Change and experience. Those were the buzzwords of the presidential primaries. And as Sen. Joe Biden called out in the beginning, both those terms are bullshit. It’s not about change or experience – it’s about action. Despite this, both these themes held strong, with Sen. Barack Obama calling for change while Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain called for experience. When Obama chose his vice president, he heard Clinton’s supporters, and picked Biden, a six-term senator and the foreign policy expert of the Democratic Party. McCain’s decision showed that he did not believe the race was about either “change” or “experience.” He saw it as an issue of man vs. woman. So when he picked his vice president, he chose Gov. Sarah Palin, a two-year governor of Alaska with no national or foreign policy experience. McCain, with his pick, showed what he felt about Hillary Clinton’s women supporters. He did not seem to care that they supported her for her issues or her experience. Rather, he believed that the only issue they cared about was that a woman was on the ticket.

Yet, why Palin? Of all the great Republican women, why did he choose the one governing Alaska, a state of only 670,000 people? Why did he choose the governor whose prior political experience came as mayor of a city of currently only nine thousand – about the same number of people the movie theater I work at saw on opening night of “The Dark Night”? McCain felt he needed to run against the Republican Party that nominated him without angering Republicans. McCain was known as a maverick. He was a man who spoke against the Bush administration when it was unpopular to do so. He was the man who co-sponsored bills with the Senate’s two biggest liberals, Russ Feingold and Ted Kennedy. McCain was the Republican Democrats loved more than Republicans did. Over the last two years, he has undone much of that love, but he will continue to make sure you remember his anti-Republican streak before he began voting with Bush 90 percent of the time. In order to highlight that, he picked a Republican who agreed with his philosophy and has spoken up against corruption in her own party. Palin ran for governor on a stance that the Republican establishment was corrupt and needed to be cleaned out. She beat a popular Republican politician for governor as a result. However, just as McCain gave into the right, Palin gave in when she supported Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens’ “bridge to nowhere” during her race for governor, and, when Republicans turned against it, took the federal funds and used them to fund other pork barrel projects instead.

Obama’s shortfall with voters was foreign policy experience. To ease their worries, he chose Biden. McCain’s shortfall was the economy. If McCain wanted to improve his message and gain traction on Clinton’s experience talk, he could have picked Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Better yet is Maine Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, the ranking member of the Small Business Committee and a member of the Finance Committee. Both have 14 years in the Senate and strong economic backgrounds. Snowe was part of the Gang of 14, which was when seven Republicans joined seven Democrats to save the filibuster, despite Republican objections. Why were they not chosen?

McCain met Palin once, for fifteen minutes, six months ago, in a group with 22 other governors. It was clear that McCain’s pick of Palin showed lack of forethought. Who is Palin compared to Hillary Clinton? Clinton supports universal health care; Palin does not. Clinton supports keeping social security as it is; Palin wants to privatize it. Clinton spent eight years as a senator, eight years as a confidant to her husband while governor and eight more while he was president. Hillary Clinton worked for the Children’s Defense Fund while in college. Palin went to serve on Alaska’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, supporting drilling in Alaska’s wildlife refuge as her husband worked for British Petroleum. Palin is no Clinton, and McCain’s rush to pick Palin shows that the only issue he thinks women care about is that a woman is on the ticket, no matter her experience.