As I write this, Senator McCain is about to announce his vice presidential running mate. Like many of you, I had become bored with the election process and all of its over-blown hype with its accompanying Armageddon-like cloud of dread that seems to be the message of many in political circles.
I just watched Senator McCain introduce his vice presidential running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (Pay-lin). This was great drama! History was made, not because she is a woman running for vice-president (Geraldine Ferraro holds that distinction), but because regardless of which ticket wins, you have an election that will establish history. On the Democratic side you have an African-American presidential candidate in Barak Obama. On the Republican side, you have a woman vice-presidential candidate in Sarah Palin. Thrown into the mix is the fact that, if elected, John McCain would be the oldest first term president in history (Ronald Reagan was sixty-nine when he became president). Interestingly, McCain would not be the first president who had been a prisoner-of-war. That distinction is held by Andrew Jackson, who, at age thirteen, was captured by the British during the American Revolution. Because he refused to polish the boots of a British officer, he was severely beaten, leaving a permanent scar on his cheek.
The next two months leading up to the election on November 4 will be lots of fun! I can’t wait for the debates between Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin. This should be good!
It’s fun watching the media try to find out about Governor Palin, a virtual unknown. Here are some things we do know: She is happily married to her husband has been for twenty years. They have five children. Their oldest is currently serving in the Army and is leaving for Iraq on 9-11. Their youngest child was born this April. Even though they were informed before the birth that the baby is Down’s syndrome, they chose to have the baby because every person is precious and valuable. She is a “Hockey Mom.” That’s Alaskan speak for “Soccer Mom.” She was a tenacious point guard for her high school basketball team, earning the moniker: “Sarah Barracuda.” She also was a beauty queen. Coached her children’s hockey team. Is a member of the union. Is married to her high school sweet heart. Her husband is a native Alaskan, a member of the Yup'ik Eskimo tribe. She was an active member of the PTA. Ran for city council, eventually becoming the mayor of her small town, Wasilla. With her conservative values, she ran for governor and won. Her parents were school teachers. Her father used to take her hunting at three o’clock in the morning. She is a life member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Now, get this: She was appointed to chair an investigation into the ethics in Alaskan politics. It is said of Sarah, that the countryside of Alaska is littered with the bodies of those who have crossed her. DC and the Beltway Crowd have to be nervous.
Concerning her political career, she said, "It's always safer in politics to avoid risk . . . but I didn't get into government to do the safe and easy things." She added: "The people of America expect us to seek public office and to serve for the right reasons. And the right reason is to challenge the status quo and to serve the common good."
So, after a painfully long election, starting in earnest right after the mid-term elections in 2006, this news of Sarah Palin as McCain’s vice-presidential running mate is quite refreshing. The next two months will be a real donnybrook, pitting the two political parties against each other for the most important office in the land. This is going to be fun!
Is this a great country or what?