THE PLANK OCTOBER 31, 2008
Reading through ABC's "The Note," I ran across McCain's response to concerns expressed by Bush 41 Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger about Governor Palin's readiness to assume the presidency in the event of a crisis:
Responds McCain, on "GMA": "Larry has never had a chance to meet Sarah." Then
this head-scratcher: "She's got more experience than Sen. Biden and Sen. Obama
I'm sorry, I know McCain wants to stand up for his runningmate, but what the hell is he thinking? Worry if you like about Obama's oft-debated greenness, but Democrats spent much of the primary season joking that if presidential races were decided on experience alone, Joe Biden (or maybe Chris Dodd) would have captured the nomination without breaking a sweat.
The only thing I can figure out is that, ever since picking Palin, Team McCain has been desperately redefining "experience" to mean only executive experience, in the hopes that Palin's two years as governor will somehow trump all. But this overly narrow definition has long struck me as not only ridiculous but utterly self-defeating when you consider that McCain himself has less executive experience than the manager of your local Walmart.
There are, I'm sure, many wonderful things to say about Sarah Palin. For instance, never have I seen a GOP candidate so excite the party's male punditocracy--nor prompt quite so many posters at campaign rallies about what real men really like in their women. (Guns and lipstick? Wow! Who knew?) But no matter how McCain tries to slice and dice definitions, his VP pick is absolutely unprepared to step into a president's shoes.
McCain made his bed, and he deserves not one inch of slack for his decision. Not to carry the metaphor to an unseemly place, but there were other, more experienced gals he could have asked to climb into that bed with him. Instead, he opted to take a risk on the saucy, smilely, winky, obscenely unprepared one. Clearly, not even he can quite come to terms with that reality.