enjoys hunting and fishing.
Sarah Palin: "I'm pro-life. I'll do all I can to see every baby is created with a future and potential. The legislature should do all it can to protect human life.
Fiscally and socially, I am a conservative. My respect for the three different branches of government and the balance between them has been my guide.
I would push for a strong military and a sound energy policy. I believe that Alaska can help set an example on energy policy.
We have billions and billions of barrels of oil and trillions of feet of natural gas. We have so much potential from tapping our resources here in Alaska. And we can do this with minimum environmental impact. We have a very pro-development president in President Bush, and yet he failed to push for opening up parts of Alaska to drilling through Congress -- and a Republican-controlled Congress, I might add.
I thought when we hit $100 a barrel for oil it would have been a psychological barrier that would have caused Congress to reconsider, but they didn't. Now we are approaching $200 a barrel. It's nonsense not to tap a safe domestic source of oil. I think Americans need to hold Congress accountable on this one."
Governor Sarah Palin sounds to me like someone who can make a real change - not a promise of change - in Washington, DC.