Having had almost a full day to cogitate upon Sarah Palin’s nomination and having read most of the biographical stuff about her that’s been put out in the past 24 hours, I can’t say I’m convinced that she’s qualified to be President of the United States. And that is a factor that one must take into account, since Veeps are, as the saying goes, just a heartbeat away. And John McCain, who just turned 72 yesterday, isn’t getting any younger.
As a Washington Post editorial put it today:
Not long ago, no less a Republican strategist than Karl Rove belittled Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as a potential running mate for Barack Obama, noting that picking him would appear “intensely political” because Mr. Kaine’s experience consisted of only three years as governor preceded by the mayoralty of Richmond, which Mr. Rove called “not a big town.”
Using Mr. Rove’s criteria, Ms. Palin would not fare well. Her executive experience consists of less than two years as governor of her sparsely populated state, plus six years as mayor of Wasilla (pop. 8,471). Absorbed in Alaska’s unique energy and natural resource issues, she has barely been heard from in the broader national debates over economic policy and health care. Above all, she has no record on foreign policy and national security — including terrorism, which Mr. McCain posits as the top challenge facing America and the world. Once the buzz over Ms. Palin’s nomination dies down, the hard questions about her will begin. The answers will reflect on her qualifications — and on Mr. McCain’s judgment as well.
There are, to say the least, significant questions about her ability to be president. McCain only met her once, at a National Governors Association meeting, before this past Wednesday and he offered her the spot on Thursday. This seems to make it unlikely that he has great personal insight into her aptitude and ability to grow into the #2 job. She seemed okay giving her 10-minute prepared remarks at the event where she was introduced, but not great. She’s got to do well in tough interviews and in the Vice Presidential debates to prove that she’s got the right stuff. Right now, I could imagine Biden as President, but I can’t imagine Palin in the job without serious concerns.