Spinning out of control
I am drawn to politics at this time of year, but it also really bugs me. I'm not going to pretend to be completely objective, but the selection of Sarah Palin is pretty interesting as McCain's VP. I actually have no problems with Ms. Palin. From what I can see, she hasn't tried to be anything other than herself. Clearly, her background is atypical of the usual running mates. It was an interesting decision for McCain to make. We'll see how she weathers the non-stop scrutiny of the election process.
But, the part that bugs me about politics is the senseless spin. If you look at Sarah Palin's background, it's clear that she doesn't have any real foreign policy experience. According to this article in today's Boston Globe, she didn't get a passport until 2006 when she needed one to visit some Iraqi troops. For a small-town Alaskan mayor, that's probably not unusual. And, it seems that Governor Palin has been focused on domestic issues in Alaska, which her constituents seem to appreciate. Hey, I don't want Massachusetts Governor Patrick worrying about foreign affairs, either.
Why then do the spinmeisters try to portray her international experience as "being right next to Russia" and "commanding the Alaskan National Guard"? That obviously doesn't qualify as experience. Now, die-hard Republicans don't need the spin. they are going to support just about anyone the party puts up. It seems to me that the battle is over those in the middle.
Do you convince the voters in the middle by spinning to them about the candidate's qualifications? The spin is so strong that it borders on lying. Or, do you convince them by saying "she's a high-energy maverick who has done a great job running as governor and understands the needs of every day Americans. She'll be a great asset on domestic issues and will quickly come up to speed on international issues"? That to me is the Republican positive view of Palin. So, why risk convincing someone who might be open minded with something that sounds ridiculous? Maybe it works, which is a sad commentary on our electorate.
For a funnier view of spinmeisters getting caught in their own spin, check out last night's Daily Show (why don't real media types hold these folks accountable?).