Monday, October 06, 2008

Campaign 101

Tom Shales is absolutely right. Sarah Palin wants to be the President. If you watch her stage dynamic—the way she relates to other people who happen to be on the stage with her (be it family or politicians) it is obvious that it is all about her. Her children, who always look less than happy are backdrops and the baby, who should not have been out at 11pm for a debate) appears to be a prop that they pass from person to person depending on where the cameras happen to be.

When Sarah was selected (not elected), I thought it was a choice made because John McCain had decided he didn’t want to be the President. I was in Denver and soon after the announcement I ran into Pat Buchanan who told me he thought it was brilliant—clearly a Karl Rove decision. “What am I missing?” I thought. “I better find a TV”. Which I did and I listened to laudatory remark after laudatory remark by Republicans and Independent women. She was new, fresh, fun, exciting, a ‘maverick’, blah blah blah. At first I was amazed and then I was frightened. I made some calls to people who actually know high level Republicans and I was curious about their thinking. One trusted source told me that McCain didn’t make the choice. He wanted Lieberman but the Right Wing conservative advisors said nay (I like nay better than no when we’re talking in governmentese). They decided that because McCain’s health wasn’t so good they wanted someone who they could control – just in case he wasn’t around for four years. How’s that for a comforting thought.

Joe Lieberman is not on my list of favorites but at least he can construct an entire sentence. This is not me being a snob or an English teacher, this is me thinking about the way she conducts business with important people from around the world. Our reputation in the rest of the world suffered from the Bush bravado and disinterest in what other leaders thought. It simply isn’t good enough to withstand a Sara Palin ‘maverick’ view of the world—or what she thinks she knows about it.

Sarah is admittedly, a quick study but there’s a lot to learn about governing and if you’ve never worked in national politics or government you are not equipped to hit the ground running—obviously carrying a shotgun. Just FYI, Boonton NJ, where I grew up, was a blue collar community. My friends did not all go to college. They went to war. I worked very hard for many years to understand the complicated nature of the government and how we relate to the rest of the world. The one thing I know is that you cannot operate in a vacuum when making international or domestic policy. Everything is connected. Every decision impacts on another decision – and each has repercussions. Even the one that she made about going to Michigan to campaign.

John McCain, right or wrong decided he wasn’t going to continue operations in Michigan. I’m sure that decision was not made unilaterally or without consultation with many people – including Karl Rove. Yet yesterday Sarah announced that if John McCain wasn’t going to Michigan that was fine but she was still going. The campaign gurus must have been turning over in their cubby’s – see, I didn’t say graves because despite my desires, the campaign isn’t dead. When the senior strategists make a decision, no one but the candidate can says, “I’m doing it anyway”, unless their ego is so enormous or their brain is so shriveled that they don’t care about the consequences. I believe Sarah’s problem is the former, but one thing is clear. If they selected her because she could be controlled, they made the wrong decision. She is out there on her own and she doesn’t care about the rules – even if her own people make them. This stuff is campaign 101 and it’s not ‘old’ think, it’s just a way to make sure everyone is walking in the same direction.

The country is in chaos. The financial markets are in the toilet. Job losses are enormous and the economy—don’t ask. We may never recover from 8 years of George Bush. What we don’t need is a ‘maverick’. We need adults to make reasoned and thoughtful decisions. Sarah needs some adult supervision. She is like a kid who has gotten her first taste of sugar and now she wants to eat everything in the candy store. Some Republican grown-up better think through what a Palin Presidency will mean or, instead of a dream, she could be their worst nightmare. We’re just sayin..... Iris


Anonymous said...

I take it your remarks in the final sentence are directed at me and/or my type. It's ok, really it is, cause we ain't skeered.

And how soon one forgets that brother Bill was just the "good ol' boy" Governor of hillbilly Arkansas with zip, nada, zero national or foreign policy experience. And instead of winking at you on national tv, he'd lie to you on national tv. In further comparison to Palin,
he too is quite the Bubba as he
has 1st cousins on his mama's side that are also 3rd cousins on his daddy's side. A 'Dueling Banjo' sort of thing and quite confusing at family reunions! Last I checked however, massive numbers of your type swear he was the second official coming of Jesus Christ! So please, tell me again about Palin's lack of qualifications?

Chicken Little(Disney 1961):
"The sky is falling, The sky is falling"...
It really isn't, and we ain't skeered.

Anonymous said...

Clinton was a "good ol' boy" with a Rhodes scholarship.

Billie Mercer said...

I've been saying that Sarah is going for the gold. If she doesn't get McCain elected, then she is setting herself up to run in 2012. To hell with McCain or the Republican party. She is going for it.