Bridge To Nowhere: John McCain’s Reckless VP Pick

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McCain lacks both the judgment and the temperament to serve as President of the United States. McCain’s desire to pick a woman as a running mate would be noble were it no so obviously calculated. It is an insult to the intelligence of the American people.

[The Real Straight Talk: Election 2008]



Anyone who has closely followed John McCain’s failed and sputtering presidential campaign should not be surprised by his desperate pick of Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.


It is as shameful as it is desperate. John McCain is not a maverick—he is downright arrogant and utterly reckless.


Moreover, it underscores Barack Obama’s contention in his masterful speech at the Democratic Convention that McCain lacks both the judgment and the temperament to serve as President of the United States.


Sarah Palin was a two-term mayor of a small town in Alaska—Wasilla, population 8,471—and has served as the State’s governor for merely 18 months. As recently as 2002, she was defeated in her campaign for lieutenant governor. She is not qualified to serve as Vice President—particularly while John McCain’s health and age are both significant factors in this campaign.


Palin clearly knows nothing of foreign policy and her performance to date in Alaska is checkered at best. She was elected not because of her own credentials, but because of the scandals surrounding her Republican primary opponent, Frank Murkowsky.

This is the person who is to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency?


Moreover, Palin is currently under investigation for the most sordid administrative behavior—her role in a scandal involving the firing of Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan over his reluctance to fire an Alaska state trooper, Mike Wooten—Palin's former brother-in-law who has been involved in a bitter custody fight with her younger sister, Molly McCann. There have been calls for Palin’s impeachment.


There’s an audio tape that confirms interference in the matter by Palin’s staff. Moreover, Monegan claims that he has emails documenting Palin’s attempted interference. As one Alaska political blogger has noted: “It’s all out there in black & white — drunk driving, foul language, illegal moose hunting, an extramarital affair, neighbors peeking in windows, private investigators, death threats, snow-machining on sick days, verbal abuse, and yes, dry tasering an 11-year old so he could see what it felt like.”


He forgot to mention the illegal testosterone supplement and Palin’s brother-in-law flashing his badge and threatening to have a patron thrown out of the Mug Shot Saloon, one of the busiest establishments in Palin’s hometown of Wasilla—whose previous claim to fame, according to Wikipedia, was that it is also the hometown of porn star April Flowers.


It is trailer-trash soap opera at its worse—a unique mix of “Northern Exposure” mixed with “Days of our Lives” and “The Anna Nicole Show.” And Palin is in the middle of it all. She is expected to face a deposition soon.


McCain’s desire to pick a woman as a running mate would be noble were it no so obviously calculated. The choice illuminates how defensive his campaign is in the face of Barack Obama’s historic candidacy. But McCain had plenty of qualified women to pick from the Republican Party (U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and Olympia Snowe come immediately to mind), but his selection of a former beauty queen and Vogue fashion model (dubbed “the hottest governor in the coldest state”) is an insult to the intelligence of the American people.


McCain admitted he had only met Palin on one occasion prior to offering her the No. 2 slot on the Republican ticket. She is the least experienced national candidate in American history.


Is it merely a coincidence that McCain’s wife and his running mate are both former beauty contestants? These are the bonafides that apparently matter most to McCain.


Palin’s politics are hardly ethical—they’re all about greasing the skids of her primary white constituency in scandal-ridden Alaska. On that score she fits perfectly into the Republican mold—she’s pro-oil and anti-environment. Indeed, she’s suing the Federal Government over listing polar bears as a threatened species, in spite of the fact that even the Bush Administration acknowledges the need for such a listing.


At one point she was in favor of Alaska’s so-called “Bridge to Nowhere,” and then she switched gears and opposed it. It was only her opposition that she duplicitously trumpeted in her speech accepting McCain’s offer. While Palin portrays herself as a fiscal conservative, Palin accumulated nearly $20 million in long-term debt as mayor of Wasilla. She’s a fraud—from beginning to end.


Palin’s favorite food is moose meat. She supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and supports aerial shooting of wild bears and wolves. She’s even more out-of-touch with the American people than McCain.


She’s also supported handing over American jobs to Canada to build a major oil pipeline.


She knows nothing of our country’s urban crisis, has zero experience in race relations, and she is pro-gun and pro-life. She’s the darling of the radical right —a conservative extremist who supported Pat Buchanan for President in 1996. And she didn’t support John McCain in the Republican presidential primaries this year. She disagrees with McCain on several key issues, including global warming.


Sarah Palin is all pork and no barrel. But that’s merely on domestic issues. When it comes to foreign policy, she has absolutely zero experience.


This at a time of serious international threats around the world—from Al Qaeda to Iraq, from North Korea to Iran, from Afghanistan to Russia and Georgia, from the Taliban to Pakistan.


Not one day of experience. Not one notch on her resume. None.


Not only is Palin not fit to serve, but by picking Palin as his running mate, neither, apparently, is John McCain. If Barack Obama hit a home run with Joe Biden, McCain has struck out with two out in the ninth inning with Palin. The game’s over—and it’s time to send the Republicans packing.


Sarah Palin is John McCain’s “Bridge to Nowhere.”  Barack Obama was right—McCain just doesn’t get it.





Black Star News political columnist Geoffrey Dunn, Ph.D., is an award-winning filmmaker and journalist; he is the former recipient of both a John L. Senior Fellowship to the Cornell University Graduate School of Government and a National Newspaper Association Award for Investigative Journalism. His most recent film is Calypso Dreams.


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