Tag Archives: vice president

Paul Ryan’s Acceptance Speech

Full text of speech
Delivered August 29, 2012

“Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored by the support of this convention for vice president of the United States.

I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity – and I know we can do this. I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old – and I know that we are ready.

Our nominee is sure ready. His whole life has prepared him for this moment – to meet serious challenges in a serious way, without excuses and idle words. After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney.

I’m the newcomer to the campaign, so let me share a first impression. I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power.

They’ve run out of ideas. Their moment came and went. Fear and division are all they’ve got left.

With all their attack ads, the president is just throwing away money – and he’s pretty experienced at that. You see, some people can’t be dragged down by the usual cheap tactics, because their ability, character, and plain decency are so obvious – and ladies and gentlemen, that is Mitt Romney.

For my part, your nomination is an unexpected turn. It certainly came as news to my family, and I’d like you to meet them: My wife Janna, our daughter Liza, and our boys Charlie and Sam.

The kids are happy to see their grandma, who lives in Florida. There she is – my Mom, Betty. My Dad, a small-town lawyer, was also named Paul. Until we lost him when I was 16, he was a gentle presence in my life. I like to think he’d be proud of me and my sister and brothers, because I’m sure proud of him and of where I come from, Janesville, Wisconsin.

I live on the same block where I grew up. We belong to the same parish where I was baptized. Janesville is that kind of place. The people of Wisconsin have been good to me. I’ve tried to live up to their trust. And now I ask those hardworking men and women, and millions like them across America, to join our cause and get this country working again.

When Governor Romney asked me to join the ticket, I said, “Let’s get this done” – and that is exactly, what we’re going to do.

President Barack Obama came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two. Those were very tough days, and any fair measure of his record has to take that into account. My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.

A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.” That’s what he said in 2008.

Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.

Right now, 23 million men and women are struggling to find work. Twenty-three million people, unemployed or underemployed. Nearly one in six Americans is living in poverty. Millions of young Americans have graduated from college during the Obama presidency, ready to use their gifts and get moving in life. Half of them can’t find the work they studied for, or any work at all.

So here’s the question: Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?

The first troubling sign came with the stimulus. It was President Obama’s first and best shot at fixing the economy, at a time when he got everything he wanted under one-party rule. It cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government. It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs, and make-believe markets.

The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare, and cronyism at their worst. You, the working men and women of this country, were cut out of the deal. What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted.

Maybe the greatest waste of all was time. Here we were, faced with a massive job crisis – so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent. You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business.

But this president didn’t do that. Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care.

Obamacare comes to more than two thousand pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country.

The president has declared that the debate over government-controlled health care is over. That will come as news to the millions of Americans who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obamacare.

And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly.

You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.

An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.

In Congress, when they take out the heavy books and wall charts about Medicare, my thoughts go back to a house on Garfield Street in Janesville. My wonderful grandma, Janet, had Alzheimer’s and moved in with Mom and me. Though she felt lost at times, we did all the little things that made her feel loved.

We had help from Medicare, and it was there, just like it’s there for my Mom today. Medicare is a promise, and we will honor it. A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my Mom’s generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours.

So our opponents can consider themselves on notice. In this election, on this issue, the usual posturing on the Left isn’t going to work. Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program, and raiding it. Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate. We want this debate. We will win this debate.

Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close.

It began with a financial crisis; it ends with a job crisis. It began with a housing crisis they alone didn’t cause; it ends with a housing crisis they didn’t correct.

It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.

It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.

President Obama was asked not long ago to reflect on any mistakes he might have made. He said, well, “I haven’t communicated enough.” He said his job is to “tell a story to the American people” – as if that’s the whole problem here? He needs to talk more, and we need to be better listeners?

Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What’s missing is leadership in the White House. And the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago – isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?

In this generation, a defining responsibility of government is to steer our nation clear of a debt crisis while there is still time. Back in 2008, candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt “unpatriotic” – serious talk from what looked to be a serious reformer.

Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined. One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt.

He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.

Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems. How did the president respond? By doing nothing – nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue.

So here we are, $16 trillion in debt and still he does nothing. In Europe, massive debts have put entire governments at risk of collapse, and still he does nothing. And all we have heard from this president and his team are attacks on anyone who dares to point out the obvious.

They have no answer to this simple reality: We need to stop spending money we don’t have.

My Dad used to say to me: “Son. You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.” The present administration has made its choices. And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation’s economic problems.

And I’m going to level with you: We don’t have that much time. But if we are serious, and smart, and we lead, we can do this.

After four years of government trying to divide up the wealth, we will get America creating wealth again. With tax fairness and regulatory reform, we’ll put government back on the side of the men and women who create jobs, and the men and women who need jobs.

My Mom started a small business, and I’ve seen what it takes. Mom was 50 when my Dad died. She got on a bus every weekday for years, and rode 40 miles each morning to Madison. She earned a new degree and learned new skills to start her small business. It wasn’t just a new livelihood. It was a new life. And it transformed my Mom from a widow in grief to a small businesswoman whose happiness wasn’t just in the past. Her work gave her hope. It made our family proud. And to this day, my Mom is my role model.

Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere. A lot of heart goes into each one. And if small businesspeople say they made it on their own, all they are saying is that nobody else worked seven days a week in their place. Nobody showed up in their place to open the door at five in the morning. Nobody did their thinking, and worrying, and sweating for them. After all that work, and in a bad economy, it sure doesn’t help to hear from their president that government gets the credit. What they deserve to hear is the truth: Yes, you did build that.

We have a plan for a stronger middle class, with the goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years.

In a clean break from the Obama years, and frankly from the years before this president, we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, or less. That is enough. The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government, and we choose to limit government.

I learned a good deal about economics, and about America, from the author of the Reagan tax reforms – the great Jack Kemp. What gave Jack that incredible enthusiasm was his belief in the possibilities of free people, in the power of free enterprise and strong communities to overcome poverty and despair. We need that same optimism right now.

And in our dealings with other nations, a Romney-Ryan administration will speak with confidence and clarity. Wherever men and women rise up for their own freedom, they will know that the American president is on their side. Instead of managing American decline, leaving allies to doubt us and adversaries to test us, we will act in the conviction that the United States is still the greatest force for peace and liberty that this world has ever known. President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record.

But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it.

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now. And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you.

None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.

Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate.

It’s the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio. When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That’s what we do in this country. That’s the American Dream. That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.

By themselves, the failures of one administration are not a mandate for a new administration. A challenger must stand on his own merits. He must be ready and worthy to serve in the office of president.

We’re a full generation apart, Governor Romney and I. And, in some ways, we’re a little different. There are the songs on his iPod, which I’ve heard on the campaign bus and on many hotel elevators. He actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies. I said, I hope it’s not a deal-breaker Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.

A generation apart. That makes us different, but not in any of the things that matter. Mitt Romney and I both grew up in the heartland, and we know what places like Wisconsin and Michigan look like when times are good, when people are working, when families are doing more than just getting by. And we both know it can be that way again.

We’ve had very different careers – mine mainly in public service, his mostly in the private sector. He helped start businesses and turn around failing ones. By the way, being successful in business – that’s a good thing.

Mitt has not only succeeded, but succeeded where others could not. He turned around the Olympics at a time when a great institution was collapsing under the weight of bad management, overspending, and corruption – sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

He was the Republican governor of a state where almost nine in ten legislators are Democrats, and yet he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Unemployment went down, household incomes went up, and Massachusetts, under Mitt Romney, saw its credit rating upgraded.

Mitt and I also go to different churches. But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example. And I’ve been watching that example. The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country.

Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope. Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.

We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.

Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government – to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society. They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding. They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.

The founding generation secured those rights for us, and in every generation since, the best among us have defended our freedoms. They are protecting us right now. We honor them and all our veterans, and we thank them. The right that makes all the difference now, is the right to choose our own leaders. And you are entitled to the clearest possible choice, because the time for choosing is drawing near. So here is our pledge.

We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead.

We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility.

We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.

The work ahead will be hard. These times demand the best of us – all of us, but we can do this. Together, we can do this.

We can get this country working again. We can get this economy growing again. We can make the safety net safe again. We can do this.

Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country. Join Mitt Romney and me. Let’s give this effort everything we have. Let’s see this through all the way. Let’s get this done.

Thank you, and God bless you all”


Choosing The Senate President

Nothing triggers my Don Quixote spirit more so than that part of the Presidential campaign when the Presidential candidate is shopping for a running mate. Reading between the lines, over the lines, or under the lines, I can find nothing in the Constitution to justify the Presidential candidate being allowed to pick the V.P. candidate.

The Founding Fathers intended for the office of Vice President to be the second most powerful office in government. He is to serve as the Presiding Officer over the day-to-activities of the Senate and is to be selected by voters of the entire country, not by the voters of a single state, as is the case today when we allow the Senate Majority Leader to usurp the constitutional duties of the Vice President. The only duties assigned to the Vice President by the Constitution are to count the votes of the Electoral College and to serve as President of the Senate. Click HERE  for a more detailed discussion.

We have seen over the past three-and-a-half years the damage that can be done to our legislative processes and to the country when political hacks whose only loyalty is to their party and their only goal is gaining more power, are allowed to preside over the two houses of Congress. While John Boehner is incompetent as Speaker of the House, at least his office is constitutional and he was duly elected by the membership of the House.  There is however, no constitutional requirement that the Speaker be from the majority party of even a member of Congress.

While the Constitution (Art. 1.2.9) permits the House to elect its Presiding Officer, the same is not true for the Senate. Article I, Sec. 3, clause 6, 7 requires, “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided. The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.”  

The President pro tempore is not a permanent office. He is to be chosen by the Senate to serve temporarily as the Presiding Officer of the Senate only, “in the absence of the Vice President, or when he (the V.P.) shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.”  The Speaker of the House is the Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives, and the Vice President of the United States is the Presiding Officer of the Senate. There is no constitutional requirement for him to be a member of the majority party just as there is no requirement that the Speaker of the House be a member of Congress. The President of the Senate is the only officer of the Legislative Branch to be elected nationally and accountable to the voters of the entire country.

While there is no way, in the short term, to bring the Federal government back in line with the Constitution, we should be working tirelessly to that end. In the meanwhile, if Mitt Romney wishes to follow the spirit if not the letter of the Constitution and Amendment XII, in selecting his running mate, he should choose Rick Santorum since he received the second largest number of delegates during the Primaries.

Also see these two posts from the 2008 election cycle.



Thomas Jefferson Advice to Sarah Palin

One fact on which everyone can agree is that our nation is in crisis. In fact, this election cycle has been a series of crises: The illegal immigration crisis, the healthcare crisis, the energy crisis, and most recently the housing and financial crises. The one crisis we do not read about in the mainstream media is the real one: the crisis in government.

At the bottom of all the crises we face as a nation there is a crisis of government that has given rise to all the rest. The American people have lost control of their government or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say we have surrendered our control at the ballot box in exchange for the empty promises of our favorite politicians. In the process we have given up a major portion of our liberties. Moreover, we seem poised to vote away those we have left in the coming election.

We have faced threats to our liberties many times in the past. Almost without exception these threats always come when we allow our elected representatives in Washington to set aside or ignore the restraints placed on government by the Constitution. Just this year alone Washington has obligated taxpayers to an additional $2 trillion in debt on top of the $10 trillion already owed. If we add the cost of unfunded mandates that total climbs to over $50 trillion.

Without some type of government reform, these debts will never be repaid. The numbers just do not add up. Our GDP has been running about $14 trillion annually. That will probably go down over the next year or two as we recover from our current financial difficulties. Our rate of spending is somewhere close to $500 billion more than we take in in revenue each year. Exact figures are impossible to obtain before they have been politically adjusted.

Any reform of government must start with a reform of Congress. That reform must involve a return to the Constitution. Congress has always been at odds with the Constitution because it limits it powers. Over the past few decades, thanks to the liberal takeover of our education system, too many Americans do not understand the concept of “limited government”. Therefore they allow Congress to expand the tentacles of government into every nook and cranny of our lives with impunity.

If we are to believe the consensus of mainstream media, the next Congress is going to be the most liberal one in memory. It is easy to despair of any possibility of meaningful reform of Congress in the next few years. Fortunately, the prospects are not as bleak as they seem. This is not the first time in history we have been faced with similar attempts to undermine our constitutional form of government.

The first and perhaps, the most serious effort was attempted by the Federalists, the first political party established by John Adams and Alexander Hamilton in the early years of our republic. In order to combat this effort Thomas Jefferson and James Madison formed an opposition party, the Democratic-Republican Party, referred to at the time simply as republicans.

In his memoirs Jefferson relates a conversation he had with President George Washington on October 1, 1792. During the conversation he shared with Washington his misgivings about Hamilton’s view of the Constitution.

“He [Washington] then expressed his concern at the difference which he found to subsist between the Secretary of the Treasury and myself, of which he said he had not been aware. He knew, indeed, that there was a marked difference in our political sentiments, but he had never suspected it had gone so far in producing a personal difference, and he wished he could be the mediator to put an end to it.”

“That he thought it important to preserve the check of my opinions in the administration, in order to keep things in their proper channel, and prevent them from going too far. That as to the idea of transforming this government into a monarchy, he did not believe there were ten men in the United States whose opinions were worth attention, who entertained such a thought.”

“I told him there were many more than he imagined. I recalled to his memory a dispute at his own table, a little before we left Philadelphia, between General Schuyler on one side and Pinckney and myself on the other, wherein the former maintained the position, that hereditary descent was as likely to produce good magistrates as election.”

“I told him, that though the people were sound, there were a numerous sect who had monarchy in contemplation; that the Secretary of the Treasury was one of these. That I had heard him say that this constitution was a shilly-shally thing, of mere milk and water, which could not last, and was only good as a step to something better. That when we reflected, that he had endeavored in the convention, to make an English constitution of it, and when failing in that, we saw all his measures tending to bring it to the same thing, it was natural for us to be jealous; and particularly, when we saw that these measures had established corruption in the legislature,…”

In a letter to Doctor Benjamin Rush dated January 16, 1811 Jefferson relates a dinner conversation at Monticello between John Adams and Alexander Hamilton concerning the English constitution.

“While he [Adams] was Vice-President, and I Secretary of State, I received a letter from President Washington, then at Mount Vernon, desiring me to call together the Heads of departments, and to invite Mr. Adams to join us (which, by the bye, was the only instance of that being done) in order to determine on some measure which required dispatch; and he desired me to act on it, as decided, without again recurring to him.”

“I invited them to dine with me, and after dinner, sitting at our wine, having settled our question, other conversation came on, in which a collision of opinion arose between Mr. Adams and Colonel Hamilton, on the merits of the British Constitution, Mr. Adams giving it as his opinion, that, if some of its defects and abuses were corrected, it would be the most perfect constitution of government ever devised by man. Hamilton, on the contrary, asserted, that with its existing vices, it was the most perfect model of government that could be formed; and that the correction of its vices would render it an impracticable government. And this you may be assured was the real line of difference between the political principles of these two gentlemen.”

In many ways the efforts of the early Federalists to transform our government into a Monarchy resembles the modern efforts by Democrats to transform it into a Democratic Socialist one. Since we are not a monarchy today, it is evident that something happened to thwart the designs of Hamilton, Adams, and the Federalist Party. In researching the constitutional duties of the Vice President, I ran across an interesting passage in a petition to the Virginia Legislature by Jefferson seeking permission to sell off some of his property by lottery in order to pay off debts.

It seems that they were suffering from a decline in real estate values at the time (sound familiar?) and the only way Jefferson felt he could get a fair price for the property was through a lottery which required legislative approval. In the petition, Jefferson offered a recap of his sixty plus years of public service to the young republic. In it we find this revealing and inspiring passage.

“If it were thought worth while to specify any particular services rendered, I would refer to the specification of them made by the legislature itself in their Farewell Address, on my retiring from the Presidency, February, 1809.”

“There is one, however, not therein specified, the most important in its consequences, of any transaction in any portion of my life; to wit, the head I personally made against the federal principles and proceedings, during the administration of Mr. Adams.”

“Their usurpations and violations of the constitution at that period, and their majority in both Houses of Congress, were so great, so decided, and so daring, that after combating their aggressions, inch by inch, without being able in the least to check their career, the republican leaders thought it would be best for them to give up their useless efforts there, go home, get into their respective legislatures, embody whatever of resistance they could be formed into, and if ineffectual, to perish there as in the last ditch.”

“All, therefore, retired, leaving Mr. Gallatin alone in the House of Representatives, and myself in the Senate, where I then presided as Vice-President. Remaining at our posts, and bidding defiance to the brow-beatings and insults by which they endeavored to drive us off also, we kept the mass of republicans in phalanx together, until the legislatures could be brought up to the charge; and nothing on earth is more certain, than that if myself particularly, placed by my office of Vice-President at the head of the republicans, had given way and withdrawn from my post, the republicans throughout the Union would have given up in despair, and the cause would have been lost for ever.”

“By holding on, we obtained time for the legislatures to come up with their weight; and those of Virginia and Kentucky particularly, but more especially the former, by their celebrated resolutions, saved the constitution, at its last gasp. No person who was not a witness of the scenes of that gloomy period, can form any idea of the afflicting persecutions and personal indignities we had to brook. They saved our country however.” (Emphasis Added)

This piece of history contradicts popular beliefs concerning Jefferson and the constitutional office, President of the Senate. Popular history has it that Jefferson neglected his duty of presiding over the Senate and spent his term in office in abstention at home at Monticello. I referred to this in my last blog post, “Sarah Palin as President of the Senate”. It seems I was incorrect and owe an apology to Mr. Jefferson.

It should also put to rest the statement by Joe Biden in last week’s Vice Presidential debate that the Vice President has no constitutional connection to the Legislative Branch of government. Which brings me to the purpose of this post. Our best chance of reforming Congress and thus reforming government is to elect the McCain-Palin ticket next month.

Governor Palin has expressed her willingness to fulfill her constitutional duties as President of the Senate, although she seemed somewhat tentative in her answer to this question during the debate; as though she was not sure of the constitutional grounds she was standing on. Her past record of reform in previous offices she has held gives credence to this hope, however.

If McCain wakes up and decides to run against Congress instead of against George Bush there is a chance he could win in a landslide since the approval rating for Congress is below ten percent. He also needs to put more emphasis on putting some tarnish on Obama’s media created image. “Nice guys finish last.”

Copy and e-mail this link to a friend: Thomas Jefferson Advice to Sarah Palin

McCain Puts Lock on White House

Anyone familiar with my postings over the past year knows I am not a fan of John McCain.  He was my fourth choice as a presidential candidate.  My opposition to McCain has always been based on his treatment of the Constitution.  Specifically, Article One and the first and tenth amendments.  In addition to that, I strongly disagree with him on immigration and climate change.

Following his appearance with Barack Obama in the Saddleback forum, I decided to take a second look.  Still, the negatives outweighed the positives.  I had decided not to support McCain in November if he picked a liberal pro-abortion candidate for Vice President.  My reasoning was that Obama, with the strong opposition he would have in Congress, could do less damage to the country than McCain’s policies would have done with little or no opposition from the Republican side of Congress.

On the three most critical issues for the country, energy, immigration and healthcare McCain’s policies would have been disastrous for the economy and for personal liberty, without any moderating opposition from Congress.  On all of these issues, he would have gotten the support from the Democratic side of the aisle, while many from the Republican side would have gone along out of party loyalty.

Obama’s positions on the same issues are far worse, but they would be moderated by strong opposition from conservative Republicans as well as the conservative movement as a whole.  After four years of an Obama presidency, the American public would be more than ready to replace him with a conservative Republican.

That all changed with McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate.  After two days of research, I am convinced that the pick was even better than McCain himself is aware of.  Being the cynic that I am, I’m sure he chose her purely for political reasons to appease his pro-life conservative base.  For whatever reason she was chosen, it seems she has the potential of developing into the leader conservatives have been seeking since Ronald Reagan.

Her selection not only energized the Republican base, it also threw the Democrats completely off message.  Until this weekend I, though Alen Colmes had the roughest job in America.  However, it is obvious the roughest job in America for the next month is going to be opposition researcher for the Democratic Party.  The only thing the Democrat attack machine has been able to come up with is her lack of experience which supposedly disqualifies her as Commander in Chief.  The Vice President is President of the Senate; the President is Commander in Chief.  At least that’s the way I read the Constitution.

That said, I have to recognize that John McCain is only a few years younger than I am.  At our age, we have to think twice before taking on long term obligations, and eight years is a long time.  Taking that into consideration, I still have to laugh when I hear an Obama surrogate mention Palin’s lack of experience.  When you compare the combined experience of the Republican ticket with the combined experience of the Democratic ticket, you have to conclude that if experience is important, the Republicans win hands down.

Obama has never shown any leadership ability in any of the jobs he has held since starting his career.  He was elected unopposed to the Illinois senate in a state controlled by the Daley machine, and he was elected unopposed to the U.S. Senate the same way.  He has never been elected to a position of leadership, either in Illinois or Washington.  There is no noteworthy legislation after eleven years in state and federal legislatures that bear his name.

Joe Biden’s legislative career has been little better.  He has been on the wrong side of practically every issue.  His proposals for Iraq have been laughable, especially his proposal to balkanize the country by splitting it up between the Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites.  In thirty-six years, he has never been elected to a leadership position.  All his committee assignments have been due to his longevity, not his ability.  Anyone who spends thirty-six years at the same job without a promotion or an increase in responsibilities hardly inspires confidence in their competence.

The Obama campaign calls for “change we can believe in”.  A McCain-Palin administration could really bring about such a change.  Both McCain and Palin are proven reformers.  I am not sure how Palin stands on the Constitution, but based on how she lives her life and the reform she brought to Alaska politics during her short tenure in office, I have to assume she takes a conservative view of the Constitution, especially when it comes to state sovereignty.

It would be great if she decided to exercise her Constitutional duties as President of the Senate as the founders intended.  No Vice President since John Adams has chosen to do so, but that would really be a change we can believe in.

At any rate, she has brought hope to the conservative movement and a part of that hope is that she can help McCain bring change to Washington.  In selecting her as his running mate, McCain may have just put a lock on the White House.