Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Selects Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin As His VP Pick

In what was initially report to be an explicit appeal to disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters, GOP Presidential candidate John McCain announced Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his VP running mate. Gov. Palin, took office as the governor of Alaska little over a year ago. The former Miss Alaska runner-up previously served as the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. At 44 she is three years younger than Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. Gov. Palin is such a political novice that the news media knew virtually nothing about her political positions when McCain first announce his VP pick.

As Palin's positions on several social issues are becoming known it is now looking like McCain picked Palin, an evangelical Protestant, to appeal to conservative evangelical Republicans rather than Senator Clinton's supports. Palin is as ardently opposed to women's pro-choice rights as John McCain. Palin is on record as opposing pro-choice rights even in cases of rape and incest. Palin says she does not believe that using human activities and fossil fuel use causes global warming and she believes in teaching creationism in public schools. In picking Palin for the VP slot McCain may be looking to energize evangelical Republicans in Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and other states where Senator Obama is showing increasing voter support. And, if McCain can pick up a few disaffected Clinton supporters as well, so much the better.

Barack Obama Campaign Spokesman Bill Burton responds to John McCain's VP choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin saying, "Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain's commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush's failed economic policies -- that's not the change we need, it's just more of the same." post on Palin:

The Associated Press reports, "More recently, she has come under the scrutiny of an investigation by the Republican-controlled legislature into the possibility that she ordered the dismissal of Alaska's public safety commissioner because he would not fire her former brother-in-law as a state trooper."

The commissioner, Walt Monegan, was fired on July 11, because Palin "wanted to take the department in a new direction," according to Bloomberg. "Monegan than alleged that he had been pressured to fire state trooper Mike Wooten, who was married to Palin's sister and was involved in a contentious divorce, according to the Anchorage Daily News."

The Bloomberg story continues, "Palin has denied any wrongdoing. The state Legislature voted on July 28 to hire an independent investigator to probe whether Palin, her family or members of her administration had pressured Monegan to fire Wooten, according to the Daily News."

Last month a Democratic official told the Wall Street Journal that Palin was facing possible impeachment.

Next post on Palin:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) spoke by phone to NBC's Andrea Mitchell on Friday morning about Senator John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Wasserman Schultz was a strong backer of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries and is known for her interest in women's issues. She told Mitchell, "If John McCain thinks that he can substitute Sarah Palin for Hillary Clinton in the minds of Hillary Clinton supporters he's sadly mistaken. I know Hillary Clinton, and Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton."

"She's been governor of Alaska for eighteen months, and before that she was the mayor of a town of 8,000 people," Wasserman Schultz continued. "She's already under investigation by her state's legislature. ... They voted to spend $100,000 on an investigation, because she is accused of firing a state commissioner who refused to fire her sister's husband. ... This is not the kind of change that we need."

Mitchell pointed out that there may have been "some family abuse" on the part of Palin's sister's husband and that "she might have been protecting a victim who needed help" in firing the commissioner.

Mitchell then asked, "What about the pull of gender politics? Will there be a ... large number of women -- independents, Republicans, people who you all wanted to bring into the Democratic tent -- in suburban towns and cities around this country, who will like the idea of a woman on the ticket?"

"Women in this country don't want a candidate on the ballot just because of the parts that she has," Wasserman Schultz replied. "They want a woman candidate running for president or vice president because they support equal work for equal pay, they support a woman's right to make her own reproductive choices, they support access to children's health care, they want to make sure that we improve the quality of public education. Sarah Palin is against all of those things. So it's not just electing a woman for the sake of getting a woman in there."

Mitchell then quoted from the official McCain campaign announcement, which calls Palin a "tough executive [who's] ready to be president ... has a record of delivering on change and reform [and] has challenged the insolence of the big oil companies while fighting for new energy sources."

"Sarah Palin is inexperienced, unethical and wrong on all the issues that Americans care about," Wasserman Schultz replied. "Do we have the confidence that if, God forbid, something happens to John McCain that Sarah Palin is going to know what to do and is going to have her hands on the tiller of American foreign policy? What makes her ready to be commander in chief? This is just an example of colossally bad judgment on the part of John McCain."

"The other thing ... that's important to note," concluded Wasserman Schultz, "is there has been a culture of corruption hanging over the state of Alaska. ... Senator Ted Stevens, Congressman Don Young, Governor Sarah Palin, they are all cut from the same cloth. The last place we need to pull an elected official who wants to be vice president is the state of Alaska right now. They need to clean up their act."

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