Sarah Palin, John McCain's choice for running mate, will (finally) sit down and face the type of probing questions we want all our candidates to answer. Charles Gibson of ABC News will get the first interview, at an undisclosed date and time, but later this week. When this happens, it will have been over two weeks that the McCain campaign has sequestered her from answering questions before the American people.
While some in the GOP have wondered if they can switch the ticket to Palin-McCain based on her rocketship trip to national and international fame and interest (wait, is she not now a 'celebrity candidate' running for the second highest position in the land? We had better not hear any more ads about an Obama celebrity run, now that he has been in the pressure cooker of a national campaign for over 1.5 years, and has taken on hundreds of interviews on all issues and dozens of debates through the primaries...this argument has no more footing for the GOP), it is probably time for her backers and potential backers to actually learn where she stands on real issues of national concern, and what her true record is over the past decade. Some questions I would like to hear answers to include:
- Do you promote teaching creationism/intelligent design in high school science classes?
- What decisions have you had to make involving the Alaska National Guard? When the McCain campaign was asked this question, they could not come up with an answer (keep in mind any deployment of troops overseas is federally managed, and governors have nothing to do with it).
- What is your relationship with 'Big Oil' companies? Why did BP sponsor and pay for your inauguration when you became governor? Have you ever promoted any other type of energy source while in Alaska?
- Is the war in Iraq a 'holy war?' Why did you say we are in Iraq doing 'God's will?' And is this not a truly dangerous type of rhetoric for a potential U.S. President? Could one argue this is a religiously extreme statement (are we not fighting against extreme religious-based violence in the first place)?
- Did you really wish the Alaskan Independence Party (AIP), which primarily promotes the secession of Alaska from the U.S., well and good luck at one of their conventions while governor? Is your husband registered, or has he been registered, with this group? Do you think Alaska should secede? If so, what does this say about your views of the U.S. (and perhaps your patriotism)?
- It is clear you take a 'pro-life' view on abortion. Do you resist abortion in the cases of rape and the threat to the mother's life?
- How large a role did you play in bringing the latest pipeline to Alaska, for which you took credit during your speech at the RNC? Was the deal mostly done when you took office, and simply had the benefit good timing in order to claim credit?
- What do you mean when you say building pipelines and pumping more oil in Alaska is 'God's will?'
- What is your view of other Christian denominations, as well as other religions such as Islam?
- Why did you campaign for governor as a strong supporter for the bridge to nowhere, but then pulled your support when it became clear national outrage was going to force Congress to pull the funding, and flip-flop to the position of a 'reformer' who rallied against earmark and special interest funding? Did you not ask for and receive tens of millions of dollars in earmarks while mayor of a town of less than 9000 people?
We'll see if these or other 'hard questions' are asked, as they have for Sens. McCain, Obama, and Biden. In the future, other possible questions may have to revolve around the investigation of Palin's possible abuse of power as governor (the so-called 'troopergate') because of Palin's self-proclaimed fight against political corruption.