Viewpoint: Thanks, but no thanks to PalinI agree with Marisa Novak — Sarah Palin can read a prepared speech with flair and panache (“Palin has all the right stuff,” Letters, Sept. 24).
By: Joyce Denn, Viewpoint Writer, Woodbury Bulletin
I agree with Marisa Novak — Sarah Palin can read a prepared speech with flair and panache (“Palin has all the right stuff,” Letters, Sept. 24).
In fact, Sarah Palin is smart and charming; she grins mischievously and wrinkles her nose and knows how to win over an audience.
Of course, Palin’s 20 years of familiarity with being in front of the camera helps — before she went into politics, Palin was a television sportscaster, and she certainly knows how to use a teleprompter.
What Palin lacks, however, is the intellectual training necessary to handle the responsibilities of the vice presidency or, possibly, the presidency.
Where is the evidence that Palin has any expertise in financial markets, the history of the Middle East, modern weapons technologies, environmental science?
How can she claim, with a straight face, that Alaska's proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience?
Why is the McCain campaign shielding Palin from reporters, and carefully scripting her exposure to the public?
I am more than willing to grant that Palin is a wonderful mother and a fine example of empowered womanhood, despite the fact that, as mayor, she left Wasilla in serious debt, despite her serial lies about the “bridge to nowhere” and selling the jet on eBay.
What I cannot accept, however, is that being a “hockey mom” prepared Sarah Palin for the second-most important job in the world, a job that should go to someone who understands the intricacies of economic and foreign policy.
How is it that “elite” has become a dirty word in politics?
We look for rigorous training and outstanding talent when we select a surgeon, an athlete, or an attorney, yet, when we choose the people who will make life and death decisions regarding the fate of millions, we consider excellence a liability.
I imagine it is really fun to go hunting or fishing with Sarah Palin, but that doesn't mean her finger should be on the nuclear trigger; we have already had eight disastrous years of a president we’d like to have a beer with.
Novak does a fine job of repeating Republican talking points regarding Barack Obama. Her claims, however, are wrong.
Novak asserts, for example, that Obama sent a team of people to Alaska to harass citizens and dig up dirt on Palin. John Fund, who made that accusation in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, has, as yet, provided no evidence to back up his claims.
Novak further claims that in “Obama's short time in the senate... he mostly voted present on key issues.”
In fact, those “present votes” were in the Illinois state senate, where Obama served for eight years, after teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago for 12 years.
Voting “present” is a standard procedure in the Illinois senate, where it is used to indicate objections to parts of a measure that the legislator supports in principle.
Obama cast 129 “present” votes out of a total of approximately 4,000 votes during his tenure in the Illinois senate — that is, about three percent of his votes, hardly “most” of his votes, as Novak claims.
Finally, Novak characterizes Palin as a feminist.
I'm sorry — a feminist is someone who supports equal rights for women, and neither Palin nor McCain measures up.
Both oppose equal pay for women, both oppose reproductive rights; Palin even required rape victims to pay for their own rape kits.
I want someone in the White House who supports real equality for women, someone with the intellectual training and experience to act intelligently on the environment, on the economy, on healthcare policy and on national security.
I support Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
As for McCain and Palin, I say thanks, but no thanks.
Denn is a resident of Woodbury.