Up until today I haven’t said anything of Senator John McCain’s choice of a running mate. I have very little knowledge of Governor Sarah Palin. The press has gone into some detail about the fact that she was a beauty queen and that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant. I don’t think it is necessary to drag family into this race, when there apparently is plenty bad to say about the candidate herself. But before I go there, we should recognize at least some of the good. Getting to be governor of a state is no small achievement. Alaska is the largest state in the Union, and if you were to cut it in two, then Texas would be the third largest state.
Distance represents a serious problem for the people of Alaska, as they are isolated from the mainland of the United States and from each other. The average cost of education is well over $25,000 per student because of distance issues. These costs are offset by the revenue-sharing arrangement that Alaska has with oil companies. Governor Palin has been lauded by at least one editorial writer for putting some distance between her and the oil companies.
What’s more, she has a big fat target to run against. As I’ve written previously, I don’t think much of Senator Joseph Biden, although I do believe that he offers a humility worthy of the job, something that I suspect the governor doesn’t have, if for no other reason that she has fewer scars.
Because Alaska is so isolated its needs are unique and quite disparate from any other state. Its budget is easier to balance due to oil, and the population density perhaps the lowest in the nation. Hence, leading this state does not qualify one easily for the presidency, which is the quality one looks for in a vice president.
In addition, her questionable ethics and streak of vindictiveness, as reported by the New York Times, leaves me cold with memories of the still current administration, and President Bush, himself. We need leaders with unquestionable ethics.
By the way, here is a quick geography quiz: what are the northern most, eastern most, western most, and southern most states in the United States?
Answers in a future blog entry.