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No Hockey Mom Left Behind

BY RICH HERSCHLAG
09.15.2008 | POLITICS

I believe Sarah Palin is qualified. To sell Tupperware. As far as that other job she's up for, not so much. Let me explain something—you've been punk'd. This is the Harriet Miers of vice presidential picks, but the joke's gone on too long. Pull the plug, Ashton. And thank you, John McCain, for the most cynical move in the history of presidential politics. I still think you should have gone with Jenna Jameson, but you're the pro.

This is not about lipstick on a pig. It's about the elephant in the room. All that talk about Harvard Law Review president Obama not being qualified, and now this? A skinnier, less witty version of Roseanne Barr? Let's hope we never have to hear Sarah Palin sing the National Anthem. And let's hope vacuousness doesn't trickle down.

This is not a gender issue. In fact, I was for a hiring quota in the White House before I was against it. It's the mediocrity, stupid. Mediocrity hasn't had this kind of bump since Happy Days spun off Joanie Loves Chachi. And it's not about how Sarah Palin is opening doors for women. It's about how Dan Quayle and George W. Bush opened a door for Sarah Palin. Meanwhile, planet Earth looks on in bewilderment as we build our national bridge to nowhere.

For days on end now we've heard how we don't really know Sarah Palin. But we know her all too well. We attended college together briefly after one of her five impulsive transfers. She was the one down the hall who always tripped the circuit breaker because she wouldn't stop with the blowdryer. She was the kid you helped with her physics because you couldn't take it when she panicked and cried. Don't get me wrong. I love cheerleaders. But not running the free world.

The pundits tell us America is rebelling against elitists. And what's not to hate about elitists, with their fancy high school diplomas? With their two-syllable words and three-digit IQs. With their ability to refer to world leaders by name. With their power to identify non-North American countries on a map. With their reliance on facts. With their reading books containing few if any color illustrations. So let's hear it for the American Idol approach to picking a VP candidate.

Nonetheless, I will definitely vote for Sarah Palin. If she ever decides to run for city council here in Easton , PA , she's got my vote. Not that she would be among the four or five most knowledgeable bureaucrats on the council, but we need this kind of entertainment locally, where we can afford it. As it stands now, the next time Dmitry Medvedev stares our country down, he'll be stared back at by Julia Louis-Dreyfus minus the brains.

None of this is hyperbole. (Sarah, if you're reading this, that means exaggeration.) Given John McCain's age and vicious temper, Sarah Palin would be only an aneurism away from the presidency. But alas, there is still time for the National Enquirer to find blurry, grainy twenty-three-year-old pole-dancing photos of the Republican Vice Presidential hopeful posted on MySpace.

Then, of course, comes the opprobrium and the quickie replacement. Rest easy, America . It doesn't take much to be a Republican nominee these days. If you're for drilling to oblivion, massive tax cuts for the very rich, and invoking God's holy name on behalf of any preemptive war that comes to mind, you may have a job waiting for you in the Oval Office.

Really, at this point I'll take anybody: Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, Eliot Spitzer's hooker, Ann Coulter, Caylee's mom, that girl from My Name Is Earl. Our last midnight run to Wal-Mart produced a bunch of comparatively qualified candidates, several of whom had the majority of their front teeth. We're not looking for Madeleine Albright here, or Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Just someone whose knowledge of history goes back at least to the Clinton years.

Which brings us to the ultimate regret of this whole episode. Come back, Hillary. Give us the catfight America always wanted. Moreover, give us the cat blowout we need. We're sorry, Hillary. Now save us from the sisterhood of the traveling empty pants suit.

About the Author
Rich Herschlag is the author of a new book, Before the Glory: 20 Baseball Heroes Talk About Growing Up and Turning Hard Times Into Home Runs (HCI, 2007). His other books include Lay Low and Don't Make the Big Mistake (Simon & Schuster, 1997) and Women Are From Manhattan, Men Are From Brooklyn (Black Maverick, 2002).

Also an engineer, he runs a consulting business, Turnkey Structural, that specializes in the rehabilitation of residential and commercial buildings. Also a radio commentator, he can be visited at RichsRant.com.

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