I'm going to be very blunt, here. I wish Senator McCain a very long and happy life. But, at age 72 with a history of cancer, John McCain may not live through his first term, if elected. That would make Sarah Palin our Commander in Chief. I, and other vets and troops, have about 60 days to determine if she'll grow to be ready.
She's not ready now -- not based on the complete blank resume on global strategic issues and veterans issues. To be fair, Barack Obama wasn't ready to be Commander in Chief when he became Senator in 2005.
But, over the course of the last few years, and the last year-and-a-half in particular, I've been able to soundly judge Senator Obama, and watch him grow into a readied potential Commander in Chief. In the Senate, serving on the Foreign Affairs committee, he's tackled some of the major issues of our time, asking probing and highly informed questions of military leaders and diplomatic leaders.
I've been able to watch his thought process in action, and have seen him been proven right on Iraq, right on Afghanistan, right on talking to Iran, and right on the war on terror. He's shown an incredible ability to think in much larger strategic terms than this president, to the point that I'm supremely confident he is ready to lead our Armed Forces.
Sarah Palin? God only knows.
I've never heard her even address any of those issues, or the veterans issues like the GI Bill, VA Funding, and care for those vets with PTSD, or those who are homeless. Senator Obama has shown an acute understanding of and deep record on each of those issues - cosponsoring the GI Bill, always supporting greater VA funding, backing the Webb-Hagel Dwell Time Amendment (unlike McCain) and writing the Homes for Our Heroes Act, which would take on veterans homelessness.
I have to assume with no real history of judgment of her own on war, Palin will back John McCain's dismal judgment on military and veterans matters - endless war in Iraq, inability or unwillingness to get Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, opposing education benefits and greater VA funding, continued overextension of our military, and a shoot-first/think-later mentality.
Maybe Palin could one day be someone who has the judgment and experience that would make me feel comfortable with her leading our Armed Forces. But not now. Not after just 60 days thinking about those issues, and even then, just toting the party line. What's this say about McCain's judgment - to put political PR above sound judgment when it comes to naming a potential, if not very possible, Commander in Chief? What's it say about his judgment vs. Barack Obama, who faced with the same question, answered, "Joe Biden."
In times like these, with the stakes so high, and the decent chance that McCain might not live long into his first term, I can think of no scarier thought as a proud war veteran than someone with such an empty resume holding in her hands the lives of my buddies still in the service.