Friday, August 29, 2008

Questionable Judgment

They say that the choice of a vice president candidate reveals a lot about a presidential nominee. Barack Obama chose Joe Biden, an experienced hand, ready to step in should need arise. Yes, Biden fills in some of Obama's gaps in experience, but most importantly he's tested.

John McCain has made much of Obama's resume, suggesting that Obama isn't ready to be president. So, what does he do? He selects as his running mate a first term governor who has been in office for only 2 years, and before that was mayor of a town of less than 10,000 people. I'm sure she's a great governor for Alaska, but isn't this a rather big jump?

As my wife and I heard her speak -- I was waiting to hear her -- I must say both of us were underwhelmed. Now, that might be expected of me, but Cheryl's not the die-hard partisan like me, but she was not impressed.

So, why did he choose a governor with such little experience -- virtually no foreign policy experience? Well, I think you could see the writing on the wall earlier in the week as McCain and company made a big deal about Hillary not being chosen as VP nominee. He's pandering to women who are disaffected by Hillary's loss. But remember what Hillary asked her supporters: Were you in this just for me, or were you in this for the issues I championed? Sarah Palin is a woman, yes, but her positions on the issues will be very different from those of most of Hillary's followers. Yes, it was strategic, but I do think it represents questionable judgment. If McCain wanted to choose a woman there are other women, like Texas' Kay Bailey Hutchinson or even Libby Dole, who have the experience and gravitas. This is grasping at straws. Yes, it'll get the tongues wagging, but will it wear well?

So, if this is now an election about judgment rather than experience, I think Obama has won this round!

6 comments:

Frank said...

McCain made a great choice, politically speaking. One that will help him.

I used to think that obama would beat mccain easily, but it's beginning to look like mccain might have a chance. At least you liberals are worried. Fun to watch.

Anonymous said...

I KNEW this would be the post for the day and I knew what it would say. LOL.

Your first paragraph says it all.. Obama knew he was weak in well... being presidential, so he picked someone who was more presidential to make him look experienced. He needed a gray hair to follow up on the speeches. You see, the problem with Obama is no one can give me ONE solid accomplishment he has made. He has been a senator for 2 years and ran for president for one of them!

Lets all call a spade a spade.. Obama picked "McCain" for his VP and McCain picked "Obama".. at least as far as demographic, selling points, etc.

The democrats talked about their 18 million cracks, the republicans just punched a hole. My conspiracy theory in all of this is that the Clintons advised McCain to make the pick, b/c they know if Obama wins, Hillary is out for eight years.

All this to say.. your post reveals why I cringe at Christians and politics. I am personally wrestling with these issues, and my feeling right now is that its ok to get involve with issues. Thinking historically about the church's role with slavery and its failure to act against Hitler. HOWEVER, my feelings and ones in your blog are the PERSONAL POLITICS which is so popular, but so dangerous. You write a negative post on Palin less than 2 hours after the pick. Yet, not one single issue she stands for or against is mentioned. Do we really know what she stands for this early when she hasn't even spoken yet? Christians would be better served to worry about an issue than to worry with the D/R by someone's name or the way they carry themselves, etc. The issue is we become hypocrites. The same people who were hyping Hillary's almost accomplishments are now saying essentially.. well Palin doing it doesn't count. Why? B/c the real reason is she isn't one of "them".

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

I really don't see that Obama and Palin are in the same category. Obama has survived a long and arduous national campaign, ran it well, set up the foundation for national government. Palin has no national experience at all.

Obama didn't pick Biden to be his baby-sitter, but instead to be a strong partner in government.

We'll see how this goes. Everyone I've talked too -- many of them women see the choice of Palin as really strange.

Anonymous said...

Obama has run a campaign? That would make Karl Rove a more impressive candidate!!

At least Palin has run a city and a state and has executive experience. Now, I do laugh b/c its the party politics we are all taught through spin doctors. The joke really is.. you are trading #1 vs #2.. when we know McCain blows Obama out of the water on the experience issue.

Something to watch.. my wife is one of those could care less about politics, the soccer mom if you will. She is VERY excited about a mother of 5 now running. In fact her sister even called excited.. and her sister is frankly the liberal of the family. You see.. the same hope and change Obama has been preaching.. will be countered with Palin's mantra of the power of the mother. It will be fun to watch this play out.

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

Obama has been tested in a national campaign, taking on the Party's dominant players, and won. His campaign has never been in debt, he pays his bills, there has been little or no infighting among his staff. I think that is a pretty good sign of executive ability. Yes, there have been bumps in the road, but he's taken them in stride.

As for Palin's experience. Yes, she's run a small town and now for less than 2 years she's run a state with about 600,000 people. Even her own party leaders don't think she's qualified to be governor.

As for women, some will be attracted, at least initially, but once they learn how dogmatic she is on abortion, that she's beloved by the Right, I don't think this will hold. The key though will be to see how she fares in her speech at the convention. If she falls flat, that will be a dangerous sign.

Now, as for the issue of judgment. McCain made this choice after talking to her once in February and then apparently in a phone call when he offered her the job. I would think you'd want to spend at least a bit more time with those you want to entrust your administration to if you died or were incapacitated. What this makes clear is that John McCain is both desperate and impulsive. Those aren't traits I want in a President at this time.

Anonymous said...

I see this more as the Sage and Apprentice debate. The Obama camp says we should make the Apprentice head and if he screws up, well the Sage is there to back him up. McCain is doing what most businesses do.. put the old man with all the gray hair at the top, and let the apprentice advise the top. You see the experience argument against Palin begins to break down b/c she is the number TWO. If she becomes president, why can't she pick a Joe Biden to be her VP and adviser?

The personal warning I would give to you is to be careful not to simply repeat pundit attacks. I know the arguments you are making, and I can go onto Fox news and get all the retorts. The crucial part of this as Christians is to think on a higher level about the impact on the faith community.

Personally, I am not sure how a pastor can endorse a pro-abortion position, but maybe that will be another post.