As I've tried to learn more about Sarah Palin, I've learned that she does have some expertise on issues relevant to Alaska. I think she can contribute helpfully to the dialogue on some of these issues. But I'm still not persuaded she has the qualifications to be vice president--or president--of the United States. It seems a bit unfair that she's been thrown at us with only two months to get to know her. But let's do our best.
I guess it's possible McCain's choice wasn't just a political one--though it must have been at least partly that. He may sincerely believe that Palin will help shake things up in Washington. But I think we need something more than just the ability to shake things up.
The reports are that McCain really wanted to choose Joe Liebermann as running mate--but if he'd done that, he'd have lost a good part of the Republican party. Since Palin and Liebermann differ strongly on many issues--and since there's almost no common ground in the reasoning for putting one or the other on the ticket except that choosing either shakes things up--I'm wondering where McCain's heart really lies on those issues where Palin and Liebermann differ or where their expertise is vastly different.
Here are links to a couple of articles in which some Alaskans and some nationally important conservatives express their reservations:
"Two Top Alaska Newspapers Question Palin's Fitness"
"Some Conservatives Air Concerns over Palin"
On the other hand, in defense of Palin's foreign policy credentials, Cindy McCain has said that Palin understands our situation in the world because she is governor, after all, of the state located closest to Russia. Hmmm. I wonder if she's met with any of Russia's leaders.