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On John Edwards and Sarah Palin

A Pulitzer for "The National Enquirer"?

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Maybe you heard about this: Republican spin-meister Karl Rove and failed Democratic presidential contender John Edwards squared off in a debate in San Francisco on Wednesday. Both were paid handsomely for their appearance at the gig for the Commercial Finance convention.

They sparred on various political hot-button issues, including George Bush's legacy, foreign policy, healthcare, etc. It wasn't long, of course, before the uber-subject of the week came up: Sarah Palin.

Rove said, "If she wants to run for president, she's gonna have to get somebody to move to Anchorage, Alaska, and help her take her game to another level." Very true, as far as I'm concerned, except I think her game is basically all blow-hole, no whale. I'm not sure what other levels she's capable of, frankly.

But Edwards also had something to say about Palin: "The problem was, over time," he said, "particularly in the vice presidential debate ... it was fairly obvious she wasn't ready to be president."

But here's the thing: If John Edwards had somehow managed to win his party's nomination, or if Barack Obama had selected Edwards as his running mate (as some had hoped he would), Sarah Palin would be the vice president-elect right now.

That's because the mid-summer revelation of John Edwards' tawdry affair (and probable siring of an illegitimate son) would have destroyed his party's chances for the White House. A man who was cheating on his terminally ill wife and who was reckless enough to think he could somehow get away with it and win the presidency feels qualified to pass judgment on the readiness for office of Sarah Palin??

Sorry, Johnny, but you forfeited any right to judge anyone's competency for any office, including county dogcatcher, with your arrogance.

So what's my point? I guess only that we sure as hell need a better system for vetting our candidates for high office. And thank God for the National Enquirer. They deserve a Pulitzer for saving us from the likes of Edwards and, inadvertently, Sarah Palin.

--Bruce VanWyngarden

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