It is no secret that I do not like John McCain. I opposed him in the Republican Primaries, and when he won, I declared I would not vote for him unless something changed.
No, John McCain didn't admit he was wrong on illegal immigration. He didn't change his mind about embyonic stem cell research. And despite his excellent appearance at the Saddleback Valley Church Presidential Forum with Rick Warren a few weeks ago, I didn't trust him. Honestly, I still don't.
HOWEVER, I have to say that John McCain's choice for his Vice Presidential candidate, the Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, was inspired. No, excellent! Not even close!.... Dare I say perfect?!
Back in the spring, when it became clear that McCain would be the candidate, I prognosticated as to whom he might choose as a running mate. I figured, in keeping with his maverick tendency to "reach across the aisle," he would choose a Joe Leibermann. I feared he might decide to play the "big tent" Republican and choose pro-abortion Tom Ridge. The name of Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, came to mind. But he was deeply needed in his home state in the aftermath of the Katrina debacle. I thought about Sarah Palin, but as quickly as she crossed my mind, I dismissed the possibility. Too Conservative for McCain, too far away from Washington.
McCain finally, happily, surprised me. And tonight, having just watched Governor Palin's acceptance speech at the Convention -- wow. WOW. The whole hockey mom = a pit bull with lipstick... It works! Can she lay it all out! Excellent! Effective! Honest! And did she ever get it right about Barry Obama! I felt like I was watching an old Batman episode -- Zing! Pow! Smack!
I left the Republican Party in 1996. The Republicans have not given me many reasons to return to the party in the last 12 years. If Sarah Palin is the future of the Republican Party, however, I could reconsider my future affliation. At least, I would entertain the idea at the moment.
No, I haven't definitely decided I can vote for John McCain. He is still on the top of the ticket after all. But if he was really "talking straight" at Saddleback Church, and if Governor Sarah Palin is an example of the kind of people he will bring into his administration, I might be able to work with him. We shall see. Regardless, however, I think we will see much more of Governor Sarah Palin, whether as Vice President or in future races for national office. And that's a GOOD thing.