Monday, September 01, 2008

McCain Insults Minnesota with Palin VP pick

The GOP awarding St. Paul their National Convention was an indicator that they cared about Minnesota, but John McCain has shunned us … with three viable candidates that’s inexcusable.

Upon reflection, maybe our Minnesotans didn’t get the VP nod because McCain holds grudges.

The First candidate would be fellow Senator Norm Coleman. Coleman’s has his positives … he knows all the same secrets as Joe Biden from his Foreign Relations committee work … but McCain wants this is be an election about earmarks and Coleman is Minnesota Leading Earmarker.

The Second candidate would be Governor Tim Pawlenty who does double-duty as McCain’s National Co-Chair. On the surface, Pawlenty would seem to be a lock, but then those pesky past quotes from January 2007 that T-Paw was skeptical of the increase in troop levels. That would be too good for the opposition TV ads.

And finally, the Best candidate … Congresswoman Michele Bachmann who I have been campaigning for since May 2007. A pro-life, NRA-supporting, oil-drilling expert, Mother of 28 (which includes being a foster mom to 23 children) with legislative experience at the State and Federal level, decries Republicans for being “wimps”, and her knowledge of Iran’s plans that “ half of Iraq, the western, northern portion of Iraq, is going to be called the Iraq State of Islam, … makes her the perfect candidate. But her denouncement of McCain ( "He is not my man," she said. "Our candidate was chosen by the media. But there are other races out there." ) killed her chances with the old GrudgeMaster.

But Sarah Palin ?

How can you pick a VP who never set foot out of the country until 2007 ? Current Vice-President Richard Cheney will soon visit Georgia … how would VP Palin be treated ? Media reports that foreign governments treated Secretary of State Rice with less respect than Colin Powell … yet they were both implementing President Bush’s policies.

She cites that she’s a reformer but this year she requested 31 Earmarks from Congress ( including $80 million for the Alaska Railroad, $13 million for wind generation in Nome, and the Fairbanks North Star Borough asked for about $25 million.) And her basis for rejecting the “Bridge to Nowhere” was it's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island,'' Sept. 21, 2007 (and that was after she told the Ketchikan Daily News in August 2006 that "We need to come to the defense of Southeast Alaska when proposals are on the table like the bridge, and not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that's so negative." She was clearly supporting the project until Congress turned off the tap. So what happened to the money … it’s being direct it to other Alaskan transportation projects. As the Anchorage Daily News reported work is under way on a three-mile road on Gravina Island, originally meant to connect the airport and the new bridge. State officials said last year they were going ahead with the $25 million road because the money would otherwise have to be returned to the federal government.”
The Bridge to Nowhere earmark may have been terminated, but not the Road to the Bridge to Nowhere.

McCain has cited her “Executive” experience as Governor of Alaska. Well, while most states face a budget crisis on a too frequent basis, Alaska has no state income tax and is 50th in rankings of state sales tax (yep, that’s the lowest in the nation.) Additionally, the Alaska Permanent Fund paid dividends in the amount of $1654 to every eligible man, woman and child in 2007. Governor Palin said Friday, "When oil and gas prices went up so dramatically and the state revenues followed with that increase, I sent a large share of that revenue directly back to the people of Alaska." Good for Alaska, but why didn't she send the money back to the US Treasury ? Increasing ANWR drilling will increase this “subsidy” so any increased drilling rights should be a boom to the US Treasury, not the State of Alaska.

The real problem I have with McCain’s pick is it reflects the “insider” selection that is typified by the Monica Goodlings and Michael Browns of the Bush Administration – people selected for their ideology and not their abilities. McCain met Palin at a February 2008 Governor’s meeting and then brought her to his home for an interview last week. The question must be asked is: Who is making this selection ? McCain seems intent on focusing on foreign affairs which could leave domestic affairs largely to be run by underlings. Who are the powerbrokers in a McCain Administration ? Who will be directing government action (or inaction) ?

When Rick Warren asked McCain to name the “wisest people that you know that you would rely on heavily in an administration?, McCain responded General David Petraeus. Would Petraeus recommend Palin ? Would Palin be able to “command” Petraeus or would the military leadership overtake the civilian role in management of military affairs.
For that matter, if Palin had to be confirmed by the US Senate to be Vice-President, how many Republican Senators would tell McCain the country needed a more experienced leader?

McCain's pick may be an effective tactic to win an election, but voters should be concerned about governance.

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