McCain's Swift Choice
"Way to go, son. You did what I only wish I can do."
(Morra Aarons-Mele beat me to it at the HuffPo last month but you have to give me credit for at least thinking along parallel lines.)
Forget Harriet Meirs. This is Jane Swift redux.
Ironically, in choosing political nonentity Sarah Palin to be his running mate, John McCain may find the freshman Alaska Governor to be the media lightning rod the McCain campaign has been successfully avoiding.
Rumors and perhaps even facts of McCain's investigative laziness in not vetting a woman who, just 20 years ago, was reporting on the Iditarod for a local tv station, have from the start been coming out. We're hearing from McCain's own people that she's being vetted by a fact-finding team as seriously as Alaskan state authorities investigating the brewing Monegan/state trooper scandal.
So why're McCain's people waiting until now to check into her spottier and spottier background well over a week after McCain picked her to be his running mate? And why would he pick someone whom he'd met only once before deciding on her?
In many ways, this is reminiscent of Paul Cellucci picking Jane Swift to be his running mate during his one gubernatorial campaign in 1998. Swift was one of a lengthening line of Republican women chosen by Republican white men who from time to time feel it politically expedient to show their progressive bona fides.
What Cellucci didn't factor in while making his choice of a running mate was his own ambition. A state's Lt. Governor, after all, is as devoid of purpose and relevancy as the Vice President used to be and Cellucci, a man about as bright as the glow on Jane Swift's face during her pregnancy, never seemed to have given a thought as to what would happen if he suddenly took a powder.
Which is precisely what happened when the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee in 2001 saw fit to send Cellucci packing for Ottawa in his quest to become our ambassador to Canada.
That left Jane Swift (like Sarah Palin) a freshman Governor and new mother with no experience in running much of anything larger than her household. The scandals began immediately in Cellucci's wake. Swift (again, like Palin) abusing the Governor's office in state police-related improprieties. Allegations of incompetence. Before election day, this otherwise smart lady was so clearly out of her depth that our second consecutive acting governor ended her candidacy.
All because of a stupid white Republican man's ambition. Let me know if this is starting to sound familiar.
Let's forget for a minute that, after safely dodging Bush and Cheney's speeches during the opening day red banner waving, McCain and Palin are already abandoning their pledge to accept the nomination via satellite on the Gulf Coast.
The truly hilarious thing is that McCain's sleepy but nonetheless ravenous ambition is such that he's even publicly shaking the hand of the hockey player who knocked up his running mate's underaged daughter and isn't even old enough to vote for him. The Crazy Base World who have made teen sexual abstinence a fetishistic mantra be damned.
The McCain campaign is already snapping at the press for being so "critical" of his running mate, whining that the "faux media scandal (is) designed to destroy the first female Republican nominee" and that "this nonsense is over." Yes, the Republican party actually has the nerve to play the gender card on behalf of the first female Republican presidential running mate.
In other words, don't look too closely at how we didn't look too closely into her past before McCain's over-the-shoulder dart hit the political dartboard. And the GOP will rally around her tonight as if she's the greatest thing since Margaret Thatcher on fucking roller skates.
Then again, McCain could've brought a pap smear to St. Paul with him and the Republicans would rally around both McCain and the slide in his pudgy fingers as long as the cervical cells had an "R" after its name. The roar that you'll hear from the idiots on the floor will be that of amplified desperation.