- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The main qualification to serve as vice president of the United States is not, as your editorial suggests, abundant energy and good intentions (“Sarah Palin, conservative maverick,” Sunday). It is the ability to step in for the president and assume responsibility for a country of 300 million citizens with diverse social, economic and security needs.

In this regard, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is wholly unqualified. Her selection shows a dangerous lack of judgment on Sen. McCain’s part and a willingness to risk the long-term welfare of the country for short-term political gains.

Consider: What happens if a President McCain can no longer serve and a President Palin must respond to an economic crisis on Wall Street, a catastrophic earthquake in California, a Russian invasion of Ukraine or an Iranian missile fired into Israel? Will she have the gravitas, respect and authority to make institutions and nations bend to her will and act in America’s interests?

Put another way, if another September 11 happens and President Palin is in office, will conservatives still be giddily celebrating Sen. McCain’s maverick spirit and selection?

ROBERT J. INLOW

Charlottesville

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Your eagerly anticipated editorial in response to Sen. John McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin did not disappoint (“Sarah Palin, conservative maverick,” Editorials, Sunday). You delivered a cogent analysis of what, from a conservative viewpoint, are her strengths and gave a passing nod to what may be perceived as her weaknesses. I noted that The Times also made mention of the fact that Mrs. Palin’s eldest son is in the Army.

I was particularly pleased that, unlike Mrs. Palin, you did not release any more details of her son’s service. In an egregious violation of operational security, Mrs. Palin informed a worldwide television audience of her son’s military occupational speciality, the precise date of his forthcoming deployment and the locale to which he will be deployed.

Anyone possessed of even a passing acquaintance with military life knows that this simply is not done. In a transparent attempt to mine a few votes, Mrs. Palin elevated the risk not only to her son, but to every trooper in his unit. Her actions call into question not only her own judgment, but also that of the man who claims to believe she is qualified to assume the second-highest office in the land.

SCOTT KENYON

Vienna

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Prior to the announcement of John McCain’s running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, I had come to the decision not to even cast my presidential vote this election. What remains to be seen is Mr. Palin’s position on illegal immigration, which will be the tipping point for myself and many American voters.

Further, any woman who cleans her own fish after she catches them has my support. She has many fine qualities to be admired and it is so obvious that she truly loves America. What a gift she is to our precious country.

JAN HERRON

Evergreen, Colo.

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