Sarah Palin has been the ‘fodder’ for the political animals (i.e. political pundits, editorial and news writers, and talk radio ‘blowhards’) for several days now.
The reason for the recent revival of interest in Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate and recently resigned Governor of Alaska, is the release of her book Going Rogue. This book is apparently selling very well and Palin is participating in book signings across the nation.
As with many books and articles penned by politically active, former or prospective candidates, this book has received fairly diverse reviews.
Without too much generalization, I think it can be safely said that Democrats rate the book as lightweight and self-serving. They view this book as an early attempt to sway voters from both parties to the former governor’s conservative ways of thinking on a range of topics.
Republicans, on the other hand, are somewhat divided over the new publication. Some, especially, those with strong feelings for Senator John McCain, feel that Palin has misrepresented the facts of the inner workings of the 2008 Republican Presidential Campaign. These individuals think Palin vilified their standard bearer and feel she denigrated him and his campaign. So, naturally, they are less than enthused with Palin’s literary effort.
Other Republicans seem to think the book is well written, factually accurate, and is a true picture of a great person they hope to be the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. These individuals are generally pleased with Going Rogue.
Much of the debate since the release of the publication of Palin’s book is pretty much a ‘rehash’ of her qualifications to serve as the vice-president, if she were to have been elected last year. So, naturally, the same arguments can be made concerning her run for the presidency in 2012.
Although Palin coyly denies that she is a candidate for the office of president, as recently reiterated on Oprah Winfrey’s show, when she said “it wasn’t on her radar,” both, Democrats and Republicans doubt that statement seriously.
The issue mentioned most often is whether or not, she is ‘qualified’ for the top job in America. It is a fair question. Is Sarah Palin qualified to be president of the United States? Well, the answer is ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘the jury is still out’.
Legally, the answer is ‘yes.’ According to the U.S. Constitution, Article 11, Section 1, an individual in America is basically qualified to be president if he or she is a native born citizen and over 35 years of age. There are no other stated qualifications for the highest elected office in the nation.
There is no educational requirement. One president, Abraham Lincoln, had, as best can be established, roughly one year of formal education. At the other end of the educational scale, Woodrow Wilson earned a PhD from Johns Hopkins University.
Sarah Palin attended five colleges or universities, ultimately graduating from the University of Idaho with a degree in communications and journalism.
Military service is not a requirement. Many presidents of the United States were veterans (all officers), some with citations for bravery and valor in action. Another, an alleged ‘draft-dodger,’ sought educational amnesty in England. Many others had no military experience at all. Palin would fall into the latter category.
Prior occupations of U.S. Presidents included the military, lawyers, members of Congress, state governors and a few others. Palin did serve for a time as governor of Alaska.
So, you can see, by most measurable standards, former Governor Palin is qualified to be president. But, the real qualifications for president are those intangible qualities that can never be quantified.
A president ‘ideally’ needs to be a person of integrity, a person the nation can trust, a person of honor and respect , a person of compassion and of understanding.
A president needs to have the resolve to do the right thing regardless of partisan political views. A president needs the ability to have a good grasp of issues facing America.
A president needs to be seen as the leader of the free world, respecting the position of the office and the heritage of this country. A president must have the strength to serve as Commander-in-Chief of our military and know when to use force and when to use restraint.
A president needs the vision to develop a good domestic plan; one that will address the needs of the ill, the needy, the unemployed, the children, the elderly and the veterans. A president must be able to adequately address issues of health care, unemployment, education, balance of trade, immigration, social security, gasoline prices, pollution, drug abuse, and alternative energy.
A president needs a good foreign policy to try to solve problems with Iraq, Afghanistan, and the whole Middle East, as well as nuclear proliferation in other rouge countries such as Iran and North Korea.
The list of presidential abilities and attributes goes on and on.
So, back to the original question: “Is Sarah Palin qualified to be President of the United States?” I think the jury is still out.
A better question might be: “Is anyone qualified?”
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