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Column: McCain Choices Show Lack Of Leadership

This story was written by Gerald Cox, Badger Herald

Perhaps it was when he picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Perhaps it was when he insisted that the fundamentals of our economy are strong. Perhaps it was when he refused to mention the middle class in either the first debate or in his acceptance speech.

Perhaps it was when he suspended his campaign to go to Washington, and did absolutely nothing for the American people. But over the past month or so, if youre anything like me, youre beginning to realize the biggest problem with Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain is that he just doesnt have the judgment necessary to be your president.

Democrats have been wringing their hands ever since Palin was chosen as McCains running mate. She was the Republican Obama. A key difference, however, between Palin and Obama is that the more one hears from Obama, the more one respects his understanding of the issues. One wishes to hear more.

The more one hears from Palin, the less one wants to hear from Gov. Palin.

In choosing Palin, Sen. McCain revealed he lacks the judgment to choose the most important person in his administration.

Palin has a shocking and embarrassing dearth of knowledge. Honestly, her growing repertoire of YouTube videos is beginning to make President Bush look like a genius. I get the same feeling watching her interviews as I get when I watch a figure skater fall: discomfort and embarrassment at their misfortune.

Yes. I watch figure skating.

A few snippets of her recent interview with Katie Couric will have you feeling terribly worried that the world may someday judge your country by her words and actions. Theres a lot of things even a president doesnt know he or she has advisers for those sorts of things but when you look at best like a high school student who didnt read a single book or attend a single class all semester when trying to explain your own argument for your own foreign policy experience, theres a fundamental problem with your ability to act effectively as an international leader.

McCain, with his 26 years of experience in Congress, doesnt have that issue. He has an understanding and control of the issues that befit a leader of his stature. He has the number of cars and homes befitting his pedigree. The problem with McCain isnt a jaw-dropping lack of knowledge and understanding. Its a fundamental lack of the judgment necessary to lead our nation in the 21st century.

Were he to win, McCain will have handcuffed Americans with a vice president who simply cannot be taken seriously by members of her own party, much less world leaders. She would be a vice president who could in no way advance McCains agenda with an unwilling Congress. He has chosen someone who cannot offer any sort of counsel beyond the intricacies of the welfare-like nature of the Alaskan economy.

Even McCains choice of words makes a reasonable observer question his decision-making abilities. Of note is McCains puzzling reluctance to address the broad swath of the American public known as the middle class. McCain seems to have gone out of his way to avoid those words that describe over 80 percent of the people hes attempting to lead in either of his high-profile opportunities to address the nation. During a debate that consisted of about 40 minutes of discussion on the economy and his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, he did not mention the words middle class a single time.

Just two weeks ago, as Lehman Brothers was failing, and Wall Street was inching toward the abyss, John McCain insisted that the fundamentals of our economy were still strong. Only a week later, he proclaimed the economic crisis to be the greatest crisis weve faced, clearly, since the ed of World War II. Whoa, there, whatever happened to those strong fundamentals?

A week after that, in dramatic, erratic, McCainiac fashion, he suspended his campaign, crossed the mighty Potomac, arrived in D.C., and had absolutely no positive impact in working out one of the most important pieces of legislation of the next few decades.

Meanwhile, rumor has it McCain is going to jump a motorcycle over 25 buses on Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!

Imagine if McCain were the CEO of a prestigious Wall Street firm. With such financial acumen and superb hiring decisions, hed either fit right in, or be run out of town with a few million dollars.

It is a pity that throughout the course of his campaign a man so experienced, and at moments, so willing to sacrifice for his country, has so aptly exemplified how strangely and poorly hed lead. Look on the bright side: he may have the judgment of a pay-per-view fight promoter, but at the very least hed keep the world entertained.