"I will not say whether Hillary is the absolute best choice for president. I can't, nor can anyone else, know that. But for America at this juncture of our history, at this critical point in our growth, she is the best gender."
—What I said in January.
I've given it 24 whole hours of consideration. I could have decided quicker with a clear head, but I went to bed Thursday night higher than a 747 off the fumes of that incredible convention and acceptance speech, and woke up the next morning with a lingering Barack Obama buzz. It took me until lunch time on Friday to even register that McCain had chosen the Pallid lady ... er, the Praline lady ... whatever ... for his running mate, so I didn't even start thinking seriously about it until mid-afternoon, after I'd had a bite to eat and taken a nap.
Then I thought about it until I went to bed, and all Saturday morning, and by the time Gustav had cleared Cuba and set sail for Louisiana, I'd decided I have to vote for McCain, and for no other reason than he's picked the Parlay (Parquet? Pauline?) lady as the person who will take over the leadership of the United States of America should his 72-year-old saggy butt not-so-unexpectedly kick the bucket.
And remember, I had to have this opinion in to the Boise Weekly by Monday morning at the latest, so this decision was made without watching one minute of what I expect to be the saddest-sack let-down of a political convention in history. I mean, what could Cindy McCain do to follow the vibrant Michelle Obama in Denver? And who in the entire Republican Party can match the energy and eloquence of Hillary or Bill Clinton? And how on Earth do they plan on getting America to forget the eight years of hell Bush and Cheney have put us through? Or John McCain? Is anyone serious about him doing anything with his acceptance speech that could possibly match the inspiration and fire Obama brought to Invesco Field? Maybe if he gets down and does one-arm push-ups like Jack Palance did when he won the Oscar ... well then, maybe. But let's face it, the guy makes Bob Dole look scintillating. Really, Gustav might be the only thing that could have given the country a reason to think about the GOP convention at all.
But I don't need to see any of the GOP convention to know I'm now voting for McCain. Not since he named that Gov. Pallet (Panil? Palish?) to be next in line for the most powerful office on Earth.
Yes indeed, in 24 hours, I went from looking forward eagerly to how Barack is going to give Americans a reason to be proud again, to being McCain's most ardent supporter. (His most ardent supporter at this particular address, at any rate. As of deadline, I was still trying to talk my wife into joining me in the McCain fold. She, like myself, was a huge Clinton supporter and she had a tougher time than me giving up on that. So I'm hoping I can talk her into sticking with the sisterhood and switching her allegiance from Clinton over to this Palpitate (Palindrome?) person like I have. So far, all I've gotten is a "You gotta be kidding, right?")
As to what ultimately tipped me over, I got to thinking back to what I said, and firmly believed, in January, about how much the country needs to move past the notion that women are unqualified for the top job. And after much soul-searching (approximately an hour and a half of it), I decided I still believed in that concept whole-heartedly. Of course, back in January, I couldn't possibly have known that the eminently qualified Clinton would lose, or that the eventual Republican nominee would dredge up possibly the most unqualified woman in all of national politics to be on the ballot with him.
But that's beside the point. The point is, by voting Gov. Pilates into the vice presidency, we can demonstrate that here in America, even the most unqualified woman should have the opportunity to hold the second-highest office, even if she was chosen by a desperate, hair-trigger of a man who smelled certain defeat in his future if he didn't pull an attention-grabbing stunt out of his fanny.
So in that same spirit, I want to lend McCain my own experience with presidential politics, seeing as how I am every bit as unqualified as the Poplin lady—and suggest other highly unqualified women with whom he should consider filling out his cabinet. There is no law that says a candidate can't announce his top appointments before he has actually won the election, and if he chooses as wisely as he did with Gov. Palmetto, and then trots them out like runway models as he campaigns just to show what a way he has with the "gals," I'm convinced he has an excellent chance at snatching up all those remaining Democratic PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) people who are still fuming over Clinton's loss. All eight or nine of 'em.
Following are my picks for the McCain administration cabinet. It didn't take me long to chose them, but as McCain—and Bush before him—have demonstrated so well, a drawn-out, thoughtful process isn't necessary.
For the secretary of the Treasury post, McCain should look no further than his wife, Cindy. Inheriting $100 million doesn't mean she'd know what to do if banks start to fail en masse or the current recession flips into a depression, no. But that "Arizona chic" thing she has going should play well in the battleground state of Utah.
I recommend another babe with tenuous Idaho roots for either secretary of defense or secretary of state. Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd. No doubt de Weerd would be equally competent in either job, and brother, does she know how to pose for pictures. (If de Weerd isn't in, there's always Brandi Swindell.)
Speaking of pictures, since it never hurts to have a litter of kids to march out in front of the cameras, McCain should pick Angelina Jolie for something. Attorney general, maybe. Who knows if Jolie knows anything about the law, but that didn't stop Alberto Gonzales, did it? And having Brad Pitt tag along sure couldn't hurt with those soccer moms, eh?
To appeal to the youth vote, surely McCain could find an important function for Lindsay Lohan. Secretary of Education, perhaps. True, there is no evidence Lohan has ever learned anything, but there is no substantial evidence that the Paltry (Paleo?) lady knows much of anything, either—except for how to get pregnant, of course. And as long as we have entered the Gulf of Dubious Judgment, there is no point in not forging full steam ahead.
More to come.