After the emotional storm passes and reliable and revealing information about John McCain’s choice for Vice-President emerges: we will know for sure how McCain handled the handlers. It has been reported that Joe Lieberman was McCain’s choice for Vice-President.
Handlers are in business to elect politicans. Handlers don’t need a philosophy, poliltical convictions, or a code of conduct. They thrive on candidates with a lot of money, little political knowledge or awareness, and somewhat intimidated by the whole political system. Of course, seasoned politicans hire them too and often listen to them too much. Their accomplished skills are the practice of mind games and media manipulation. Also, they have mechanical and even creative skills in chores like placing of media advertisement.
With handlers in charge campaigns are reduced to gimmickry, vanity headlines, titillation’s, scratch fights, fears, and emotions. Handlers are a major reason campaigns are so hollow, meaningless, unilluminating, unenlightning, and boring. It is also why party associations continuously decrease. And, those who do adhere to parties, and run under the banner, are learning to discount loyalties.
The first thought, for many, of Gov. Palin’s selection was some form of insincerity. Most, it seems, have not given her the benefit of the doubt. Her many critics site her lack of experience over and over. President Truman once said he could go into any city of 20,000 residents and find one person who was intellectually and morally fit to serve as president of the United States. The qualities that make a good commander, according to Truman, is not so esoteric and restricted after all.
I do believe it takes 15 to 20 years to build a congressman. That doesn’t mean you have to serve that long to be effective. But, it does mean your thought development must begin a long time before you take your seat. In Gov. Palin’s case she does have a degree in journalism. Some political thought process, no doubt, have been in place for a long time. Like Truman, I think experience is overplayed, and philosophy, common sense, knowledge, communication skills, and passion are undervalued.
Handlers are typically backward thinkers. They believe their poll numbers for today are likely valid for tomorrow. It seems to me campaigns stay behind the curve, sometimes way back. Handlers try to manage on the basis of a lot of unimportant matters. The unimportant matter for Republicans this year was gender. If a female is chosen just to gather attention that will wear off soon, even if she is a good-looking woman. It is demeaning to women to assume they do not form political decisions on political views, abilities, and stability of candidates.
A valid question has been raised with Gov. Palin nomination. The question is can a mother of five, one a baby, successfully split her family time with that of being Vice-President or even President ? While president, Teddy Roosevelt had a daughter, Alice, who was unruly by that days standards. She smoked, which was very unseemly, and had a loose tongue. Frequently, she embarrassed the president. Finally, Roosevelt’s aides approached him with; something has got to be done with Alice. Can you not control your daughter, they asked. Roosevelt thought, and then said, ” Yes, I can control my daughter”. But, I cannot control her and be president at the same time. Which would you prefer gentlemen? Roosevelt remained as president. Many women combine responsibilities each day in less demanding vocations, but it remains a valid question.
In just 60 days and several forum’s and debates we will be able to measure the handlers, if responsible for Gov. Palin, but we will be able to evaluate Sen. McCain for sure.