Women who qualify as leaders

August 31, 2008

A blogger who calls himself “idot” wrote a post suggesting there were more qualified candidates McCain could have chosen instead of Sarah Palin.  Each choice he suggested has advanced degrees (usually in law) and has long histories of government service.

In rebuttal, I submitted my own list:

  • After graduating college, she married, and went with her husband to work on a Kibbutz, where leadership qualities were recognized. Returning to the US, the President of the US asked her to oversee Jewish affairs, and she was a signatory to the document that founded the Nation of Israel. She came out of retirement when elected to be Israel’s Prime Minister in 1969, serving until 1974. (Gold Meir)
  • After graduating from college in 1975, she took a job with Wilson Sporting Goods, but after 22 years in the workforce, she quit to take care of her family. Once her children were in high school and college she accepted a job at Sara Lee in 2004 and then the top post in February 2005, becoming the CEO of the largest corporation with a woman at the helm. “It was another case of sending in a woman to clean up a corporate mess.”
    (Brenda Barnes, CEO of Sara Lee)
  • She graduated from Stanford University in 1955, with a degree in history.  A few years later she was appointed to California’s women’s parole board. After serving there, she was elected a mayor for 2 terms. After failing her bid for Governor, she was elected to the US Senate. (Diane Feinstein)
  • After graduating from college, she married and followed her husband to California. She became a Democratic party volunteer and was eventually elected to Congress in a special election. (Nancy Pelosi)
  • After graduating college, she became active in family issues. As a leader in the PTA, her leadership skills were recognized and she was elected to the city council (2 terms) and then beat the incumbent mayor for her third term in local government, being recognized as a leading mayor in the state. As a reformist Governor, she returned the economic surplus to the state’s citizens and quickly gained a reputation as a competent administrator and a foe of corruption (Sarah Palin)

Idiot asks what he calls “the burning question” …”If something happened to John McCain, does she have the experience, today, to be President?”  It’s clear to me that education alone isn’t the qualifying characteristic, but rather demosntrated ability to lead effectvely.  Sarah Palin meets that qualification.


Obama’s Educational Program

August 31, 2008

Senator Obama claims he’s ready to be president based on the results of what he’s done in Chicago.  What did he do in the are of education, and what are the results?

According to the Chicago Sun Times, reading scores have dropped dramatically over the last five years.

“Over the last five years, minority and low-income public high school students have fallen even farther behind their white and more affluent classmates on state tests and the ACT, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found.”

It seems that, overall, educational quality has dropped since the reforms were put in place.

But it’s not just the city.  It’s systemic in Illinois.

“Outside Chicago, the gap between Downstate and suburban whites and blacks also grew but not as severely as in Chicago. That’s because non-Chicago whites didn’t improve much. Scores for non-Chicago blacks dropped since 2003, even more than in Chicago. The gap stayed the same for Hispanics.”

What does this say for an Obama presidency?  Programs, spending, but little real progress.


Sarah Palin’s Priorities

August 31, 2008

For all the leftist mud wondering about her qualifications, why is no one quoting official sources from the Government of Alaska? Opinion pieces don’t match hard facts.

I read last January’s Alaskan State of the State speech. It says she values good government, and has cut off wasteful and needless construction spending (including the famous “Bridget to Nowhere”) and an 11-mile road that was improperly awarded.

It shows a commitment to improve education, health care, public safety and defense, energy innovation and shoring up public infrastructure, even while lowering taxes.

To meet her education goals, she set forth programs to shift the discussion from “how much will it cost?” to “what will it do?” She called for “accountability and achievement … focusing on foundational skills needed in the “real-world” workplace and in college.”

Improvements in health care outcomes include “training more healthcare providers to meet huge workforce demands,” and changing state Children’s Services programs “to better protect Alaska’s vulnerable children.” And she improved elder care.

In a state the size of Alaska, infrastructure is a huge problem. Lots of long roads, plus maintenance of energy pipelines. She’s taken steps to end cronyism to get the best value on needed improvements.

As an energy producing state, she’s had increasing revenues, but rather than simply spend them on pet projects, she returned some of that money to the citizens, and invest in renewable energy.

She improved banking rules to provide protection to Alaska’s citizens.

Rather than simply “warehousing” criminals, she instituted rehabilitation and work requirements “for the 95 percent of inmates who will re-enter society.”

And she’s taken steps to strengthen the Alaska National Guard, both as a Homeland Defense initiative and to shore up their role in the nation’s war on terror.

As one article reported, “If it seems as though Palin has spent much of her first 10 days in office dealing with leftover crises from the Murkowski administration, it’s because she has.”

She hasn’t been in office long, but she has done more in 2 years than most do in a career.


McCain – Palin: Dream Team Off and Running

August 30, 2008

McCain announced his running mate today and picked one of my favorites, Governor Sarah Palin from Alaska. (see also here)

Compared to the ObamaFest of this week, the announcement ceremony was one for the record books.

  1. No press leaks until just before the event – and then enough buzz to guarantee a wide audience
  2. A big announcement right after Obama’s convention – bigfooting Democratic coverage
  3. A tribute by Gov Palin to the women before her – Ms ferraro and Sen Clinton – for “putting a thousand cracks in the glass ceiling, and then declaring her own goal of finally breaking that ceiling. (An obvious attempt to provide an alternative to disaffected Hillary supporters, whose candidate was never considered to be O’s VP.)
  4. Started on time, ended on time, and had appropriate breaks in the middle for broadcast station ID (source: Rush Limbaugh).

Look at what she brings to the ticket:

  • Young (JFK was 44 when he was elected, too), mother of 5, against abortion (kept her downs syndrome baby),
  • She’s been in politics since 92, when she won the first of two terms on City Council, and then became mayor in 99, defeating the incumbent. She was also president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors. She’s been Governor of Alaska for 2 years, making a name for herself as a reformer, with three cornerstones of education, public safety, and transportation. She’s the one who killed the “Bridge to Nowhere” and has publicly challenged Ted Stevens over ethics questions.
  • As Governor, she’s the head of Alaska’s National Guard, and is a member of the NRA. She has an 80% approval rating.
  • Her husband Todd, a Native American (1/4 Eskimo) is an oilfield worker for BP and runs a commercial fishing company. Her husband is a member of the United Steelworkers Union and championship snowmobiler.
  • She’s good looking, and is a competent speaker.

In an election where issues matter, Governor Sarah Palin is an asset.


McCain Leads in Charitable Giving

August 29, 2008

How is the best way to lead? By example. And McCain’s example of charitable giving is impressive.

According to a post by BibleTrainer, McCain’s charitable giving appears relatively stable from year to year within a range higher than 20% of his AGI. By contrast, despite widely publicized church attendance, Obama rarely gave more than 5% until he announced his candidacy for President.

McCain’s generosity is understandable.  He’s a member of North Phoenix Baptist Church.  I’ve heard their former pastor and know that most Southern Baptist Churches teach their people to give 10% of their gross income as a tithe, and then to be generous with giving over and above that amount.

It comes from within, as demonstrated by a long history of generosity.  His own campaign literature puts it this way:  “First and foremost, I promise to put our country first, before my own self interest. I have put my country first throughout my entire life. I owe America more than she has ever owed me.”  His actions with his checkbook indicate his understanding that he is a steward of what he has been given, and the steward owes back to the master a share of the proceeds.”

If McCain loses, I know his charitable giving will remain consistent.  If Obama loses, will his?


John McCain’s mixed race family

August 29, 2008

I read an interesting post harkening back to the 2000 election, where friends of Bush told the press just before the South Carolina primary that McCain had a black baby, implying an impropriety.  Turns out, the allegation was partially true, just not the way people took it.

msgpdr posted that McCain should have immediately owned up to the charge, and introduced his family, including a baby his wife Cindy brought home in 1993 from a Bangladesh orphanage run by Mother Theresa.  “Here, John, meet your new daughter.”  True to his character, baby Bridget – who would have died within the year had she been left in her home country – has grown to become a vibrant member of the McCain family.  In fact, a campaign mailer says that experience changed their attitude toward orphans.  “Today, Cindy and John work together to promote adoption and to help women facing crisis pregnancies.”

Now 16, Bridget McCain is a High School Junior in Phoenix, who “likes playing basketball and volleyball, and like most kids, enjoys spending time with her friends.”  In a report last December, Bridget said her parents are her role models and heroes. “My Dad’s best achievement is being a dad and also running for president at the same time. He always puts family first!”

She’s not “black” and she’s not from an illicit affair. But she has helped Candidate John McCain understand the need for better adoption rules, and helps keep him in touch with today’s younger generation.  It’s a great way to have a “mixed race” family.


Condoleezza Rice for Vice President?

August 28, 2008

Dr. Charles W. Dunn, Dean of the School of Government at Regent University has suggested Condoleezza Rice as the best choice for McCain’s running mate.

What Rice would bring to the ticket, says Dr Dunn, is that she is a known and capable Black, a woman, highly educated, with proven foreign policy experience, a solid conservative.  She would be acceptable to the Evangelical community and has an affiinity for the arts.

Ms Rice was born Novermber 14, 1954 in Birmingham, AL, the only daughter of a Presbyterian minister. A daughter of the South, she experienced firsthand the injustices of Birmingham’s discriminatory laws and attitudes.  Rice recalls various times in which she suffered discrimination on account of her race, which included being relegated to a storage room at a department store instead of a regular dressing room, being barred from going to the circus or the local amusement park, being denied hotel rooms, and even being given bad food at restaurants.

During High School, she had dreams of becoming a concert pianist.  Although her career plans changed, she still practices often and plays with a chamber music group, and has performed at diplomatic events at embassies.

Condoleezza earned a bachelors in Political Science (Phi Beta Kappa) from University of Denver and a Masters from Notre Dame.  At age 26, she was a warded a PhD from the Graduate School of International Studies at Denver, with a dissertation on military policy and politics in Czechoslovakia.

As Provost, she had budget responsibilities over the University’s multi-million dollar budget.  She inherited a $20M deficit, which she eliminated within two years – and created a record surplus of over $14.5 million.

Dr Rice is an eloquent speaker, a competent administrator, and is known and respected around the world.  Should Senator McCain choose her as his running mate, she would be an excellent choice.