I am amazed sometimes, how well American businesses do. This is because the more I learn, from my career and from my graduate coursework, the more I realize that the average business, American or otherwise, is not planned, not effectively organized, and often seeks goals that make no sense. Yet an amazing number of businesses are successful in spite of all that. It’s because if you have the right idea and work hard at it, you can succeed without having to be perfect. That is the message I want to make regarding the vetting of Sarah Palin. Some mistakes were made although in the main the job was done right, her enemies (including the media being incredibly obvious in its partisan support for Obama) have posed outright lies and smears in their attempts to attack her, and in the end the American people will figure out well enough who she is and what she stands for.
John McCain had a while to decide who he wanted for his running mate, just as Barack Obama had several weeks to make his decision. Both campaigns started with a blank sheet of paper, because the person they’d want for their VP selection would depend at least in part on the issues and conditions of the moment, which could not be foreseen. Let’s begin with how Barack Obama chose Joe Biden for his running mate, The International Herald-Tribune’ who calls themselves the ‘Global Edition of the New York Times’, is about as pro-Obama a media outlet as one could hope to find. They published an account of Biden’s vetting on August 24, in which the paper reports that “his top advisers made a concerted effort not to disclose how he made his choice”, that “Obama reached the decision … while on a weeklong vacation to Hawaii. That week, Biden’s strengths in foreign policy were highlighted by the conflict between Russia and Georgia, giving his prospects a further boost”, showing that current events were a critical factor in the decision. The paper further observes that “Biden had some powerful patrons in his corner whose opinions Obama respected, like Rendell; Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the chairman of the House Democratic caucus; and Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts”. So, while Obama’s team made a great noise about Biden’s qualifications, the NYT-styled paper makes clear that Biden was primarily chosen to support an area where Obama saw a potential weak point, that Biden gained the top spot in large part because he had powerful friends in the Democratic Party, and that “what kind of partner I’m getting” was an essential choice. Few details about the actual vetting were released, except that the paper noted that “the vetting team sorted through Biden’s financial statements, political statements and medical records”.
Now, with that in place, the decision to select Sarah Palin may properly be considered and the lies from the Left dispelled through Obama’s own standards. Senator Obama’s campaign has admitted he decided on Biden as his running mate very soon before announcing the choice. That makes sense to me, but it blows apart the claim by some that McCain made a “last-minute” choice on Palin, especially since he made the announcement the week before the GOP convention even began. Lie number one shot down. Obama chose Biden for his foreign policy experience, a logical reason. But that means that choosing a female governor with a high approval rating in her state and a history of fighting against corruption is just as logical for McCain. The idea that McCain was acting emotionally or rashly is just lie number two, and it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Obama chose Biden because he was politically popular with a lot of Democrats, including the union base Obama needs. That makes sense, but of course that makes it reasonable for McCain to choose a VP nominee who is wildly popular with conservatives, whose life experience and personal character are well-suited to attract women voters and independents. So the lie that Palin is less valid than Biden for what she brings to the campaign also goes quickly down in flames.
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Frankly, the Left has gotten pretty desperate in trying to find something to use against Palin. We’re told she’s “under investigation”, but the people who started that slimy rumor leave off that the situation was one in which Palin’s family was threatened, and the investigation has no statutory support for any potential action against Palin – it’s purely political, which makes all the more sense when people find out that Palin fought against corrupt officials in both parties in Alaska, and reformers often make political enemies. We’re told that news people going door to door in Alaska can’t find anyone who was asked about Palin, but that’s because vetting does not work that way. No one asked door-to-door in Delaware to see if Obama’s people chased down Biden’s old teachers or people he went to school with – that’s just another lie because the media knew they were misleading folks in how they portrayed the process. What is happening is what we have seen before, what we have to expect – the MSM has chosen a team, and objectivity be damned. Ironically, that won’t help them, and it could hurt their well-dressed if empty idol, Barack Obama.
If the media treated Sarah Palin the way way that they have treated Joe Biden, then it would be up to Palin to prove she was up to the challenge. Fluff just cannot be mistaken for muscle after a certain amount of time, and facades always fall when the wind blows. But it is a lie, and a stupid one, to pretend that Palin has not been vetted. As Bill Kristol pointed out last night, “The McCain campaign vetted Sarah Palin to the satisfaction of John McCain. He nominated her as his running mate. She is the governor of Alaska. She was vetted by the voters of Alaska“. Fred Barnes pointed out the lies as well, saying “I have been keeping a list of the things that the media has come out with, at least some parts of it that turned out to be wrong, including [the] thing about the Independence party. She wasn’t a member there, she was a Republican the whole time. She didn’t back Pat Buchanan. She was vetted. When you read how thoroughly she was vetted, I am sorry they missed the House Speaker, but I think they hit everybody else up there. They spent days and days up and interviewed her for a long time.”
Three facts have become obvious in the last few days about Sarah Palin:
1. She was properly vetted.
2. She does change the calculus of the election.
3. Judging from the reaction in the media and the Obama campaign, Joe Biden should be as worried as a moose in season.