Monday, September 8, 2008

women and the presidential campaign

I want to say something about the two prominent women in the conventions.
First, Sarah Palin.
I will confess that I do find her frightening. Not only did she excite the GOP to actually (possibly) vote for McCain, but she seems to have charmed the press into quiet googly-eyed submission. Having read something of her policies and beliefs, she is truly scary. She makes W seem centrist (though far from leftist). She is on the extreme kook wing of the GOP. Her denial of science, laid out in my previous post, makes her unqualified to begin with. Her cow-towing to the oil industry is very concerning: do we have another Cheney coming? And her radical stance on hunting reminds me of the John Birch society and worse.

I am not what many would consider "typical liberal" on hunting. In fact, I am a supporter. In the years I lived in Colorado I discovered that hunters were probably the most powerful allies environmentalists could have. But then, I never met a hunter with views like Palin. Most of them agreed that healthy predator populations were important to maintain healthy prey populations, and that hunters and predators (wolves mostly) were interested in different members of a herd. (Hunters: big & healthy; Wolves: weak, sickly, old).

Second, Hillary Clinton
I was pleased that Obama did not choose Sen. Clinton as his running mate. I liked them both as candidates, though I did not consider either of them the best candidate for the Dems, but that is for another post. Clinton would not be a good second fiddle to Obama. First of all, she is not a second fiddle. Second, a VP generally has very limited authority or influence. Only if the president is weak and frightened (like W) can the VP have an important role. Clinton is a powerful senator who can truly have policy impact in the Senate, if she cannot be president. The country will be better off with her in the Senate, and should Obama fail to defeat McCain or be an effective president, Clinton will be waiting in the wings for 2012. That said, I hope Bill Richardson is still in the picture come next election. Although I like Joe Biden, I think Richardson would have been the best VP choice.

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