John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


What a Country!

Posted on July 4, 2009

What a Country!


            I am proud to live a country where someone like Sarah Palin can run for a local political office, win, quit, run for governor, win, get selected to run for Vice President, give a great convention speech, lose the race for Vice President, get in a fight with the folks who ran her campaign for Vice President, and announce the weekend before the Fourth of July that she was going to quit again, and then have people (and smart people, mind you) make the case that she would be a good Presidential candidate.


            Only in America could this happen.


            Perhaps the best thing about Palin’s announcement was the timing.  As the national press, which has minimal high regard for Mrs. Palin’s intellectual gifts, was decamping for their various vacation spots for the long weekend, she screwed up all of those plans by making this bombshell announcement.


            I heard Bill Kristol, who usually is a smart guy, but who must have something for audaciously unqualified people running for President (before he fell in love with Palin, he was the Chief of Staff to Dan Quayle, who by comparison to the Alaskan wonder, looks like a political Einstein), make the remarkable statement that this is the start of the Presidential campaign of 2012.  Really?  So, Mrs. Palin is somehow going to invent some real experience that will give her a plausible platform from which to be President?  Come on, Bill, let’s get serious.


            John McCain made a blunder by selecting Palin.  She was not and is not qualified to be President.  Had McCain picked Tim Pawlenty or Mitt Romney or Tom Ridge or Kay Bailey Hutchinson or any other Republican who is qualified to be President, he would have made the race closer, and he may have won.


            I don’t find myself disagreeing with Mrs. Palin on any big issue, and during the campaign, I was one of her most vocal supporters.  But the campaign is over, and in retrospect, I made a mistake by being one of her most vocal supporters.  She doesn’t have the experience or the temperament or the ability to be President.


            The Republican Party doesn’t do itself any favors by nominating people who pride themselves on being anti-intellectual or inexperienced.  Governing is hard work.  Having expertise is important.  Having real experience is essential. 


            I don’t particularly like the fact that some McCain campaign people are now speaking out of school about Mrs. Palin.  I thought the Vanity Fair piece was not real journalism, but an amateur hatchet job that said more about Todd Purdum’s opinions then about Mrs. Palin’s abilities.  Todd usually does good stuff, so the article itself was a disappointment. 


            The Republican Party seems to be going through a cleansing process.  Folks who would be President are dropping like flies, quitting their jobs, or otherwise getting into some bizarre scandals of one kind or another.


            But America has done as well as it has over the last couple hundred of years because it has a vibrant two-party system that keeps the party in power honest.  So, the Republican Party will eventually come back.  It may take a while, but the Democrats will overreach, or under-reach, or fail, or fall victim to its own scandals.


            I think Palin’s resignation is a good sign for the GOP.  We can now move on to more serious candidates for the White House, and we can shift the focus from her reality-tv-like life to more serious issues that face the country.  Mrs. Palin is right.  She has been a distraction.  Now, it is time to focus less on her soap opera and more on where the Obama Administration really wants to take this country.

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