There was a story in a weekly newsmagazine a few years ago about Sarah Palin. This was not right after Sen. John McCain picked her from obscurity to be his running mate; the one I recall ran earlier. It was either shortly before or after her son, Trig, was born. My own son is a month younger than Trig, and I remember reading this article and thinking this woman is pretty impressive--she has a young family, she is conservative, and she doesn’t seem to take anything from anyone.
A few weeks before her nomination was announced I had a conversation with my then-boss and he said she would be a great pick. I agreed because since reading the initial article I had done some research and was impressed with what I read. What was not to like?
And when McCain actually did pick her, well I had goose bumps! I was thrilled and elated! Here was a woman who was by all accounts still happily married to a long-ago sweetheart, and they had a beautiful family. She was successful professionally and I liked her ideas. She took on the big boys and it seemed she always won. A relative called the pick a “home run,” and I couldn’t agree more.
Then came the campaign.
At first I blamed the campaign handlers. They didn’t understand her. They didn’t like her. They were jealous she was getting all this attention. We all know what happened. They lost. Obama won. McCain went back to the Senate. Palin went home to Alaska, but six months later she quit.
For president of the United States, we need someone who cares about all 50 states equally, something I don’t think, based on her endorsements, she does. Why else would she endorse so many high-stakes candidates who, aside from Nikki Haley, seem to have no chance at winning come November? A relative was offended by her comments during the campaign referring to the more ‘pro-America’ parts of the country. Looking back, I think he may have had a point.
We need someone who will not quit when the pressure gets too hot. Like it or not, the national media is here to stay, thanks in large part to the First Amendment. If you can’t handle them asking questions about literally everything under the sun, how on Earth can you handle the stress of the Red Button?
Finally, for president we need someone who is not in a constant grudge match. The last place we need a tit-for-tat game is the Oval Office. A story this week in Politico implies one of the many reasons Palin and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski don’t get along is because Palin is still miffed Murkowski’s father passed her over for the Senate post he vacated, and instead appointed Lisa in 2002. Since when are children, no matter what age, responsible for the sins of their fathers?
For Republicans to win in 2012 they need to nominate someone who gets the American people--all of them. The electorate doesn’t need any more drama. Between unemployment, underwater mortgages, the rising costs of education, and an aging baby boomer generation, there is enough drama to last a lifetime. The candidate who can fix these problems in a no-nonsense manner is the one Republicans should nominate and, based on her performance since the polls closed in 2008, Sarah Palin is not that person.
While I still like many of the ideas Palin talks about, and believe she did get a very raw deal in 2008 by the McCain campaign, I won’t have goose bumps if she runs in 2012. If she wins the Republican nomination, I will have goose bumps, but for very different reasons.