With the great support both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton received during the primary, John McCain and his staff finally realized something: You mean there are other people in this country besides white men?
And so McCain has chosen Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. I don't for a second believe that this decision means that McCain gives a damn about issues that most women care about.
It doesn't change the fact that he thinks people who make $2 million a year are part of the middle class. It doesn't change his too-often support of President George W. Bush's policies. It doesn't change his eagerness to drill offshore for oil, thereby harming more of our already damaged environment. It doesn't change his support of the ill-planned, deceptively begun Iraq war.
No, McCain is still McCain, part of the Good Ol' Boy Republican machine.
Palin does veer from the Good Ol' Boy stereotype. She is a former beauty pageant contestant, so she looks good and speaks well. She's also young, which will help counter McCain's age. She has criticized ethics violations by Alaska's Republican leaders.
Like the Good Ol' Boys, though, Palin holds a lifetime membership in the National Rifle Association, and her record for caring about animals is abysmal.
She supports aerial hunting of wolves and bears, in which hunters fly over the animals and shoot them. The program is justified by claiming it's "aimed at boosting moose and caribou populations for hunters."
Three days ago Alaskans were asked for the third time to ban aerial hunting of wolves -- the first two times Alaskans voted to end the horrific practice. In those cases the Alaska Legislature caved to animal-abuse special-interest groups and reinstated the killing. This time Palin approved spending $400,000 to "educate" Alaskans about aerial hunting, and the ballot initiative failed.
Palin also hunts, ice fishes, eats moose hamburgers and supports the cruel Iditarod, in which several dogs die each year, not counting those who are bred for the "sport" but don't make the cut.
In 2004 USA Today sports writer Jon Saraceno wrote this about the Iditarod:
The economic impact to Anchorage, site of the ceremonial star, is estimated at more than $5 million. [...] The dogs, of course, get their usual take. More suffering."While I'd love to see a woman hold a high office, it can't be just any woman. She has to share my values. And let's not forget: We're voting for president. It's John McCain vs. Barack Obama. Their running mates are simply window dressing.