Palin Cited By Newspapers As One Of McCain's Biggest Mistakes
And of the myriad mistakes made by McCain since he secured the Republican nomination from their confused field of empty GOP suits, the majority of newspapers urging readers to vote for Obama in two weeks cite the faux maverick's choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate as a major executive decision that made them question his fitness for the presidency.
To be sure, the endorsements offer enthusiastic support for Obama and his platform for change but it's hard to miss how many of them use phrases like " clearly unqualified" to describe Palin and call McCain's choice "reckless," "appalling," a "disaster" and "…an insult to the American people."
Here's some examples from around the country:
Salt Lake Tribune
"Then, out of nowhere, and without proper vetting, the impetuous McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. She quickly proved grievously underequipped to step into the presidency should McCain, at 72 and with a history of health problems, die in office. More than any single factor, McCain's bad judgment in choosing the inarticulate, insular and ethically challenged Palin disqualifies him for the presidency."
"If elected, at 72, he would be the oldest incoming president in U.S. history. He's in good health now, we're told, although he has withheld most of his medical records. That means Gov. Sarah Palin could very well become president.
"And that brings us to McCain's most troubling trait: his judgment.
"While praiseworthy for putting the first woman on a major-party presidential ticket since Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, his selection of Palin as a running mate was appalling. The first-term governor is clearly not experienced enough to serve as vice president or president if required. Her lack of knowledge is being covered up by keeping her away from questioning reporters and doing interviews only with those considered friendly to her views."
San Francisco Chronicle
"McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has been largely sequestered from the news media since her selection in late August. She has yet to have anything resembling a traditional news conference, where the full range of her knowledge and views can be explored. Her avoidance of questions and reliance on cue-card talking points in the one vice presidential debate did nothing to allay doubts about whether the 44-year-old governor of two years is capable of assuming the reins of the presidency. Her selection was but an act of political calculation by McCain."
"A turning point came during the Republican convention, when he chose a long-shot for a running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, out of an apparent need to appease the right wing of the party. For all of her rhetorical skills on the campaign trail -- particularly in the attack mode -- Gov. Palin appears to know little about the issues and simply is not qualified to be commander in chief."
"Columnist William Kristol, a longtime McCain backer, calls the McCain campaign 'close to being out–and–out dysfunctional,' concluding that 'its combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence has become toxic.'
"And of course, the most unfortunate evidence of that 'strategic incoherence and operational incompetence' was McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, a person utterly unprepared for the high post in question."
"McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate -- but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. His campaign has tried to stage-manage Palin's exposure to the public. But it's clear she is not prepared to step in at a moment's notice and serve as president. McCain put his campaign before his country."
"And then there's Sarah Palin. The Alaska governor is great at firing up conservative crowds and gave McCain's campaign a shot in the arm. But, for all her charms, she is starkly unqualified to be president. Her mastery of the challenges go no deeper than reciting talking points."
San Jose Mercury News
"McCain, 72, says he will better protect America from foreign threats. But his first major decision, choosing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for vice president, was reckless and put ambition ahead of national security. Palin is unqualified for the office; her folksy but not embarrassing showing in the vice-presidential debate doesn't change that fact."
"Sen. McCain, who has a long record of distinguished service to his country, has compromised his principles to get elected. His reckless choice of Sarah Palin, the folksy but untested and incurious governor of the country’s most government-dependent state, as his running mate is a prime example."
Detroit Free Press
"But since late summer, the campaign has been marked by stunts and gimmicks, gaffes and shifts that call into question McCain's temperament and, most of all, his judgment.
"One of his greatest miscalculations was the selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, a pick McCain made after just two meetings and a phone call with the Alaska governor, not yet two years into her first term… in the weeks since her selection, she has been revealed as not much more than a sideshow, someone with very limited range on issues and almost none of the depth expected in a cabinet secretary, let alone vice president, or president."
Kansas City Star
"Despite his age and previous health problems, McCain chose a vice presidential candidate who is so clearly unqualified for high office that the thought of her stepping into the presidency is frightening. That irresponsible decision casts serious doubt on McCain’s judgment at this point in his political career. And over the past eight years, Americans have come to know, all too well, the high price of carelessness and ineptitude in the White House."
Las Vegas Sun
"McCain’s selection of Palin is now viewed as a disaster. For starters, it’s an understatement to say she embellished her reputation as a reformer.
"Initially she claimed she helped kill the infamous piece of pork in Alaska known as the Bridge to Nowhere. But she supported it wholeheartedly until a furor in Congress erupted over federal funding to build the bridge. Only after it was clear Congress was going to cut funding for the bridge did she oppose it. Some reformer.
"In what few interviews the McCain campaign has risked letting Palin give to the media, she has demonstrated how little she knows and understands about complex domestic and international issues… Palin should never have been considered for the vice presidency, the proverbial heartbeat away from the presidency. McCain’s selection of Palin demonstrated a profound lack of judgment and is an insult to the American people."
"We once considered McCain, when he was an independent thinker focused on issues, as a very serious contender for American leadership; his selection of the unqualified Palin for a post a heartbeat away from the presidency rules that out."
Cleveland Plain Dealer
"In their first debate, McCain haughtily said that Obama did not understand the difference between strategy and tactics. His campaign suggests that he doesn't, either.
"Take his selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. McCain seemed too caught up in the game-changing possibilities of teaming with a woman reformer to scratch the smiling surface. Had he, McCain might have realized that Palin is utterly unprepared for the job he offered -- let alone the one that might fall to her. His trust in her undermines our trust in him."
"In the first major choice made by any nominee, Obama showed considerably better judgment. His pick for running mate, Joe Biden, has an extensive background, especially in foreign policy, and the clear capacity to be a significant asset to an Obama administration, much as Al Gore was to Bill Clinton.
"McCain's choice, in stunning contrast, has a background of a year and a half as governor of Alaska, and has claimed, with a straight face, that she has national security credentials because from Alaska you can see Russia. Supporting her, McCain has offered the equally jaw-dropping claim that Sarah Palin knows more about energy than anyone else in the United States.
"Having Palin a heartbeat from the presidency makes our own heart miss a beat."
"The aging McCain chose an obscure running-mate from the extreme fundamentalist fringe of his party. But Obama wisely picked Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., who has in-depth foreign policy experience."
"Perhaps the worst mistake McCain made in his campaign for the White House was the choice of the inexperienced and inflammatory Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. Had he selected a moderate, experienced Republican lawmaker such as Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison with a strong appeal to independents, the Chronicle's choice for an endorsement would have been far more difficult."