McCain?s pick for vice-president comes as a shocker

Chelsea Cody

‘It’s not because John McCain doesn’t care.?It’s because John McCain doesn’t get it.’

Listening to Sen. Barack Obama speak these words as he delivered his eloquent and stirring speech on the final night of the Democratic National Convention caused something inside me to give way. The scornful pessimism that on so many occasions drove me to vilify and speak-ill of Sen. John McCain softened. At that moment, I was convinced that John McCain was merely out of touch, that he was simply unable to understand the needs of the American people.’

McCain ceased to be the evil, conniving, secret-agenda promoting crony of President George W. Bush and instead became an outdated, aged jingoist whose beliefs and methodology merely had no place in the American schema of the future. That was, until the following morning when he announced his selection of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.

Fourteen hours after the close of the DNC, McCain succeeded in doing the one thing that could cut through the dazzling afterglow of Obama’s acceptance speech. He chose a woman as his running mate.

Many critics have called McCain’s choice cynical and view his vice presidential pick as a transparent attempt to win over undecided Sen. Hillary Clinton supporters. Yet, what is truly menacing about McCain’s selection of Palin is the underlying intellectual disconnect that it signifies. Mind you, this is not a circumstantial or generational detachment but a purposeful and discriminatory separation. In other words, John McCain really does not care. He does not get it and he does not want to.

If he ‘got it,’ McCain would give female voters more credit. He would not assume that their endorsement could be so easily won. Anyone voting for a woman simply because she is a woman is working with a flawed premise, particularly so in the current political climate.

Besides, Sarah Palin bears no resemblance to Hillary Clinton. Aside from the fact that they are women, they have raised children and that both have political aspirations, the two are diametrically opposed.

For instance, Palin has never had to deal with the pressure or scrutiny connected to running a national campaign. This could be a problem considering that she is under investigation for using the power of her political office for personal reasons.’ Unlike Clinton, Palin’mdash;an Evangelical Christian’mdash;supports legislation to ban gay marriage and is resolutely pro-life, believing that under no circumstances should a woman undergo an abortion. She is also a proud member of the National Rifle Association.

We could exhaustively argue about the political absurdity of McCain’s apparent reasons for choosing Sarah Palin, but then we would be ignoring one of the more subtle and menacing motivations behind his choice, American oil reserves. The Senator from Arizona’s decision to elect a pro-drilling Alaskan Governor is more than just a coincidence. As McCain has already professed his desire to continue and extend offshore drilling, it is not too farfetched to suggest that he might eventually come around to exploiting ANWR in search of petroleum. Although, we may be too busy arguing over why his pick for vice president is a woman to notice.