Okay, normally I don't have much to say about politics. I'm more of an observer than a opinion-giver. I like to watch and listen but not say too much. I am one of those very few folks who can hear and understand the perspectives of both the right and the left, and I count myself lucky because of that. I have a lot of friends on the left; I have a lot of family on the right. I sit mostly in the middle - I get both sides, and both sides have valid points.
But both sides also have plenty of crooked politicians who play into a crooked political system, so I personally think that people have to act outside of the government if we want anything to change. That means churches, non-profits, etc. By and large, I don't trust politicians, and the higher up they climb the more corrupt they become, or at least that's how it seems. Obama, Bush, Clinton ... they all operate under a billion dollar PR scheme. How can you really trust any of them when every word is scripted. There's no realness.
But really, what do I know? I'm just a guy with access to the media, which is probably just as corrupt as the political system. The one thing I'm sure of is that I never want to be one of those people who only hears one side of the argument. If I hear a guy talking on the TV, I don't want to automatically discount every word he says just because of a little (D) or a little (R) next to his name. That happens on both sides, and I think it's silly. Not all democrats are heartless baby killers, and not all republicans are greedy old men. Ok? Enough said.
Now on to the point I want to make.
It's about Sarah Palin.
Did you hear she might be considering a run at the Presidency in 2012?!?! Can you believe it?!?
Sorry, I can't help the sarcasm. One of the websites I visit pretty much every day is CNN.com. I like to be in the loop for major stories, so that I'm not the last to know about the oil spill or the Chilean miners. When Michael Jackson died, I knew before most of my friends. I like knowing stuff.
U.S politics is generally the leading story on CNN.com when there's nothing major going on as far as crimes or scandals. And for the past two and a half years, you know who's face has been on the front page more than any other? Not Obama. Not GW. Not Hilary. The Lipstick Wearing Hockey Mom.
For whatever reason, CNN is fervently obsessed with Ex-Governor Palin. They have been obsessed with her since the minute she was nominated as McCain's running mate. After the election, the leading story wasn't "Obama Won!" it was "What Will Sarah Do Next?!"
It's weird. A big reason why McCain lost was because of her. Remember the horrible interviews with Katie Couric and that old guy? Remember the embarrassing vice presidential debate when Sarah just kept winking and saying nonsense, which inspired this hilarious flowchart? Did you see the Matt Damon video which now has 10 million views? She was considered a failure before she did anything. Even Colin Powell questioned her credentials.
And yet, just weeks after Obama's inauguration, the top story on CNN was "Will Sarah Run in 2012?!" And then that same story ran again 2 weeks later. And two weeks after that. And at least 100 times since, the same question has been asked. Will She Run?
OF COURSE SHE'S GOING TO RUN!!!
SHE'S BEEN RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT FOR 2 YEARS!
WHY WOULD SHE STOP NOW??
The question isn't "Will She Run?"
It's "Why The Heck Do We Care!?"
After high school, Sarah attented Hawaii Pacific University for one semester, then transferred to North Idaho College, then to the University of Idaho, then to Matanuska Susitna College, and then back to the U of Idaho where she graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor's in Communication with an emphasis in journalism. It only took her 5 college transfers to complete a Bachelor's degree!
After college she worked as a sports reporter for a local TV station, and then as a commercial fisherman with her husband. In 1992, she joined the City Council for Wasilla, and after 4 years she ran for Mayor. She won in a landslide, then ran again in 3 years and won again. She served as Mayor of Wasilla for 6 years. In case you're wondering, Wasilla has about 10,200 citizens. It's about half the size of Grandville.
After her two terms of Mayor, Sarah ran for lieutenant governor of Alaska, and lost. The next year she joined the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to battle for safe and efficient oil policies in Alaska. After 1 year, she resigned, citing "lack of ethics" on the part of the commission. She spent the next 2 years as a co-director of a Republican training group for women in Alaska. Then in 2006, she ran for Governor of Alaska, and won 48% to 40%. In 2007, Sarah got a passport for the first time and traveled outside the country. She went to Kuwait and visited soldiers. She probably figured it would be difficult to be President without a passport.
She took office as Governor on December 4, 2006 with a 93% approval rate.
On August 27, 2008, John McCain picked Sarah as his running mate. Some have questioned his motives. Did he simply want a woman to spice things up against the black guy? Was he looking to secure the vote of the religious right? Or did he truly believe that Sarah - with her 18 months experience of Governor of the 47th most populated state - was the best choice for America? Either way, Sarah took the job, and started traveling around, doing interviews and speeches and debates, and she became instantly mega-famous. Less than 6 months after the election, she resigned as Governor, saying "she could no longer do the job she was elected to do." Her approval rating in Alaska had dropped almost 40% by the time of her resignation.
Since, Sarah has ghost-written two books, recorded a reality TV show, and sat in the audience while her daughter Danced with the Stars. She's been on Oprah, Ellen, and SNL. She's spoken all over the country and she's sparked the Republican party like a stick of pink dynamite. In fact, you could probably give her a large chunk of credit for the GOP's recent success in the midterm elections. Every word she says becomes a headline, every place she travels becomes a Republican riot, every Tweet she tweets is controversial. She's basically become the White Oprah.
But back to the original title of this blog post.
Is she really ready to be President? To recap:
-A 4-year grad from the University of Idaho with an emphasis on journalism.
-A commercial fisherman and a sports reporter on TV.
-A Mayor of a city that wouldn't even rank in the top 50 Michigan cities in terms of population.
-An 18 month Governor of a state with less people than Delaware.
That's her resume.
Is she more qualified than me to be President? Of course. Is she more qualified than 99% of Americans? You bet. But I'm just asking, are there Republicans out there -Senators and Governors perhaps - with more than a 4 year degree and more than 18 months of real experience? I'm pretty sure that I've taken more college level law classes (one) than she has.
For reference, look at President Obama's resume:
-Bachelor's from Columbia University in Political Science
-Graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School
-President of the Harvard Law Review
-Professor at University of Chicago Law School for 12 years
-Lawyer in Chicago for 11 years, focusing on civil rights and economic development
-Chicago Community organizer (remember when Sarah made fun of him for that? Funny that she didn't bring up his other occupations, like Lawyer, Professor, Senator)
-Illinois State Senator for 8 years
-U.S. Senator for 3 years
-U.S. President for 2 years and counting
So go ahead. Compare their resumes. Tell me who's more qualified for the job.
Just for the record - I'm not endorsing Obama. I think he's done a lousy job, frankly. He should have focused on the economy, not on healthcare, not on foreign affairs. He should have focused on the biggest area of need. Creating jobs.
3 years ago I was excited about Obama, his talk of "Change," and his promise to employ a Politics of Common Sense. It sounded great. But he has let me down. And I'm more than ready for a change from the Change that hasn't changed much. I really am.
But if the best candidate the Republicans can offer is Sarah Palin, then I, along with a majority of Americans, will be voting for Obama. And we'll have 4 more years of his administration, for better or worse. So to my Repbublican friends out there, if you really want to take back the White House in two years, then please, have some common sense, and don't vote for Palin. That's exactly what Obama wants you to do.