Well, so much for experience. Republican presidential candidate John McCain, having beat up on Barack Obama's callow youth for months now, has chosen a vice-president who by any standard is far less experienced than the Democratic nominee.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, as you may have heard, hasn't even served a full term as governor of one of the least populous states in the union. And that, as Democrats suggest, undermines McCain's emphasis on experience as the standard by which this election should be decided.
But surely, Republicans will counter, the stakes are lower for a vice-president, and experience is not so important?
Well, not according to John McCain himself, who in July told our very own Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the ability to take the Oval Office "immediately" was a key consideration. And he wasn't going to let his choice be determined by identity politics either.
The relevant portion of the interview:
Trib: Do you feel pressured to pick a woman or a minority vice president?
McCain: No, frankly, I hadn't thought about that.
Trib: What kind of a vice president do you want?
McCain: Someone who shares my priorities and my principles. And also obviously who is ready to take my place at a moment's -- you know, immediately.
Or, you know, not.
I love Mel Packer!