Oh, that Palin!

Well, she's certainly an exciting pick, but I've got two concerns.

First, does Sarah Palin have the experience to be President of the United States? It's very hard to believe that she does. Even if she turns out to be as brilliant as Barack Obama, brilliance alone is not sufficient for the job. She certainly has done a lot to reform the corruption in Alaska, but she's only just started! She would have been a much more convincing pick if she were just finishing two terms as governor, rather than being midway through her first. I like everything I've read about her, except her level of experience. It makes me nervous.

Second, and related, she undermines McCain's strongest argument against Barack Obama: that Obama doesn't have the experienced to be President. Fact one: Obama wouldn't have been nominated if he weren't black. Fact two: Palin wouldn't have been nominated if she weren't a women. That doesn't mean that blacks and women shouldn't be nominated to the highest offices, but I don't think race or gender should be the overriding factors as they were in these two cases.

Now look, I'm not naive; I understand that the question of governing is only relevant if you can win the election... and Obama's skin color and Palin's reproductive organs help them win. I don't like it, but too bad. Maybe these sorts of "identity" candidates are what's required to get America past its collective guilt over the long-running dominance of white males. If so, maybe that's a benefit in itself. Maybe once we've elected the most attractive tokens we can find, our society will finally banish the spectre of identify politics and be free to promote the most qualified people regardless of race or gender.

*holds breath*

Politico's coverage is excellent. "6 things the Palin pick says about McCain" and "The story behind the Palin surprise".

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