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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

MCCAIN's MIGRAINE
Is His VP Choice a "Natural," Or An Eagleton/Quayle Combo?
James S. Henry and Matthew Maly

By law the US is required to have a Vice President. Do we really want it to be this wing-nut Northern Exposure beauty queen?  

Palinmissalaskab Many serious countries with Presidential systems -- like Finland, Germany, France, Ireland,  and South Korea -- have long since dispensed with the role of Vice President completely.

In the wake of the uproar -- indeed, shock and awe -- provoked by John McCain's  surprising selection of 44-year old Gov. Sarah Palin of Wasilla, Alaska, on top of all the hoopla over Barack Obama's dissing of Hillary Clinton and our collective nightmare with "Darth" Cheney, some pundits have  suggested that it may be time for the US to follow the FinnisWasillah model and have no US Vice President at all.

With each day's new revelations about Gov. Palin's complex personal life and rather extreme views, some pundits have also suggested that she is a cynical choice, who might either quickly go the way of former Missouri Senator Thomas Eagleton, who lasted just two weeks as George McGovern's VP pick in 1972 -- or perhaps worse yet for the Republicans, a reprise of the legendary Indiana lightweight, Dan Quayle.

THEY'RE ALL WRONG

160pxthomaseagleton Ms. Palin's nomination is actually a perfect demonstration of the incredible entertainment value that only the VP role can provide. Dan_quayle

This is a time when our economy is in serious trouble, state and federal budget deficits are out of control,  energy costs are unaffordable, the US Constitution is under attack, tax evasion is at a record level, and we're still tied down in two major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tensions are mounting with Russia and Iran, social inequality is soaring, environmental calamities abound, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are about to fail, our education system is broken, the drug wars continue unabated, and millions of Americans lack jobs, decent housing and health care.

At this decisive point in our history, John McCain has decided to fill the VP slot with this Polarbearfight_2 more-or-less unknown, unknowing quantity. This adds a nice soupçon of uncertainty to the entire situation.

It permits the whole nation to "double down" all at once, experiencing a kind of risk-taking that none of us would ever be able to achieve on our own.

Here we have an example of vintage McCain quirkiness. And this is precisely the kind of joy-ride, fly-boy entertainment that government, at its best, is supposed to offer to the masses. 

Indeed, Sarah's selection is bound to make our peculiar "imperial electocracy"  the envy of the entire world -- once again!  

FINALLY A REAL BABE!

Ms. Palin may not yet be a household name, but upon closer 23738_2examination, we believe that -- at least from the Republican vantage point --  her qualifications for the Vice Presidency --  just one bad biopsy away from the world's most powerful office -- are overwhelming.

First and foremost, just take a look -- this woman is amazing! 

Palinbook059 Carla Bruni, where is thy sting?  Angela Merkel, bite your knuckles!  

To paraphrase Joe Biden, Ms. Palin is an "articulate, bright, clean,  good-looking" white woman.

And young! Why, she was only 4 years old when 72-year old John McCain was bombing peasants from 30,000 feet, and 9 years old when he was released from the POW camp in 1973.

Indeed, Sarah was first runner-up in the 1984 Miss Alaska beauty pageant, after being voted Wasilla Alaska's "Miss Congeniality."

True, back then,  Wasilla only had about 5000 residents. But so long as you were not a moose or an environmentalist,  Wasillans are the most congenial people on the planet. And Ms. Sarah was the most "congenial" of them all.

Anyone who has ever attended public high school knows what that means - abstinence-based ideology or no.

We think we can all trust "Bomber" McCain's judgment on this one.  John may have only met his VP choice two or three times, and he may not know much about economics,  but he is a world-class expert on beauty queens.

Sarahpalinvogue1 Alaska84 After all, his first wife Carol was a model  and  his second wife Cindy was Junior Rodeo Queen of Arizona in 1968. 

(Just in -- McCain has also  reportedly expressed interest in naming Sherri McNealley, the real winner of the 1984 Miss Alaska contest, as his future Secretary of State, but so far she's still MIA.

He's also expressed interest in appointing Wasilla's current mayor, Dianne M. Keller, to be his Attorney General, once she completes her law degree.)

In any case, unfortunately,  this VP choice will probably not swing Hillary's disaffected female supporters to the McCain camp.

Many of them are aging die-hard feminists who may have serious issues with Palin's political views -- for example,  her opposition to abortion even in the case of rape or incest, and her unsympathetic description of Hillary Clinton as a "whiner."   (Where on earth would she get such an idea?)   

From a strictly male hormonal perspective, however, this is the best VP selection in history -- precisely the kind of candidate we need to arouse our interest and get us up off the couch.

After years of enduring so many talented but extraordinarily plain women (and men) in national politics (viz Senators Clinton, Hutchinson, Mikulski, Boxer, and Feinstein, as well as Cheney,  for example),  finally the US Senate might be presided over by someone who still leaves something to the imagination.

Overworkedwoman SHE'S HYPER-PRODUCTIVE!

Sarah Palin is a doer, not a talker.  Not only is she the Hockey_364 Governor of Alaska, but she is a "hockey mom" with five children by birth (but no adopted ones, unlike the 72-year old McCain). These include an unmarried pregnant 17-year old, a son on the way to Iraq,  and a 5-month old infant with Downs Syndrome. 

She's at least as tough as John McCain. She hunts and fishes. She eats what she kills. She been known to run 5-10 miles a day. She's fired a librarian for not censoring the books in the library, and a couple of police chiefs for not taking sides in personal vendettas.  She's stood up to the corrupt hierarchy in her own Party  --  just like Barack.  She's under investigation by Alaska's State Ethics Commission for "using her public office to settle a private score." (Who could resist doing that?)

When Sarah was pregnant with her fifth child, her water broke while she was attending a Republican Governors' conference in Dallas. She passed up all the great hospitals in Texas  and flew all the way back to a Wasilla Alaska hospital just to have this special-needs child delivered at home.

That's precisely the kind of crazy, death-defying, life-threatening behavior that we could all use so much more of in the highest echelons of the federal government!

Shock-Treatment Tom (Eagleton), come back! All is forgiven!

Adding the burden of the US Vice Presidency to this full plate will no doubt provide a shining example of just how to strike that delicate balance between family life, work life, and blind ambition -- and the many benefits of the faith-based "Just Say No" Palinfamily_2005sm approach to birth control!

(c) Submerging Markets, 2008 

 


SHE'S FROM A SWING STATE -- REALLY!

Ms.Palin is also a life-longWasillaalaska resident of Wasilla,  an Anchorage suburb with 5470Bio_2 residents (as of the 2000 Census), otherwise best known as the birthplace of porn star April Flowers, and the location of (Frommer's Guide)  "the worst kind of suburban sprawl of highway-fronting shopping malls and gravel lots."

Many Republicans may not yet have realized that so much depends on Alaska, our newest "swing state."

After all, Alaska is a bit of an odd duck, as states go.  It is the least-densely populated state in the country, with 1.1 inhabitants per square mile,  only has 676,000 residents and 3 electoral votes. Over forty percent of its citizens live in Anchorage, the largest city, with 278,000 residents.  Nearly 16 percent of its residents are native Americans, the highest share in the country.  Sarah Palin's evangelical roots notwithstanding, less than 40 percent of its population belongs to any church.  It has not voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate since 1964. The oil and gas industry accounts for more than 80 percent of the state's GDP. It already derives so much revenue from oil and gas that the state has accumulated a $36 billion "permanent development" fund. There is no state income tax, it already has the lowest tax burden in the US, and, indeed, every Alaskan collects a dividend of about $1500 - $1800 per year from the fund just for fogging a mirror.

But, as usual,  the utterly-unpredictable McCain believes that he sees what others do not see. In a tight election like this one, Alaska must be the lynch-pin that holds everything else together.

SHE CAN DRIBBLE!  

Like April Flowers and, indeed,  former Senator Bill Bradley,  Sarah Palin played high school basketball. Indeed, she was a point guard on the 1982 "Wasilla Warriors" basketball team that won Alaska's "small school" state championship. Her nickname on the team was "Sarah Barracuda," yet another testiment to her "congeniality." 

Palinbasketball Religion aside, basketball remains at the root of Sarah's personal philosophy. As she said in 2006,

"I know this sounds hokey, but basketball was a life-changing experience for me. It's all about setting a goal, about discipline, teamwork, and then success."

At first glance this may strike you as mindless drivel.

But read that statement over and over again after downing a six-pack of Alaska Smoked Porter and puffing a couple of Humboldt County Js, and you will soon begin to appreciate the true meaning of "deep drilling in the wilderness."   

SHE KNOWS HOW TO PARTY!

Sarah clearly also knows how to balance education, hard work, and fun. After her stunning high school basketball career and her brief run as a beauty queen,  undoubtedly she had any number of scholarship offers from Ivy League Schools.

Never too proud, however, she courageously chose to downshift to such legendary party schools as  Hawaii Pacific College, North Idaho College, and the University of Idaho, where she finally graduated with a BA degree in 083108_bagley "communications-journalism" in 1987.

That led to a brief career as a sports reporter for an NBC affiliate in Anchorage. 

While there,  not only did she (as she has admitted) indulge in marijuana and booze, but her oil patch husband Todd also got arrested for a "DWI" while driving a truck back in 1986! 

SHE KNOWS FOREIGN POLICY!

Gov. Palin speaks no foreign languages, and has had very limited foreign travel  -- just like another recent Republican President! She only acquired her first US passport in 2006.

On foreign policy issues ranging from the Middle East and Iraq to the WTO, Russia, Latin America, and the "war on terror," her own "issues page" is totally blank. 

She also has zero mention of "Native American" or minority issues on her web site, but that's another matter.

Ignorance_2

This may be a little unfair. Sarah really is an expert of sorts. For example, in the early 1990s, before joining the Republican Party, she and her husband were leading activists and, reportedly,  registered members of the Alaskan Independence Party.

This curious group, which has about 13,700 members, has at various times sought the abolition of all property taxes, a referendum on Alaska independence, a UN seat for Alaska, and secession, including a possible union with one of Canada's western provinces. 

Furthermore, in the 1990s,  she and her husband were both "brigaders" for extreme right-winger Pat Buchanan, who sought the Republican Presidential nomination several times.   

In the increasingly competitive global economy of the 21st century, where education, language skills, and international experience will be key factors for success,  this is a perfect role model for young American women!

On the other hand, the Palins' early support for a secessionist movement in Alaska may not go down very well with the numerous pro-Georgia supporters in the McCain camp right now.

HER VAST EXPERIENCE!

In 1988, as noted, Sarah briefly worked as a local TV sports reporter. (View a clip of your future VP here.)

In the 1990s, while still a member of the Alaska Independence Party,  Sarah as served two terms as a member of the Wasilla (pop <5000)  Town Council. (4 years).

Stevensendorsespalin She then served two terms as Wasilla's (pop <5000) Mayor (4 years).  During her first term, she angered many local residents, who threatened to impeach her.

Under her administration,  Wasilla hired a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., and from 1996 to 2002 the town procured more than $27 million in "earmarks"  with the help of Alaska Republican Senator Ted Stevens, who chaired the US Senate Appropriations Committee, and was otherwise perhaps best known for his description of the Internet as a "series of tubes." Earmarkpig

In 2002 she ran for Lt. Governor of Alaska and lost.

That same year she campaigned hard for Alaska Republican Governor Frank Murkowski, who reciprocated by appointing Palin to be Chairman of Alaska's Oil and Gas Commission.

She served 11 months as head of Alaska's Oil and Gas Commission, before resigning over the Republican-led corruption she found there. (11 months).

From 2003 to 2005, anti-corruption crusader Palin served as a director of "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service," a so-called "527" organization that was close to Senator Stevens. Stevens later campaigned actively for Palin in her 2006 run for the Governorship against Murkowski. In July 2008, Senator Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate,  was indicted on seven felony counts for lying about gifts he had 41999285_2 from oil companies.

Evidently Palin has the capacity to be a bit flexible in her ethical judgments -- which we believe is a very good sign.

In November, 2006, Sarah was elected Governor with 48.3% of the vote. She took office in mid-December 2006, and has been running Alaska every since. (20.5 months).

By comparison, Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden has been a member of the US Senate for 35 years, since 1973, when Sarah was 9 years old. Barack Obama has been a member of the US Senate since 2004, when Sarah was 40, and a member of the Illinois Senate for 7 years before that. So some might conclude both Democrats have the edge in experience over Palin.

Au contraire, we argue: there's simply no job in America that is anywhere near as relevant to the demands of the US Presidency as the task of running a tiny one-horse town and an overwhelmingly inaccessible, underpopulated, federal government-dominated, energy-rich state like Alaska. 

 HER TOUGH STANDS ON THE ISSUES! 

Sarah is certainly not shy about standing up for what she believes in. Indeed, she has taken bold stands that many Americans -- especially women -- may find interesting:

> As noted, Sarah is opposed to abortion under any circumstances except where the life of the mother is at stake, even where there has been rape or incest.  This is a position that exceeds even McCain's position.

> She also favors requiring parental consent for teenage abortions -- as, for example, in case of her own daughter.

> She opposes sex education in public schools, and advocates "abstinence-only" solutions for birth control -- despite the fact that birth control programs have been responsible for the her state's sharp decline in abortions and teen-age pregnancy.

>In a fit of budget cutting in June 2008, Palin also sliced $1.1 million out of a legislative-approved $5 million bill to assist troubled teenagers. Creationism_2

> She favors drilling for oil in Alaska's wilderness -- again, exceeding McCain's  position.

> She also opposes listing polar bears as an endangered species, because it might inhibit oil drilling. (Her husband Todd works for BP.) 

>Sarah's got her gun!  She's a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, a crack shot and a moose hunterThis would at least guarantee that there would be no more untoward VP shooting incidents. (vis Cheney's facial attack on poor Harry Whittington.) When she was Mayor of Wasilla in 1997, one of the reasons she fired Police Chief Irl Stambaugh was reportedly that he opposed an NRA-backed state law that permitted concealed firearms in banks, bars, and restaurants.

> Along these lines, she also favors permitting shooters to hunt bears and wolves out of airplanes. Presumably this does not include bombing them from 30,000 feet.

> She supports the War in Iraq, and a new Alaska gas pipeline, saying in June 2008 that they were both God's will. 

> Like Louisiana's Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, Sarah favors teaching creationism in high schools. In her words, "Teach both (theories). This follows the Alaska Republican Party's platform:  "We support giving Creation Science equal representation with other theories of the origin of life. If evolution is taught, it should be presented as only a theory."

> Sarah believes that global warming is NOT man-made.  In her devout evangelical universe, presumably that means that global warming is God-made. Having created the universe, then, God has now decided to un-create it, and we mortals have no choice but to go along, gas guzzling and all. Indeed guzzling gas is like shooting wolves -- a divine right.

> Sarah opposes gay marriage, even to the point of supporting a 1998 constitutional amendment that banned it in Alaska.

> As for health care, Sarah favors the abolition of "certificate of need" regulation, a measure that most health care analysts would actually raise health care costs.

> On the famous $400 million federally-funded "Bridge to Nowhere," while Palin has claimed that she opposed it, actually the truth is more complicated -- she seems to have favored it before she opposed it."

>.....Etc. Etc. Etc.

Across all these positions, Governor Palin has clearly demonstrated her ability to stick to her strongly-held core principles and religious beliefs even in the face of the facts -- an ability that we believe is just so unbelievably awe-inspiring, especially in a potential Commander-in-Chief!   

SHE CLEARS THE PATH!

While, as we've seen, Sarah Palin is an accomplished woman, she surely must realize that there are thousands upon thousands of other women in America with qualifications at least as good as hers -- women who could all perform the tasks of VP, even if, like her, they are not quite sure what those tasks are. 6965360_bg1

What an inspiration her election would be to all these other women!  Furthermore, what an inspiration it will be to all the ordinary blue-collar men like Todd Palin, Sarah's husband! This is 21st century America, and egualitarian electo-cracy has truly arrived!   

Actually poor Todd may deserve a little bit of sympathy.

How did he ever let his wife put him in this situation -- with a 5-month old baby that needs breast-feeding and a pregnant 17-year old,  and the Good Governor away on the campaign trail, 6-7 days a week.

Hilariousnessblog Todd must be especially excited about the future husband of the bride-to-be, an 18-year old named Levi Johnson, whose "MySpace" page contained this thoughtful meditation until recently:

"I'm a fuckin' redneck who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes. But I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some shit, and just fuckin' chillin' I guess. “Ya fuck,  with me I'll kick your ass."

Furthermore, if this happy family happens to win, just imagine Ms.Palin and her poor husband dining with, say,  the King of Jordan.

Are they expected to read up on Jordan in advance? Which fork will Mr. Palin use first,  in front of the King?  Will the King be interested in his stories about moose gutting,  sled-dog racing, and long cold days of fishing?  Has he ever read Mark Twain's Prince and the Pauper?

And what if, Inshallah, Madame Palin should becomeDeerinheadlights President?

For a few brief days all this may have felt like winning the lottery.  But very soon the Palins are more likely to feel that they are outsiders looking in, impostors who are on the verge of being exposed and thrown out of the club. 

What an inspiring ordeal for the rest of us to watch!

We have grown so used to the polished, practiced ways of life-long professional politicians with Ivy League credentials, no particular religious beliefs, and oh so much detailed knowledge about the issues!   

We are simply not prepared for the level of humility and honesty that will be presented in this ultimate Reality Show -- where, suddenly,  it seems as if anyone at all might suddenly become eligible for the highest office in the land! 

What a tribute to John McCain's "maverick" spirit -- otherwise known, quite unfairly in our opinion,  as quirky impulsiveness.

SO WHAT ABOUT THE OTHERS?

Given the amazing range of attributes displayed by this comparative newcomer to the national scene, we should not be surprised that her rivals, and perhaps even her sponsor McCain,  are a little taken aback.

I. POOR JOHN McCAIN

First of all, don't we all agree that Cindy McCain looks about as unhappy as any woman in Mccainmos_468x610_3 America? And the reason is interesting: it may be the case that subconsciously, neither she, nor perhaps even her husband, really wants to win this election.

Take the McCain's recent  "$5 million is rich" gaffe. As soon as he  made this statement, he admitted that he knew that it would be used against him. Indeed, how could it NOT be used, since it was so inaccurate? Yet  McCain never bothered to qualify the statement.

Cindy_2 Objectively, while the man's health may be fine, he really is far too old to be seriously looking forward to 4 (much less 8) long years of incredibly-intense Presidential responsibilities. 

The job also requires an even temper and the ability to make a calculated, balanced, well thought-out decision.  Secretly, McCain may even  realize that he may not quite trust himself to have these qualities. Over the years, he knows better than anyone just how often he has "screwed the pooch."

In truth, one of  the most important reasons why he has acquired a reputation as a "maverick"is that he is impulsive. You be afford to be impulsive as a US Senator, when you are one out of a hundred.  For all his years of "experience," the buck has never once stopped on John McCain's desk, any more than it has stopped on Hillary's, Barack's or Joe Biden's.  Except for Sarah's 19 months, they are all SENATORS, goddamit:   by definition, THEY HAVE ALL HAD ZERO FINAL decision-making experience.

Presidents are not like that. There is NOTHING BUT decision-making,  many decisions are final, and most have enormous implications. The President's Black Box is not for casting a vote, or for being one out of a hundred.

Fortunately for us, it may be the case that John McCain, and at least Cindy, really does not ever want to come near that Black Box. They are running to have done so,  as a favor to his Party, and perhaps to their ancestors.   

All the time he is running,  John McCain is secretly thinking mainly about minimizing the size of the loss that he fully expects, and indeed, might even feel the Republicans deserve.

Certainly his own Party is quite happy for him to play the role of this year's fall guy, while it catches a breather.  And that, on top of his own "shoot from the hip, ask questions later" style,  may be  the real reason why he picked Sarah Palin.

II. POOR HILLARY CLINTON

While Hillary is obviously out of the running this time around, her example is a useful one, because it provides such a striking contrast to John McCain's lack of drive.

Hilary_clinton_280_416507a You see, the Clintons are not anywhere near as wealthy as the McCain - Hensley Arizona beer clan,  but they are still successful beyond most people's wildest dreams. Yet this year  Hillary Clinton showed everyone exactly what it means to "really want to be President."

There are millions of Americans who badly need jobs,  to feed their families, to save their homes. But even in such do-or-die situations, few show the kind of passion, determination, and tenacity that Hillary has showed  – not even close.

The Clintons erred in assuming that practiced insincerity, calculation, ruthlessness, lots of money, and professional campaigning would work for them again, as they have always worked in the past.  It took a Barack Obama to defeat these tactics, to make Hillary look like a turtle on her back. Only Obama's unique combination of skills and imagination could have pulled that upset off.

In any case, if one wants to know what the "will to power" really looks like, and what John McCain's haphazard campaign still lacks, study Hillary Clinton.

Or if you wish, just sit it out and watch her run again in four years -- perhaps even against Ms. Sarah Palin!

The real mystery to us is, if John McCain is truly a maverick, and sought the female vote,  why he did not pick Hillary Clinton to be his Vice President? Party loyalties aside, we suspect that she might well have accepted in a heartbeat, especially if he had agreed to run on a "national unity" ticket and to step down in four years. 

Now that would have been a maverick move.

III. JOE BIDEN

Joe  Biden ran for President this year, for the second time in his career,  and is as ambitious as the next Senator -- perhaps Hillary and Obama aside.

We all understand why Barack picked Joe Biden to be his VP. He is, first and foremost, Bidenbonomarkwilson trustworthy --  not like Hillary Clinton, with her backstabbing, self- aggrandizing husband more or less reluctantly by her side (Whether he stays there four more years is a good question.)  Barack also chose Biden for comfort and advice, knowing that lots of hard work lies ahead. 

Biden, with his 35 years in the Senate,  will show him the Washington ropes, assist on foreign policy,  and free him up to be a leader.  Biden can do everything except choose a direction, which is something that only a natural leader can do. 

He will not need any on-the-job training: his suitcase has been packed and ready for years. So Joe Biden was a good choice for Obama. It shows that Obama  is already thinking about how to tackle the impossible job of being President, once he wins. 

Again, the contrast with Sarah Palin in staggering. It would take her a lifetime to come anywhere close to his depth, intelligence, and experience, even apart from their differences on the issues.  So while McCain is trying to avoid losing by placating the wing-nuts in his Party, Obama is thinking about governing.

IV. OBAMA

And finally, the Obamas. Here it helps to tell a story. One of us oBarackobamaforpresidentnce asked a
Soviet WWII veteran how he managed to survive that war, which he'd fought for four of the most terrible and murderous years in history. (We must remind our American audience that that war started very bad for the Soviet Union.  The Nazis advanced very fast and the entire Soviet army was surrounded and decimated, with millions dead and millions  more taken prisoner.) 

This is what the WWII veteran said:

At the start of the war our division was completely destroyed. We did not know where the frontline was, we did not have any communication equipment, and our commanding general was dead. We did not have any weapons that could destroy German tanks, so we were just running toward Moscow, with the Germans in hot pursuit. Sometimes we had to fight them to gain time, sometimes German planes would bomb us, some of us drowned in rivers, and the injured could no longer be carried. Our numbers dwindled fast.

First we were led by a colonel, then by a captain, then a lieutenant. Finally, we got ourselves completely surrounded, practically out of ammunition, exhausted, with nowhere to run. Then our lieutenant was killed. Without an officer, the soldiers looked at each other in panic, not knowing what to do. But then someone shouted, "Follow my orders! I am assuming command!"

It was a private that nobody really knew. While everybody else was thinking of death, of giving up, he had been thinking of surviving and winning – and everybody immediately knew they had a commander again. It was that private that made us break through the encirclement and brought our division, and its torn and bloodied flag, across the front line where we, less then two hundred of us out of ten thousand that the division had at the start of the war, rejoined the army. This private was decorated and made an officer, and I was under his command for the entire war.

This was how I survived.

Now America is not encircled, out of ammunition, or in panic. But both parties agree, both candidates agree, and all the polls agree: for the last eight years, America has not been well led. It is now in serious trouble.  Natural_small

It is at this grave moment that a "Natural" may (or may not) appear.  We are in such a dire situation that a McCain, Biden,  Clinton, Romney, Lieberman, Pelosi, Kerry, or any other conventional politicians cannot save us.

They are all good officers, fine for parades or even conventional issues and set-piece battles, they are all but useless when you are encircled and you need to find solutions for multiple, seemingly-intractable problems all at once.

When McCain and his advisors tell us that the US economy, with its outmoded Detroit-based, debt-ridden, China-financed, over-militarized, under-insured foundation,  is "fundamentally sound,"  or that the US should remain in Iraq til hell freezes over, or that we should consider bombing Iran willy-nilly,  they are acting like  conventional officers  who are completely surrounded, yet completely out of touch with the real perils.

Indeed, if you owned eight houses,  the state of the US economy would not be your greatest worry, either. 

The point is that any number of our senior statesmen might do just fine as US Presidents.  But just not at this moment.

This is the moment for a Natural. It is easy to make fun of Ms. Palin's background and experience, but just like Obama, the fact is that she has come far, has strong leadership skills, learns quickly on the job, and commands our attention. 

So if this is moment for a natural like Barack, why isn't it also a moment for a Natural like Ms. Sarah Palin,  from an entirely different political direction?

Indeed, given McCain's age  and Hillary's stunning defeat,  that could be the real choice in this election -- between two very different Naturals,  two very different paths to national recovery.

(c) Submerging Markets, 2008

September 2, 2008 at 04:05 PM | Permalink

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MCCAIN's MIGRAINE
Is His VP Choice a "Natural," Or An Eagleton/Quayle Combo?
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