Aielman wrote an interesting post today, And The Smear Machine Ramps Up, concerning the reactions to Governor Sarah Palin since she was nominated to be John McCain's running mate. I felt moved to leave a comment and I ended up leaving a novel over there, and I decided to post that comment here as my blog entry for the day.
Before reading my comment, which follows below, please read Aielman's entry first, so that my comment is read in the proper context.
First of all, anyone McCain would have picked would have been under intense scrutiny. McCain is 72 years old, has had a few bouts with cancer, and no doubt has residual chronic health concerns that stem from his time as a POW.
The VP pick has taken on a new emphasis in light of this, because that person could quite possibly become president if McCain is incapacitated or dies in office. Comparing the two VP candidates, if anything was to happen to either McCain or Obama, which one would you feel more confident with running the country? I don't know about you, but I'm more comfortable with Biden, who has been in the Senate since I was 14, and still manages to be younger and more energetic than McCain.
Secondly, Obama is a lawyer, who received his education from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, which helps to somewhat offset his lack of experience.
Thirdly, as both a State Senator and a US Senator representing a large, heavily populated industrial state, what experience he does have carries quite a bit more weight than being a mayor of a town of less than ten thousand, and of being governor a state with fewer than a million residents.
It's not necessarily a matter of raw intelligence, but Ms Palin is not broadly educated nor does she have the breadth of experience that Mr Obama has had with the type of experience he has.
In other words, it's the TYPE of experience that matters when comparing the two, rather than the LENGTH.
Senator McCain has also shot himself in the foot with this choice, as he'll not be able to use the experience argument any longer while campaigning against Senator Obama.
I agree with you that it's a cheap shot to drag Governor Palin's family problems into the campaign, but Republicans are hardly immune to doing this themselves. Do you not remember the cheap shot taken at Chelsea Clinton during the campaign where a "joke" is made that says she's so "ugly" because her parents are Hillary and Janet Reno? And of Rush Limbaugh calling her the "White House Dog" when her father was president -- and she was only twelve years old? So cheap shots are not limited to any party or viewpoint.
And because they're cheap shots, I will not use Bristol Palin's pregnancy as a way to criticize her mother on my blog.
There is one caveat to this, however. I'm sure you've read that she boarded a plane after going into labor with her fifth child -- she was actually leaking amniotic fluid which can be serious if not promptly attended to -- took an 8 hour flight and then drove another 45 miles to give birth in a small hospital not equipped to deal with emergencies that could result from her high risk pregnancy. While that is essentially her own business and her right to do so, it does call into question her powers of judgment, as nearly any sensible person would have checked into a world class hospital right there in Texas and not taken any chances with the birth.So far as how one treats a female candidate -- Republicans apparently didn't worry about chivalry when attacking Hillary Clinton -- nor should they have. On the same line, Sarah Palin shouldn't expect the "little lady" treatment, either. It's not respectful, as it treats her as less than an equal, if she's treated like a fragile little eggshell, bound to burst into tears at the least criticism. I would give her Harry Truman's advice: "If You Can't Take the Heat, Then Stay Out of the Kitchen".