Sarah Palin: The Truth is Out There
Wednesday Morning Political Rambling

One Alaskan Woman’s Opinion on Palin

Here is one Alaskan woman's perspective on the candidacy of Sarah Palin for VPOTUS. It is lengthy but please read it in its entirety.

An Alaskan Woman's Perspective on Sarah Palin

by Mary Clare Andrews

I am a fifty-five year old woman living in Fairbanks, Alaska. I wish to voice my strong disapproval of the choice of Sarah Palin as the Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate. I expressed total disbelief when McCain selected her, as did most people in my life. Never in my wildest dreams had I considered her to be even remotely qualified to be our nation's vice-president, much less our president should that ever be the unfortunate case. I have chosen to write down my thoughts and concerns and to share them with other voters in our state and nation. I want people to know what an Alaskan resident thinks about this choice and why. I have lived here for 30 years, and yes, my family enjoys many activities in the outdoors and in the wilderness. We own guns, we hunt, we fish, we enjoy moose burgers and caribou and salmon and halibut. We pick blueberries and cranberries and harvest gardens. We have sailed in Prince William Sound, the Gulf of Alaska and in Southeast Alaska. We have hiked and kayaked in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other wilderness areas. We are active citizens, always vote, have raised two children here, and are proud to live in Alaska. But Governor Palin would never be our choice vice-president.

Yes, she was a mayor of a small town in Alaska with a small population of under 7000 during her tenure. She was elected with less than 700 total votes. Now she is the governor of our state which has less than 700,000 total residents, and has been so for only 18 months. She was elected with a total of 114,697 votes. Slightly over 239,000 people voted, the lowest voter turnout since 1990. You know, 17 cities in the U.S. have populations greater than the entire state of Alaska! Being Governor of Alaska is like being mayor of a U.S. city where only 239,000 people voted! She's been learning about government in a small isolated town, and in a state with a small, and isolated population. A small population base makes for a small and often less selective candidate pool. Her experience from a national and world perspective truly is miniscule. It does not make her ready to be a major player on the world stage.

The more I have learned about this candidate since her selection, the more concerned I have become, both about what she is and what she isn't. Many of my friends, both male and female, have echoed my concerns. Her characterization of her few government accomplishments is disengenuous to put it lightly. She has reaped the benefit of state coffers that are nicely in the black simply due to the state's royalty share of oil profits. Outrageous world oil prices have given us a budget surplus, not policies from Sarah. She has not had to balance the budget or overcome deficits. She has actually increased our budget considerably. She has not cut our taxes. Alaska does not even have an income tax, nor state sales taxes. What taxes is she talking about? She was definitely for the "Bridge to No Where" until the very last minute and Alaska has kept the money allocated for that project. She has been an active supporter of other earmark funds as well. I am concerned about her national misrepresentation of herself.

During the last year and a half our state has been getting to know this new governor. Her relatively high approval rating may well be due to the "honeymoon" effect of her short tenure to date. That "honeymoon" was starting to end, however, since even before this VP nomination. Questions had already been raised by Alaskans about Palin and her professionalism and judgment. Topics that were already newsworthy concerns even before this selection include: unprofessional and disrespectful talk show behavior, rocky relationships with other elected women in government, and actions against government employees based on personal vendettas. However, most people were still giving her the benefit of the doubt, or, having been so busy living and working, they had paid little serious attention to state government or to Sarah. Plus, of course, when state coffers are overflowing and both permanent fund and energy assistance checks are in the mail (totaling over $3000 per person), constituent approval is understandable.

I do not ever want to be for or against a candidate simply because of age, race, religion, or gender. I do not want to vote for a candidate simply because I can "relate" to him/her. I can relate to many of the parents of my children's friends. I can relate to women who have been soccer moms, hockey moms, homework moms, PTA moms, orchestra moms,…… as I have been. I can relate to the women in my thirteen year old book group. I can relate to people who enjoy singing, and dancing, and music. I can relate to my coworkers and colleagues. I can relate to these people in my life, but I don't want to select any of them as my vice-president or president simply because I can "relate" to them. So far Sarah has not let me know what she truly thinks and believes about important issues. During her speeches, she simply replays what she said at her convention speech. I can only assume that she wants my vote based on gender, her religious views, her less than honest portrayal of her accomplishments as small town mayor and governor of a state with a small population, and because she can deliver caustic jabs at her opponents.

Despite her assertion that she is for honest and transparent government, she is apparently not willing to be transparent as a vice-presidential nominee. She has not yet answered any serious queries by the press so that I can get to know more about her other than Alaskan issues and "scandals", her family matters, as well as her views on abortion, sex education and contraception. I want her to answer serious questions so that I can learn her views on important issues and about why she believes she is prepared for this position. The fact that she has hired a lawyer in regards to "Troopergate" makes me wonder how upfront she wants to be with this ethics investigation. Or, does she just want to stall this inquiry until after the election?

I want any candidate I vote for to be one of the best thinkers and decision-makers our country has to offer. I want them to be someone who can be respectful, who can unify, who can consider all sides of an issue, who can listen, who can evaluate, who can learn from the past. I want a candidate who can be respected both from within our country and from without. I now know that Sarah went to five colleges and then graduated with a degree in journalism and a minor in political science. I would like to know more about her background as a serious student and a deep thinker. If her grades were good or if she participated in university level organizations, this would be one way for me to know about her intellect. I have not yet seen a release of her GPA and most colleges where she attended can't remember much about her. I want to hear her speak intelligently and "off the cuff" on many issues before I know whether she has the intellect for national office.

So far, most of her comments and her demeanor in the national spotlight have been sarcastic and divisive. This is not what I want in a national leader. She has been praised for becoming McCain's "pit bull" and talking tough. But you know, if she can talk tough, she needs to truly be tough. Why isn't she talking to the press on her own? Why is she able to dish it out yet is afraid to take it? The fact that McCain's campaign says she needs to get ready to talk to the press, that she needs to prepare, and that the press needs to treat her with "deference" only shows me that she's not ready to be on the national stage on her own. This is not what I want in my vice-president or possible president. She needs to be ready to face some truly formidable characters in many different regions of the world, with very high stakes at risk. How can she be ready for those sorts of confrontations if she can't even "face" her own country's press? How can she say she is for transparency in government if she refuses to open herself up to the press? Whether or not she has been under scrutiny for her personal life, she can't hide from the press. She accepted this scrutiny when she accepted the nomination. Believe me, even more intense scrutiny comes with the job, even more than when interviewing for the job. How can I continue to interview her for this job, which is what I believe a campaign is about, if she won't even answer my questions via "the press"? If she is elected, will she also feel that she has no obligation to speak with the press? Scary thought. As a woman, I want a female candidate to believe in herself and to feel confident and comfortable talking to the press. She is letting the McCain campaign treat her as a "fragile flower" even as they use her as their "pitbull". A strong and confident woman would insist on talking to the press for herself. If she can't handle this scrutiny, or this pressure, what will she do in a national crisis?

The more I learn about Sarah Pallin, the more I believe that she has not put "Country First" when she accepted this nomination. Sarah has not been honest about her accomplishments. She has not been realistic about her educational preparation. She has not been realistic or transparent about her knowledge and preparation for dealing with the national economy. She has not been realistic or transparent about her knowledge and preparation for dealing with world affairs. She is not ready to face her own country's press much less world leaders and the world press. She is not prepared for this important national and world position and SHE SHOULD KNOW THIS! Is she flattered by the nomination and unable to see beyond her ego that she is unqualified? Is she complicit in realizing that she is not qualified yet is simply being used as bait for the religiously conservative fundamental and female votes? My conclusion is that Sarah is in this for Sarah. She's willing to sell our country out for the glory of the nomination and for the chance at being a Republican window dressing. She won't be getting my vote!

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