Charita Goshay: McCain’s ‘Maverick’ reputation conflicts with pick for VP

Charita Goshay

To say that Gov. Sarah Palin isn’t ready to be vice president of the United States is not to imply she is unintelligent, unworthy or a bad person. It also isn’t sexist, elitist or anti-Jesus.

I get her appeal; I do. You can’t buy that kind of charisma. I even like the way she dresses, especially since I’m not paying for it.

What I don’t get is how anyone could possibly think she’s any more equipped to be vice president than Dan Quayle was.

Palin’s ardent supporters -- many of whom didn’t know her from Adam’s house cat 58 days ago -- argue that as a mayor, and governor of Alaska for two years, she has more executive experience than Sen. Barack Obama.

True. She also has more executive experience than the top of her own ticket.

What do you know?

We know President George W. Bush had eight years of executive experience before he stepped into the presidency, and four years more, upon his re-election. In contrast, Abraham Lincoln had zilch.

Knowing what you know, whom do you think history will judge as the better president?

This tells us that although experience is invaluable, the quality of that experience also matters.

It’s also about the overall depth of one’s knowledge, and that’s not something for which you can “cram.” It’s about vision, curiosity and how you view the world, not just what you know about it.

For those of us who have long admired McCain for his political courage, his latest turn is disappointing. It’s unfathomable that someone who would swear to his own hurt to maintain his independence would crawl into bed with the same hired guns who lied about his daughter, smeared his wife and all but tagged him as a head-case.

Divide, but diminished

By allowing them to steer his campaign into the murky depths, he has made himself an accessory to the kind of campaigning that causes people of good conscience to avert their eyes.

Every time he stands idly by as Palin and others deepen the divide by way of “code” words and innuendo, he becomes a little more diminished.

It’s regretful to see a politician who always enjoyed sparring with his “base,” the media, behaving like a spurned boyfriend because some stopped fawning and started reporting.

Supporters still waving the “experience” banner open themselves up two obvious questions: If it’s such a concern, why didn’t they bang the drum for an Olympia Snowe, Kay Bailey Hutchison or even a George Voinovich?

Also, if experience really is a deal-breaker, why didn’t more of them vote for McCain over Bush in the first place?

No one can argue that John McCain has spent his life putting his country first -- which is exactly why Sarah Palin makes no sense.

Reach Charita Goshay at