Cheney: Palin VP Pick Was “A Mistake”

Daniel Doherty

7/29/2012 12:27:00 PM - Daniel Doherty

Apparently, former Vice President Dick Cheney thinks it was “a mistake” for John McCain to have chosen former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said it was a mistake for Republican Sen. John McCain to pick Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee.

"The test to get on that small list has to be, 'Is this person capable of being president of the United States?," Cheney said on ABC's "This Week."

"I like Gov. Palin. I've met her. I know her. She - attractive candidate. But based on her background, she'd only been governor for, what, two years. I don't think she passed that test ... of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake," he said.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney is expected to announce a running mate in August. He is widely expected to choose someone perceived as competent but safe.

Cheney, who oversaw candidate George W. Bush's search for a running mate and whose own unpopularity became a flashpoint for the Bush administration, said there are two lists that candidates maintain. The bigger list includes politicians who want to be viewed as "under consideration" to boost their standing.

Cheney said a second, much shorter list contains those who are actually being considered.

Of course, one can retrospectively claim Sarah Palin was not the ideal veep choice in 2008, but I’m not sure I necessarily agree with Cheney’s argument. After all, in 2008 she had significantly more executive experience than then-Senator Barack Obama did -- and he was running at the top of his party’s ticket. To say it was “a mistake” that John McCain selected Sarah Palin as his number two was, well, quite possibly true -- but it certainly wasn’t for the reasons given.

In similar circumstances, would it be argued that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is unqualified to be President of the United States simply because he’s only been the chief executive of New Jersey for two and a half years? Crickets. Last September, women voters were literally begging him to throw his hat into the ring during his much-anticipated speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. And sure, while one can of course have philosophical differences with Governor Christie -- like Governor Palin, no one can deny the enormous good they have done for their respective home states.

In short, I find Cheney’s argument fundamentally flawed and intellectually superficial. Palin: 1, Cheney: 0.

Update: And the Sarah Palin bashing continues.