Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Knee-Jerk Politics of John McCain

You can say a lot about a person's leadership ability based on how they think and act under pressure. On the first and most important decision either candidate had to make (VP selection), Barack showed strength and wisdom despite immense pressure from within his own party, while John McCain shot from the hip with a reactionary political move that grossly misunderstands the electoral base of his opponent.

Mr. McCain knows that he is in trouble. He too watched the DNC convention and must have come to the conclusion that: (1) The Change banner is too powerful to defeat with a conventional Republican message; and (2) The connection made between him and the sitting president is too powerful to ignore - In Barack's words: "8 Years is Enough!".

So, when time came to select his running mate, he went with a knee-jerk move based on panicked punditry and unsettled polling. He now has a running mate that he himself hardly knows - He only met Governor Palin once and has never worked with her in any capacity. And she, a heart-beat away from the top of the ticket, has zero experience in national and international affairs. As a result, he now undercuts his central critique against Barack, brings concerns about his age and health back to the forefront, and provides the electorate with an unsettling preview of how he intends to make big decisions if he ascends to the presidency.

People across this nation surely disagree about a wide range of issues, but I don’t think many of them want another president who will shoot from the hip on matters of national significance.


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