Posts Tagged ‘2008 presidential election’

Are two governors better than one in the White House?

October 9, 2008

By David Farside

The vice presidential debate was a good example of what a political debate should be. Sen. Joseph Biden represented the philosophy and goals of the Democrats, attacked Sen. John McCain and the Bush administration for their mistakes in the past and made good arguments for change in the future. He demonstrated patience for the moderator, respect for his challenger and emotion concerning his personal life experiences. Biden truly acted presidential and we can see why he is admired and respected by his colleagues in the Senate.

His challenger, Gov. Sarah Palin from Alaska, maintained the same integrity for the debate process. While most Democrats and Republicans thought she would be a push-over for the experienced Biden, she showed the world why McCain chose her as his running mate. Instead of being an easy mark like a deer caught in the headlights of a fast-moving bus, she was a moving target for both Biden and the moderator.

Biden did exhibit one sign of frustration with Palin. She continued to label McCain as a “maverick.” Biden finally had enough and said McCain was not a maverick but a supporter of the Bush policy of war, tax advantages for the rich and for big oil companies and deregulation that put us all in the financial mess we are in today. And he is right.

Granted, McCain and Sen. Joe Leiberman did row upstream against members from both parties to champion campaign reform, but that doesn’t make them mavericks.

Technically, maverick means unbranded and refers to unbranded cattle or an orphaned calf. It can also mean a person who is unorthodox in his ideas. It’s a homespun American word born in Texas. There was a lawyer in Texas who for some reason was unorthodox and wouldn’t brand his cattle. He lived from 1803 until 1870. His name was Samuel A. Maverick. Every year during the roundup the ranchers knew the cattle without a brand belonged to Maverick and were called mavericks. So, maybe Biden is right. McCain doesn’t own any cattle that I know of and except for his campaign reform ideas he is not unorthodox. On the contrary, he is a typical Bush Republican. That’s how he won the nomination.

Palin chided Biden for his criticism of McCain’s voting record and said she wanted to forget past mistakes and focus on the American people’s future. Even McCain would probably like to forget about his voting record.

Since the debate many pundits are concerned that in case anything happens to old Sen. McCain while in office the young, attractive, bright, witty, intelligent, articulate, confident and enthusiastic female governor from Alaska would not have the experience to be president. She never had any experience debating a U.S. Senator of Biden’s stature on world-wide TV before either, but like Biden she hit a home run and brought the debate to a one-to-one tie.

I remember during Mitt Romney’s campaign he argued that a governor would make a better president than a U.S. Senator. Historically, 16 of our presidents have been governors, half of them during the 20th century. Theodore Roosevelt, the Republican governor of New York, was a real political maverick. No one could hold him down long enough to brand him and he could ride a horse like a ghost rider in the sky on the range from here to Cuba. Ironically, but he did lose his cattle due to snowstorms in the Dakotas.

Woodrow Wilson was governor of New Jersey. He was an intellectual, supported organized labor and was responsible for forming the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Reserve. He declared war on Germany and in 1917 he began the military draft that won the first World War. He received a Nobel Prize for his efforts in forming the League of Nations and shaping the Treaty of Versailles. And he was a Democrat.

Calvin Coolidge, a Republican, was governor of Massachusetts. He believed in smaller government and less regulation and some say was the real father of Reaganomics.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was governor of New York and we all know his leadership history. However, he did have affairs outside of his marriage, including a romance with Lucy Mercer, Eleanor’s secretary. Eleanor set up housekeeping at a separate house in Hyde Park and they lived through a marriage of convenience. Too bad Hillary didn’t do the same thing to Bill.

Ronald Reagan, a Republican governor of California and another rancher, tried to break the backs of organized labor and his trickle-down economy is what has broken the back of capitalism.

Democrat Jimmy Carter, governor from Georgia, said he never committed adultery but at times “He did lust in his heart.” He made the top ten as one of the worst presidents we ever had.

Bill Clinton, once the governor of Arkansas, will make the top ten list as one our best presidents. Even though he gave a new meaning to White Owl cigars.

That brings us to George W. Bush, Republican top wrangler from Texas. He will join Carter and head the list of America’s all-time worst presidents. And he earned it.

Maybe Romney was right. Maybe the Republicans could have won if they had both Gov. Romney and Gov. Sarah Palin on their ticket. And then again — maybe not.