But compare the bunny-in-the-headlights Sarah Palin of just a few weeks ago with the much more poised and confident Sarah Palin of today. Ignorance isn't the same thing as stupidity. When Palin talks about economic policy these days, her sentences don't meander into the Twilight Zone the way they once did. She has more to say about foreign policy besides the fact that Russia is just across the Bering Strait. She has learned much in a very short period.
And she will learn more. I predict we'll have Sarah Palin to kick around for a long, long time.
Sarah Palin will be a formidable national candidate in subsequent elections. She, however, is also the reason I will not be voting for McCain. The lack of consideration that McCain displayed by picking an extremely talented, yet completely unprepared candidate reinforces my worst concerns about McCain -- that he flies by the seat of his pants and isn't particularly pensive.
Also, McCain is old. He's not too old to be president by any means, but his VP is of added importance because of his age. Choosing a person who clearly wasn't ready, by any objective measure, to become president of the United States on January 20, 2009 displays a huge lack of judgement. Yes, Gov. Palin has made huge strides in getting ready and in all probability will not have to fill the presidential shoes right away, but those arguments are irrelevant. One has to make the decision based upon whether they are ready to be president, and she is not. She is in the midst of an all-nighter to get ready and she's learning fast, but McCain should never have chosen somebody who needed an all-nighter. Period.
On foreign policy, I would be generally comfortable with McCain's judgement. However, the economy and fiscal issues require somebody to sit down and think these things through. McCain resorts to the usual give tax cuts to encourage whatever it is the Republicans want to encourage plan that just ain't gonna get the job done. Furthermore, his deviations from Republican orthodoxy, like the buying mortgages, are terrible ideas. Slashing pork barrel spending ain't gonna make a dent either. I admire the man's bravery and character, and there are worse things than having an honor-loving soul as president. But the honor-loving soul is not what we need right now.
So, I am weighing three options: 1) Throw my vote away and Vote Libertarian as a protest vote. 2) Don't vote in the presidential contest as a protest. 3) Vote Obama.