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Commentary: Sarah Palin, right and wrong

  • Story Highlights
  • Palin's a regular mom who came to government to make a difference, Rosen says
  • Still, Rosen says, she can't accept Palin as vice president
  • Rosen: Palin's folksy acceptance speech made her a superstar of the radical right
  • Rosen worries that McCain-Palin policies are the wrong ones for the country
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By Hilary Rosen
CNN Contributor
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Editor's note: CNN contributor Hilary Rosen is the political director and Washington editor at large of HuffingtonPost.com, which describes itself as an Internet newspaper and focuses on politics from a liberal point of view. A longtime Democratic adviser, Rosen is a former CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America and supported Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Click here for a rival view.

Hilary Rosen says she empathizes with Sarah Palin's personal choices but opposes her political views.

(CNN) -- Warning! This pundit isn't feeling the same way as many of my colleagues about Sarah Palin. She is being attacked for her lack of experience for the job and for whether she should be putting her family first instead of her career.

This just isn't that unusual in my book. And the more it goes on, the more uncomfortable I feel with that message.

Let's reflect. In her acceptance speech, we saw a woman who was compelling, charming and aggressively partisan. She succeeded in demonstrating that she is a regular mom who came to government to make a difference.

And she had that crowd in the convention hall eating out of her hands. Celebrity? It will be hard for the Republicans to attack Sen. Barack Obama for his celebrity now that they have one of their own.

A superstar of the radical right was made Wednesday night. And she may also have made some headway with those who buy her folksiness without knowing the extreme nature of her actual policy views. Read the transcript of Palin's speech

So where does this leave us as Democrats in making the case against Sarah Palin and her running mate for president? What is the choice now for the American people? There is a really strong case to be made against the McCain/Palin ticket and Democrats need to make it the right way, right away.

I am a woman who someone took a chance on several years ago when they gave me a job that had only previously been done by old white guys. Experience? How do you get any if no one takes a chance on you? And the decision to take a chance can be instinctive, as John McCain said.

And what about the argument that she is a negligent mother who will be distracted from her important role? I am a mother who constantly feels the pressure from others about whether I am fit to be a parent, whether I put my kids first often enough and whether my children get enough of my attention. Who has the right to judge my family?

My grandmother always said, "You can't tell time on someone else's clock." Judgments about people's personal lives are better left unsaid and unrealized.

So why then do I think that Sarah Palin would be a terrible vice president? Because I also think that John McCain would be a terrible president.

I don't care about how Sarah Palin or John McCain take care of their families. I care about how their policy choices affect my family and millions of other Americans.

McCain and Palin get their health insurance paid for by the government (hers in Alaska and his in Washington). Yet they oppose giving the nearly 46 million uninsured Americans the same access to affordable health care.

John McCain's kids don't have to worry about paying for college. Yet he has opposed every single education support program to help others.

McCain and Palin say they will stand up to oil companies. Yet the only energy policy they support gives millions of dollars in tax breaks to oil companies to do more drilling and he has opposed every piece of federal legislation to explore alternative fuel sources.

McCain and Palin say they will revamp how Washington does business. Yet his campaign is filled with lobbyists and she has cooperated with Sen. Ted Stevens in funneling federal money for useless projects in Alaska for years. And McCain and Palin have no solutions for Americans worrying about their jobs in a fragile economy. iReport.com: Is Palin the right choice for you?

McCain and Palin want us to leave their families alone. Yet they want to make rules for our families by eliminating our right to make our own choices over abortion, eliminate our access to family planning education or domestic partner benefits, and our freedom from discrimination.

They want to control what our kids learn in school about sex and about science. In short, through the policies they promote and the judges they support, they want the government to have more control over our private lives than at any time in history.

McCain and Palin now say their campaign is about change, too. Yet the only real change they have proposed is a change from a suit to a skirt in the vice president's office and one man fighting a misplaced war for another in the Oval Office.

That seems to me to be the right reason to oppose them in November. It's not the process or the people, it's what they represent. This unconventional choice of a vice presidential nominee by John McCain won't result in a win in November, because McCain and Palin are the wrong choice for the country.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.

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