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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

“Most Qualified”

Amidst sinking poll numbers for his running-mate, and considerable criticism of his choice of Sarah Palin from conservatives, John McCain’s “amazed” at all the buyer’s remorse. So amazed, in fact, that he’s engaged in a bit of hyperbole in describing Palin’s qualifications:

John McCain called out fellow Republicans who have questioned running mate Sarah Palin’s credentials Tuesday.
“What’s their problem?” McCain asked during an interview with radio host Don Imus.
“She is a governor, the most popular governor in America,” McCain said. “I think she is the most qualified of any that has run recently for vice president.”

Now that’s an interesting claim. If McCain means Palin is the most qualified of all recent vice presidential candidates, then he’s saying she more qualified than former White House Chief of Staff, Congressman, and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney; former Congressman and Senator Al Gore; and his own reputed favorite for vice president, Joe Lieberman.
If he’s saying she’s the most qualified Governor to run recently for vice president, well, that’s another thing. The last sitting Governor to appear in the second spot on a major-party ticket was Spiro T. Agnew in 1968. Palin may well be more qualified than ol’ Ted, who we now know was accepting brown bags stuffed with cash from road contractors before, during and after his first Veep bid.
Want to guess the last time a sitting Governor ran for vice president on the Democratic ticket? 1924, when William Jennings Bryan’s younger brother, Charlie, then Governor of Nebraska, ran with John W. Davis in one of the great electoral disasters of the twentieth century.

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