And there's not much in this column as Jack's just putting in his two cents for who should be Senator McCain's running mate. I'll save you some time: He thinks it should be the current Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.
Just some background on the 49th state. While it's HUGE (by my math, Alaska is about the size in square miles of Texas, California, Montana and Utah - combined), the population is only about 683,000. In contrast, Pittsburgh has a population of just over 300,000 and Allegheny County about 1.3 million. Nearly twice as many people in Allegheny County as there are in the whole state of Alaska.
At 44, Sarah Louise Heath Palin is both the youngest and the first female governor in Alaska's relatively brief history as a state. She's also the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating that has bounced around 90 percent.
This is due partly to her personal qualities. When she was leading her underdog Wasilla high school basketball team to the state championship in 1982, her teammates called her "Sarah Barracuda" because of her fierce competitiveness. Two years later, when she won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant, she was also voted Miss Congeniality by the other contestants.
Sarah Barracuda. Miss Congeniality. Fire and nice. A happily married mother of five who is smart and drop dead gorgeous.
But it's mostly because she's been a crackerjack governor, a strong fiscal conservative and a ferocious fighter of corruption, especially in her own party.
Alaska also represents 3 electoral votes. With Governor Palin's sky high (and they really are) poll numbers I guess Jack thinks it's a shoe in she'll be able to deliver on those 3 electoral votes come November.
Actually, I do need to do a wee bit of fact-checking on Jack. He writes:
"The landscape is littered with the bodies of those who have crossed Sarah," pollster Dave Dittman told The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes.And here's the original from The Weekly Standard (it's from 7/16/07, by the way):
In the roughly three years since she quit as the state's chief regulator of the oil industry, Palin has crushed the Republican hierarchy (virtually all male) and nearly every other foe or critic. Political analysts in Alaska refer to the "body count" of Palin's rivals. "The landscape is littered with the bodies of those who crossed Sarah," says pollster Dave Dittman, who worked for her gubernatorial campaign. [emphasis added]Isn't that something that Jack should probably have pointed out? The statement may indeed be true, but without those six words one might be left with the notion that Mr Dittman is a disinterested observer, that he's more or less objective, that he doesn't have a vested interest in the discussion.
Running down the quotation in The Weekly Standard, I stumbled across something else. It's pretty obvious where Jack got some of his research on Governor Palin. It's more or less directly from Fred Barnes. Check out what Jack wrote again:
Now take a look at what Barnes wrote in 2007:
When she was leading her underdog Wasilla high school basketball team to the state championship in 1982, her teammates called her "Sarah Barracuda" because of her fierce competitiveness. Two years later, when she won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant, she was also voted Miss Congeniality by the other contestants.
But goshers that's close! Shouldn't Jack have added a few "According to Fred Barnes..." qualifiers in there? It would look less like he's passing this stuff off as his own.
Gov. Palin grew up in Wasilla, where as star of her high school basketball team she got the nickname "Sarah Barracuda" for her fierce competitiveness. She led her underdog team to the state basketball championship. Palin also won the Miss Wasilla beauty contest, in which she was named Miss Congeniality, and went on to compete in the Miss Alaska pageant.
He's also none-too-clear in another place:
Aside from the completely laughable proposition that the current Congress is corrupt and "do-nothing" (as opposed to say, the last Republican-led, Mark Foley corrupted, real-life do-nothing Congress), can someone please read through the column and tell me where Strassel even mentions Governor Palin?
Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal said Mr. McCain should run against a corrupt, do-nothing Congress, a la Harry Truman. If he should choose to do so, Ms. Palin would make an excellent partner.
Bottom line. Palin is also a two term Mayor, one term Governor of a state with a population smaller than that of Allegheny County. Isn't one of the criticisms of the Democratic Candidate that he doesn't have enough experience? Never mind. Such subtlety is usually lost on Republicans. It's certainly lost on Jack.
There's also another reason why Governor Palin might not want to be McCain's VP: She gave birth only seven weeks ago.
Doesn't Jack Kelly believe in maternity leave? He'd have a sitting Governor with a new 2-month old flying across the country in what has to be the most grueling campaign schedule on the planet.
Nice going, Jack. You're all heart.