McCain pick puts focus on women | Aug. 30, story
Republicans miss the point again The choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate fits well the continuing Republican strategy of tokenism in the pursuit of votes. Putting a few black faces here and some Spanish speakers there is their way of coming up with "diversity."
So now they run a woman for vice president and, in their minds, this is equivalent to having a Hillary Clinton on their ticket. See, now we have a woman! And they expect flocks of Hillary supporters to vote for John and Sarah because Hillary is not on the Democrats' ballot.
What they don't seem to realize is that Democratic voters liked Hillary not necessarily for being a woman so much as for her stand on issues, such as universal health care, protecting a woman's reproductive rights, the minimum wage and ending the American disaster in Iraq.
The Republicans missed the point. Again. John McCain does not get it. Again.
Perhaps even an ardent feminist like Hillary Clinton would agree that this woman's place is at home with her children, who need her more than the country does.
Randolph Fillmore, Tampa
The Democrats, not unexpectedly, are criticizing John McCain for picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. Their major claim is that she does not have the experience to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Palin's executive experience includes two terms as a mayor and a year and a half as governor of Alaska. Barack Obama has no executive experience, is a first-term U.S. senator, and has spent a good portion of his Senate time running for the Democratic nomination.
The most scary thing is that Obama will not be a heartbeat away, but would be the heartbeat if elected. For leadership and experience, McCain and Palin are overwhelmingly more qualified than Obama and Biden.
Louis Ciardulli, Safety Harbor
McCain pick puts focus on women Aug. 30, story
Palin is no Hillary Clinton
It is said that John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate was made in part to engender support from women, implying that women, particularly those who supported Hillary Clinton, will forget their core values and simply vote for him because there's a woman on the ticket.
Do the Republicans really believe that Democratic women only voted for Hillary because she is a woman? Excuse me. We voted for her because we felt she was the candidate of our choice (operative word) and that she stood for very important issues such as ending the war in Iraq, equal pay for equal work, universal health care, gay marriage and of course, because she is prochoice.
In stating that she is antiabortion, the Republicans proudly tell the story of how Palin chose to have her fifth child despite the fact that she knew the child would be born with Down's syndrome (operative word: chose). No one forced her to have this child, no laws were enacted to prohibit her choice and no government intervention attempted to change her mind. It was her choice.
I too am prolife but I am more prochoice and would chose life too if that were put in front of me. But whenever we allow government into our private lives we risk losing more freedoms.
So, women, don't be fooled by the rhetoric or pushed by the Republican machine to vote for McCain/Palin in an act of spite or to vindicate Hillary Clinton. Hillary can stand on her own two feet and will prevail.
Olga A. Sowchuk, Tarpon Springs
A new direction
Wow, did the GOP hit a grand slam with their choice of a candidate for vice president. John McCain will get my vote and hopefully yours. This is a real change in politics, not the same old story.
The Democrats — or should I say socialists? — can forget about raising my taxes and giving my hard-earned money to lazy deadbeats! Again, this is a home run and I am proud of their choice.
Ronald G. Payne, Safety Harbor
McCain pick puts focus on women Aug. 30, story
An insulting choice
Rather than creating an opportunity for a woman to break the glass ceiling, John McCain, by choosing Sarah Palin, single-handedly brought us back to the ground floor. Choosing a woman to pander to women isn't progress.
The primary responsibility of the vice president is to take over for the president. Palin is completely unprepared to do that. There are plenty of smart, well intentioned hockey moms out there. Those are not qualifications enough to be a world leader. For someone who touts his judgment as his strength, McCain's first presidential decision is not only a weak one, it's insulting.
Loren Buckner, Tampa
A refreshing change
The Barack Obama campaign goes to great lengths to label John McCain as "more of the same" politics we have had from the Bush White House. This is laughable if you know John McCain.
Now that McCain has chosen Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, the Obama-Biden ticket looks like more of the same. They are both members of the same majority of the "do-nothing" Congress we have doing nothing for the American people in Washington, D.C. The McCain-Palin ticket looks pretty refreshing right now.
Edward Newill, St. Petersburg
Not family friendly
What is John McCain thinking? Or better yet, what is Sarah Palin thinking? It is perfectly clear she does not understand what she has signed onto. She's a mother of five children, one of whom needs constant care, and from Alaska.
For a member of the Republican Party which is so family-values branded, this is a far cry from what I see as real family values. Does Palin expect to uproot her children and family from their little, peaceful community and bring them to Washington to experience total culture shock? Or will she leave them behind and commute?
Rebecca James, Tampa
John McCain's biggest criticism against Barack Obama is "he puts his election before the welfare of the United States."
Could there be anyone in this country who honestly believes McCain picked Palin not to woo the votes of women and/or conservatives, but because he honestly believes she is the best choice to succeed him in the event of his death?
This woman is just a few years beyond her term as a city council member and mayor of her hometown (about one-tenth the size of Brandon) and has served for less than two years as governor of Alaska (population slightly less than Jacksonville). Even more bizarre, she is currently under investigation by her own Republican legislature for abuse of power.
Jackie Gavrian, Brandon
Palin daughter's pregnancy doesn't rattle conservatives | Sept. 2, story
If the Democratic nominee for vice president of the United States disclosed that he had an unmarried daughter who was pregnant, the fallout would be immediate, indignant outrage from the evangelical right. They'd demand the candidate withdraw and give up the nomination immediately.
I like Barack Obama's take on the whole situation: "The kids are off limits." I hope his Democratic supporters follow that directive.
Jeff Cutting, Brandon
Failure of abstinence
May I bypass Barack Obama's advice to leave candidates' families out of the news? Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her party advocate abstinence, so we cannot overlook the disastrous result of that policy right within the governor's family.
While short of statistical proof, pregnancy of her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is a 100 percent failure in the home of a staunch advocate and powerful testimony to the of ineffectiveness of abstinence. There are better ways to help other young children avoid Bristol Palin's misfortune.
Seymour S. Bluestone, Clearwater