Fall 2008 Brookings Panel on Economic Activity
Capital and Its Complements

Why McCain Is Unqualified to Be President, Part CCCIII

His bad judgment in choosing Sarah Palin: >Politics | Sarah Palin had turbulent first year as mayor of Alaska town | Seattle Times Newspaper: When Palin ran for mayor in the fall of 1996, she was 32 years old and a four-year veteran of the City Council. Her opponent, John Stein, had been mayor for nine years.... Asked about issues facing Wasilla, Stein wrote about "construction of a city collector street grid" and an "architectural planning process." Palin wrote that people asking City Hall for help encountered "complacency, inaction and even total disregard." She decried the town's "current tax-and-spend mentality" and its "stale leadership." She wrote: "New administration finally allows new input, fresh ideas and ENERGY to work with the public to shape this city!!!" >To five of the city's department heads — including Irl Stambaugh, the police chief — Palin's characterization was unfair. They wrote to the local paper, saying: "If these allegations were true, and they most certainly are not, why does Ms. Palin, as a member of the city council, allow the practices to continue? Has she forgotten that it is the city council's responsibility to set policy and it is the administration's obligation to enforce that policy?"... >To Stein, the three-term mayor, this campaign had unusual overtones.... He would marvel at how abortion became an issue — he was labeled pro-abortion — and how some people noted that his wife's last name differed from his. He later noted how Palin's backers included what he called the "Liquor Cabinet" and Wasilla's religious conservatives.... [A] TV station called her Wasilla's "first Christian mayor." This prompted a letter from Stein, saying: "Really?" He listed eight previous mayors, all Christian, and added: "With a name like 'Stein' some suspected that I must be a non-Christian, have non-Christian blood or at least have sympathized with a non-Christian sometime in my career. I'm proud of such a reputation but I, my family and forbearers are of the Christian persuasion, too"...