Points By Drew Pritt

What if it had been Linda….Instead of Sarah?
January 28, 2009, 8:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

palinWe all remember Sarah Palin. She announced the creation of her own PAC for a possible 2012 race for the White House. But you remember the erstwhile Republican Governor from Alaska, who hunts moose, has children with names only John Denver could have conjured up, a husband named the “FIRST DUDE”, and who as we all know….can see Alaska from her house. The woman Tina Fey owes numerous paychecks from SNL to?

You betcha!

But one has to wonder, would history have been different, and could John McCain’s campaign have been in a better position if he selected another female running mate.

But did the McCain camp have another female Governor with some added benefits who could have benefitted McCain’s campaign?

You betcha!


Meet Governor Linda Lingle, a two term Republican who has been Governor from Hawai’i since 2002. Prior to that, she was Mayor of Maui from 1990-1998 and prior to that, City Councilwoman from 1980-1990.

In 2002, Lingle, who had narrowly lost a race for Governor in 1998, ran on her “Agenda for New Beginnings,” a campaign platform developed to promote Republican leadership and highlight the perceived failures of the previous forty years of Democratic administration of the state. It also cited differences between Lingle’s message and the previous, more conservative platforms which Hawaiʻi Republicans had advocated. Focusing less on her Mayoral accomplishments and more on the message of reform. It worked and Lingle defeated U.S. Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (D), who was then Lt. Governor, narrowly in a major upset.

In her first term, she created a record surplus of $730 million, coming from the budget’s previous deficit of $250 million. In her two terms, she signed many bills into law, including the Three Strikes Law and Sex Offender Registry Website Law. One of the more controversial issues Lingle has championed is the practice of sending prisoners to the mainland, as opposed to building a new prison in Hawai’i.

In 2007 because of the arrests of four teachers for substance abuse, Lingle pushed a drug-testing clause into the teacher’s contract just days before the union was set to vote. The clause caused quite a stir among teachers, mostly because many were torn between their civil right to privacy and a pay raise. The drug testing was approved by a margin of 62% to 38%; still the issue met more obstacles.

But her popularity has remained high, with approval ratings in the 70%. She won reelection with 62%-38% in the largest margin in the state’s history.

Lingle is also Jewish. She has been married and divorced twice and has no children. True there are no stories of Lingle wrestling a moose to the ground. All she can see from her house is pristine beaches and clear blue water. In fact the only dude of significance for her would have been had she campaigned with Duane “THE DOG” Chapman and his crew of law enforcers.

But she is a good debater and has a record of experience that far outweighs Obama’s and nearly equal, sans 8 years, of Joe Biden’s career. In fact, Lingle’s elective office experience, was two years longer than McCain’s length in office. Also, she is not as sexxy as Palin….but is that really what was needed was sex appeal.

Imagine a campaign in which both nominees talked about substance over style, experience over flashiness, and programs successfully executed over proposals suggested but untested. It would have been a much different campaign.

Lingle is not as flashy as Palin, but McCain and his supporters have just got to ask….what would have happened had it been McCain-Lingle?

Would she have been a better running-mate than Sarah Palin?



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