As to Palin's lack of national security experience, Cindy McCain said, "Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia. So, it's not as if she doesn't understand what's at stake here. It's also about making decisions and be targeted in what she thinks. She has a great mind. And she has a very serious direction in where she goes."
Also defending McCain's running mate choice was Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, passed over by McCain for the No. 2 spot. He called Palin "a maverick with a record of reform."
1. Proximity does not translate into knowledge.
2. Do people know what 'maverick' means?
For the undecideds who are flirting with voting for a McCain/Palin ticket because you think they're somehow not as problematic as Bush (or any other Republican) or an improvement over Obama/Biden on the issues, here's how her image as 'maverick' (i.e., a lone dissenter who takes an independant stance apart from her associates) stacks up to her Rovian image on the issues:
Reproductive Justice: "I am pro-life and I believe that marriage should only be between and man and a woman." (her campaign website, 2006)
The Economy: She's looks like a budget bulldog and balanced Alaka's budget while Governor.
Crime & Punishment: she's pro-death penalty and her goal as governor was to beef up law enforcement
Civil Rights: she doesn't think gays and lesbians need them
Education: pro-No Child Left Behind; school accountability; building a strong work ethic in students; early child care education
Energy (she's on the record most about this): suspend AK 8-cent fuel tax for one year. (Aug 2008); Gasline Inducement Act: 1,715-mile natural gas pipeline. (Aug 2008); Commercialize Alaska's North Slope natural gas. (Aug 2008); Agrees with Obama on more Alaska oil & gas production. (Aug 2008); Windfall oil profits tax prevents investment. (Aug 2008); Lift moratorium on offshore drilling. (Jul 2008); Convinced McCain to drill offshore; not yet on drilling ANWR. (Jul 2008); Unlock ANWR; we're ready, willing and able to contribute. (Jun 2008); Fully fund for the Petroleum Systems Integrity Office. (Feb 2008); $250M for proven alternative energy, including wind & hydro. (Jan 2008); Gas pipelines are approved if they meet Alaska's needs. (Jan 2008); National energy policy not an either/or proposition. (Nov 2007); Fund cellulosic biofuel research in Farm Bill. (Oct 2007); Submitted legislation to build natural AGIA gas pipeline. (Mar 2007); Stranded Gas Development Act no longer applies. (Nov 2006); Get ANWR open. (Nov 2006)
The Environment: Sue US government to stop listing polar bear as endangered. (Aug 2008); We must encourage timber, mining, drilling, & fishing. (Jan 2008); Provide stability in regulations for developers. (Jan 2007); Convince the rest of the nation to open ANWR. (Jan 2007)
Health Care: Health care must be market-and business-driven. (Jan 2008); Take personal responsibility for personal health & all areas. (Jan 2008); Doctors should manage health care, not bureaucracies. (Jan 2008); Personal responsibility & choices key to good health. (Jan 2008); Flexibility in government regulations to allow competition. (Nov 2006)
Homeland Security/War: Armed forces, including my son, give us security and freedom. (Jan 2008); Visits Kuwait; encourages Alaska big game hunting to troops. (Sep 2007); Promote from within, in Alaska's National Guard. (Nov 2006)
Here's the GOP platform, which the Family Rights Council calls the most conservative, pro-family, and pro-life platform in history (you can see the full draft here):
Immigration: calls outright for English to be recognized as official language; thrws out any hope for amnesty; defines immigration as a national security issue (Palin does not seem to have any position on immigration - yet. How much you think she's going to veer away from this plank?)
The Environment/Energy: the platform weakly acknowledges there is some 'warming effect' in carbon emissions but also cautions against 'doomsday' scenarios 'peddled' by 'aficionados' of a centralized control/spend gov't (I guess that would be us. We're aficionados. Can't you just see the sneer?) It also calls for offshore drilling and avoids mentioning ANWR.
The War: interestingly, the GOP appears nearly to avoid any mention of Iraq - only aying that national security is the first priority of gov't and shouldn't be micromanaged by a platform or Congress (or aficionados, either, I expect.)
Social Issues: women, gays and lesbians get thrown under the bus again and there's the de facto protest against stem cell research. Yup. That's as much social issues as you get with the GOP. Nothing about poverty, healthcare, economic empowerment, equal pay - nothing. Just abortions and gays.
Do you really think Palin, an evangelical Christian, is going to oppose any of these positions?