Friday, October 17, 2008

That First Lady Differs From Vice President

I found this to be another interesting and revealing moment from the last Obama-McSame debate:

McCain: [Palin] also understands special-needs families. She understands that autism is on the rise, that we've got to find out what's causing it, and we've got to reach out to these families, and help them, and give them the help they need as they raise these very special needs children. She understands that better than almost any American that I know. I'm proud of her ...

Obama: I do want to just point out that autism, for example, or other special needs will require some additional funding, if we're going to get serious in terms of research. That is something that every family that advocates on behalf of disabled children talk about. And if we have an across-the-board spending freeze, we're not going to be able to do it. That's an example of, I think, the kind of use of the scalpel that we want to make sure that we're funding some of those programs ...

McCain: But again, I want to come back to, notice every time Sen. Obama says, "We need to spend more, we need to spend more, that's the answer" -- why do we always have to spend more?
To review: McCain touts Palin's commitment to special-needs children; Obama responds by saying that in the real world, doing things like medical research costs money; and McCain responds by ridiculing the idea that government contributes to solving problems by spending money.

So what? It's not just that this is a pretty drastic scaling back from McCain's prior claim that "she knows more about energy than probably anyone else" in the USA. Evidently that absurdity is too much even for McCain by now, but she still knows something about something and for that he's so very proud.

But beyond that, it sounds like McCain pictures putting Sarah Palin in the kind of feel-good, unfunded, ceremonial advocacy role traditionally assigned to first lady.

Does McCain realize that first lady and vice president are, and are supposed to be, quite different? Does he realize that his second wife, Cindy, is already lined up for the first lady role? If not, he should. He really should.

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