As a follow-up to my last post, other issues worth considering in connection with Sen. John McCain's selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate are: How well was she vetted? Would her deeply held religious beliefs seep into her policymaking?
On the first, it seems in retrospect as if she was hardly vetted at all. An Anchorage Daily News reporter spoke with party officials and apolitical Alaskans alike, and none of them had been contacted by the McCain campaign. From McClatchy:
Chris Coleman, one of Palin's next-door neighbors, said that no one representing McCain spoke to him about Palin. Another neighbor also was never contacted, he said Monday. Republican Gail Phillips, a former speaker of the Alaska House, said that she was shocked by McCain's selection of Palin and told her husband, Walt, 'This can't be happening because his advance team didn't come to Alaska to check her out.' She said she would've heard had someone been poking around.
The last factor is whether Palin's deep devotion to God will cloud or impact her political judgment. In her speech when she was introduced by McCain as his running mate last Friday, Governor Palin mentioned her intention to serve government with "a servant's heart." According to the National Catholic Reporter , "That reaction wasn't simply about approval of good government; the phrase 'servant's heart' is a popular bit of evangelical terminology, used as a shorthand for Christian humility."
Would she use governmental power to further President Bush's destruction of the wall between church and state? If so, she may alienate the very independent voters Senator McCain needs desperately to win the White House. In any event, Governor Palin is far from the smart choice she appeared to be last Friday, when Senator McCain announced her selection.