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Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin Game Changer or Scandal Bringer? UPDATED

I'm a little confused about this blurb CNN put on their main page tonight about Sarah Palin, John McCain's choice for his VP running mate. CNN makes it sound like this woman is pristine and amazing--the only thing the Obama camp can say that is bad about her is that she's got no foreign policy experience--which is kind of a useless criticism since Obama doesn't have much more and McCain has scads more than either of them.

This might put the idea in people's heads that she really is, as the blurb suggests, a "game changer."

The truth seems to be that she's just like a lot of politicians--in trouble for ethics violations. I know--someone in politics under investigation? Incredible!

Well, it's true, and she is. Simply News-Googling for "Sarah Palin ethics investigation" led me to a bunch of articles about Palin's recent problems. The following tidbits about Sarah Palin's ethics investigation were reported at

A state ethics probe that was launched just a few weeks ago is already drawing attention in the opening moments of her debut as the Republican vice presidential pick is Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

An independent investigator appointed by a panel of state legislators earlier this month is looking into whether Ms. Palin dismissed a top law enforcement official in her administration because he failed to fire a state trooper, Mike Wooten, who went through a messy divorce with Ms. Palin’s sister


Now, granted, to a campaign like McCain's, lying and firing for political or personal reasons is no big thing, but for those of us who still have morals, an investigation is an investigation. Sarah Palin may be adorable, but if she's being investigated she's probably not a good bet for a VP candidate right now. However, she's young--just 44 there's always 2012 if she's innocent of these charges.

Personally, I don't think this is a huge deal and while I do admit we don't live in an ideal world, surely, we can expect our potential leaders to not be under ethics investigations while running for one of the highest offices in the land.

Given McCain's habit of looking like he's copying the Bush Administration's behavior, he might try a little harder to find a running mate that has a spotless record, regardless of gender or ethnicity. Then again, this is the world of politics so maybe I am asking too much.

Still, I don't think it's right for CNN to completely ignore this investigation on it's home page--after all, most people probably aren't going to bother reading past the main page, so they'll never know the truth.

Hell, to me, McCain picking a woman is such an obvious stunt, anyway. It's like the Obama/Biden ticket has an old white guy and a minority, and now, so does the McCain/Palin ticket. By mirroring the demographics of his opponent, McCain is forcing people to make a gut decision based on race and/or gender. Now, the entire country will have to make the decision the Democrats just finished making:

Do I want a black guy or a woman in the White House?

I mean, come on, you don't really expect the majority of the American people to look past the surface issues, do you? If they did that, they'd realize how incredibly similar the two tickets are to each other. Then they might demand actual candidates that could deliver actual change.

Nobody wants that! Come on, John! What are you thinking?? You're going to ruin it for everyone!

Well, "everyone" except for the American People. We might have a chance to elect leaders who want to solve the actual problems we're facing.

UPDATE 8/30/08 1:50am: Seems someone feels the same way as me about Palin not being as pristine as she should be to run for VP--only this someone is on her side. According to an NPR report, it looks like the day before Palin was announced as McCain's VP pick, Palin's Wikipedia entry got whitewashed, making her look better than the previous article. Specifically, references to a beauty pageant and the above mentioned scandal were edited to be less prominent. Check out the story for more at NPR's website here:

Hell, I didn't even know about the beauty pageant--I guess that's what that this picture was about.

Praise be to RichPav who Twittered about this the NPR story.

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