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Column: Palin's Record Of Unprofessional Behavior Part Of Her 'executive Experience'

This story was written by Katie Gadient, The Daily Iowan

Try, for just a moment, to forget about the liberal media. If you can, pretend journalists actually want to inform or, at the very least, spark conversation. Are you there? Great.

Sarah Palin is terrifying. She absolutely scares the hell out of me. With every new piece of information I learn about the Republican vice-presidential candidate, the more frightened I become. It keeps me up at night.

There are many people out there who spend a lot of time and effort trying to persuade me that, as a woman, I owe it to my feminist foremothers to support Palin. If that is too much to stomach, I should avoid criticizing her. I find both these options less than palatable. I believe feminism is all about choice. I choose not to support Palin. Furthermore, avoiding criticism or critique of Palin's positions simply because she shares my sex is offensive. The fact that Palin is a heartbeat away from the presidency demands heightened criticism, especially because that heartbeat is aged and not the most reliable pulse to pursue the presidency.

I'm going to overlook the fact that Palin believes creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public schools. I'm going to ignore how old she believes the Earth is or how she justifies dinosaur fossils. All of that panders to a base and has nothing to do with the actual operation of government. I would, however, like to address some other positions Palin ascribes to and consider how beneficial they would or would not be if they were to become the position of the executive branch.

Initially, Palin illustrates her management experience as governor of Alaska and mayor of Wasilla, Alaska as adequate experience for a vice presidential candidate, while deriding Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden as eloquent speakers who have never been in charge of anything. Her managerial experience, therefore, demands reflection.

As governor, Palin claimed scientists had found that global warming had no negative effect on polar bears. Not only did she oppose placing polar bears on the endangered species list, she actually sued the federal government to block such a move. Seriously? Maybe I'm just a granola-chomping tree hugger, but suing the government to keep a species off the endangered species list seems a bit extreme. University of Alaska Professor Rick Steiner thought so, too. He requested to view e-mail messages from Alaskan state scientists who had studies the effect of global warming on polar bears. A Palin administration official told Steiner that his request would cost nearly $500,000 to process. Upon finally obtaining the requested information, Steiner discovered state scientists had determined that polar bears were, in fact, in danger.

What is more, a study of Palin's history when it comes to hiring and firing staff is worth investigation. Palin, taking a page from the Bush administration playbook, is guilty of favoritism. In case we've forgotten what happens when the executive branch engages in nepotism, let me recall Hurricane Katrina and "You're doing a heckuva job, Brownie." Michael Brown, then FEMA chief, assumed the position in 2003. His previous job experience: a decade as the stewards and judges commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association.

As governor, Palin hired at least five classmates for state positions, often at salaries far beyond their private-sector incomes. She appointed a high-school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to a position at the top of the state Division of Agriculture, a $95,000salary position. Havermeister's previous experience: a former real-estate agent. Her cited qualification for the position: a childhood love of cows.

I am a closet science geek -- if my one of my friends becomes a political figure, could I be head of NASA? hat would be sweet.