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Column: Veep Choices Need To Be Ready To Step In If Needed

This story was written by Lake Morris, The Daily Gamecock

Before Vice President Dick Cheney took office, the position was a dream job for the do-nothings of the world. All one had to do was basically decide tie votes in Congress. Outside of attending cabinet meetings and going to presidential galas, the vice president got the honor of resting in the mansion, chilling in the White House and riding the coattails of the president.

Now, thanks to Cheney and the exponential expansion of the authority of the office, the next vice president will inherit a good deal of power along with the distinct possibility of becoming president if catastrophic events were to happen and the new president, either John McCain or Barack Obama, were to go the way of the dodo.

Let's be serious - whoever wins the presidency faces the grim reality that they may not finish their term. McCain's advanced age has to be a concern for voters, while Obama faces a force that has plagued our country since 1865: racism.

As much as I hate to imagine it, Obama could be the target of an assassination attempt by a rabble-rousing backwoods racist, and if this were to befall him, then Joe Biden would be president. Equally unnerving is McCain falling victim to Father Time, which in turn would result in Sarah Palin taking the oath of office.

I hope and pray that neither McCain nor Obama have to confront this grim nightmare, but a question that should be on all voters' minds come November is, "Who would you feel most comfortable with as vice president and potential president of the United States?"

The best way to answer this question is to examine the credentials and policy ideas of both Palin and Biden. Socially, Palin is a purebred conservative opposed to gay marriage and any type of abortion, and she also has conservative views on fiscal matters.

With Biden, you are getting someone many have called the "number three most liberal Senator." Also, you are getting a guy whose greatest attribute is also his crutch: his running mouth.

Another attribute to consider is their sex. I'm by no means saying that women can't lead. They can, just ask Argentina and Germany. But when dealing with extremist Islamic fundamentalist countries that have disenfranchised women, it probably isn't in our best interest to have a female president whom the Islamic leaders will look down on and scoff at, unless she is tenacious and strikes fear in their hearts.

The American public knows what it is asking for with Biden. The public knows little to nothing about Palin and probably won't learn much in the upcoming debates, since they have been fixed to some extent. Another issue with Palin is her non-speaking terms with the press, and her one legitimate interview with Charles Gibson did not portray her in the brightest light by her own doing. If she can't handle a few reporters, how will she fare against world leaders?

Ask yourself this: "Would I rather have a shark or a pit bull with lipstick in international waters?"

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