Continuing with our effort to present how the rest of the world is sizing up John McCain’s vice presidential pick, Sarah Palin, this is the latest prognostication by one of Germany’s leading columnists, Thomas Klau.

Klau writes of McCain:

“We knew from his biography that John McCain was a daredevil: since his childhood days, his mother Roberta assures us, rebellion and risk have been his elixirs of life.”

After characterizing his campaign until his selection of Palin as an exercise of amazing self-control, Klau writes:

“With a single stroke last week, McCain demonstrated that his apparent prudence was just a shell, and that his penchant for risk-taking and all-or-nothing gambles would provide the real background music for his presidency.”

Then – writing of the enormous risk that Palin represents and why this points up some obvious flaws in McCain’s character, Klau write:

“It shows that McCain is ready to ignore the advice of experts, shock his supporters and put everything on the line. … McCain’s hubris and irresponsibility are already evident. Hubris, because only his belief in his own immortality over the next four years justifies his decision to choose a vice president that, other than two years as Alaska governor, has only the experience as the mayor of an Anchorage suburb. Irresponsibility, because U.S. Presidents are always in great danger of being assassinated, as was shown by the killing of John F. Kennedy, but also by the attempt on Ronald Reagan.”

Then finishing off with a critique of the public debate in the United States, Klau writes:

“The first debate between the two candidates was moderated by a preacher, and they had to discuss and answer questions on their attitude toward faith and how they would deal with biblical evil. Meanwhile, a politician could become president in five months whose position on war and peace is largely a mystery, and all that is being discussed is the impact of her daughter’s pregnancy. The country in which all this is happening is the most powerful on earth. But how much longer? ”

By Thomas Klau*

Translated by Julian Jacob

September 4, 2008

Germany – Financial Times Deutschland – Original Article (German)

We knew from his biography that John McCain was a daredevil: since his childhood days, his mother Roberta assures us, rebellion and risk have been his elixirs of life. So it’s all the more impressive to have seen the discipline McCain has shown during the recent phase of his campaign. Completely against his own inclinations, the Republican candidate strictly adhered to the message designated by his campaign strategists. Just like a finely-polished right-wing Republican, McCain remained consistently “on message,” as one says in the jargon of American politics. Journalists pined for the old free spirit, but the tough campaign strategy paid off in the polls. McCain’s deficit in regard to his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, shrank, and the prospect for Republican success on November 4th no longer so seemed a phantasm.

With a single stroke last week, McCain demonstrated that his apparent prudence was just a shell, and that his penchant for risk-taking and all-or-nothing gambles would provide the real background music for his presidency. To nominate Governor Sarah Palin as a candidate for the vice presidency, someone almost completely unknown outside Alaska and inexperienced in foreign policy – is so bold, that some well-known Republican commentators set aside campaign solidarity and harshly criticized McCain, as if they were advocating for the Democrats.

READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US, along with continuing translated and English-language coverage of the U.S. election.

WILLIAM KERN (Worldmeets.US)
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Copyright 2008 The Moderate Voice
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