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Column: Priming Palin For 2012 A Grave Mistake For GOP

This story was written by David Ryan, The Daily Athenaeum

From the moment she was announced as Sen. John McCains vice presidential selection, supporters of Sarah Palin defended her anonymity by suggesting that she was a true Washington outsider, someone who could shake up the system for the good of the American people.To everyone else, she was the governor ofAlaska who seemed to be more focused on her husbands snowmobile world record than coming up with concrete ideas for the direction of the country.Almost immediately after her selection, Palin was hit with her first contradiction a video surfacing of her own queries for a possible new job.Can someone tell me what the vice president actually does? Palin asks in the video. A few weeks later,she answered her own question apparently, its to help the president force legislation on Congress (oh, wait, no its not).The campaign immediately switched gears from honin in on that good ole country folksiness and turned it against Sen. Barack Obama, citing his relatively new political career in the Senate in an attempt to deflectcriticism of Palin to him.Palin has more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket combined, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said at the Republican National Convention. Im sorry if Barack Obama thinks her hometown isnt cosmopolitan enough.But for all their deflections, the effort didnt pay off, and Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States along with his vice presidential nominee, Sen. Joe Biden.But as America celebrates the nations first black president and looks eagerly toward the next few months before Inauguration Day, divisions are beginning to appear in the former McCain-Palin ticket conflicts that look to undermine any political future she may have with the GOP and the nations highest office.Palins appointment as vice presidential nominee is shaping itself to be the biggest blunder McCain made in his campaign efforts. Fox News has reported that the Alaskan governor, prior to her nomination, didnt know that Africa was a continent a major head-scratching moment, considering her would-be position in a global power such as the United States.The cable news channel also reported that Palin didnt know who the membersof the North American Free Trade Agreement are. Theres even a hint in the title North America (that's the United States, Canada and Mexico).Newsweek Magazine reported that she exceeded the total cost of her wardrobe purchases for her family by almost $100,000 and McCain wasnt told about it. That, and she leaned on several lower-level staffers to help fund her expenses by putting thousands of dollars on their personal credit cards.I guess its important to look the part when you know you dont really fit it.To be fair to the governor, her selection to the Republican presidential ticket was nothing more than a political ploy to attract women voters from the Democrats who were disheartened by Sen. Hillary Clintons loss of the Democratic nomination.In a race that championed the historic nature of the female presidential candidate, the result was the use of a clearly unqualifiedwoman solely for her gender.It was evidentto anyone who could see past Palin'salarmingly folksy and shame me for saying it cant-take-your-eyes-off-her personality that shewasnot ready enough to serve as the nations second-in-comamnd. Nor was she fit to serve as president, shouldGod forbidanything have happened to McCain.Many reports are coming out saying that Republican leaders are already preparing her for a run in 2012.For a party that has seen yet more losses in Congress and the loss of the nations highest office, this would be a terrible, terrible mistake.Palins history in this presidential election has painted the picture of someone in over her head. She might be a terrific governor, serving the fine people of Alaska well, but she is in no positionno matter how relatable to the average plumberto lead this counry.You cant preach world peace when you cant name its continents. You cant preach fiscal responsibility in times of economic hardships by leaning on staffers to fund purchases with money they dont have.Palin does not represent the image that the Republican Party needs.Sure, she knows how to use a gun. Sure, she has a traditional family. Sure, she fits the folksy model set up by President George W. Bush.But it didnt work, and it wont work again in four years.
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