I might be getting ahead of myself with this particular concern … but I’ll express it anyway.
Donald J. Trump is said to be considering whether to consider Sarah Palin — yep, that one — for a spot in his Cabinet. She wants to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The one-time half-term Alaska governor wants to lead a huge department roiled in controversy. She wants the president-elect to put her in charge of fixing what is wrong with a massive federal agency charged with caring for millions of American veterans.
I cannot think of a prominent American politician who is more unqualified for this task than Gov. Palin. Lord knows I’ve been critical of some of Trump’s other appointees: Jeff Sessions as attorney general and Betsy DeVos at Education are two of the more awful choices. Then we have the white supremacist Steven Bannon serving as Trump’s chief political adviser/strategist in the White House.
Palin, though, would utterly take the cake.
She is not a veteran. Her claim to fame is her failed bid to become vice president on the 2008 Republican ticket led by U.S. Sen. John McCain (who, frankly, would be a superb candidate for the Department of Veterans Affairs post). She had her stint as a reality TV celebrity, a Fox News contributor and the mother of children who have gotten into scrapes with the law.
She quit the Alaska governorship halfway through her first term, citing the pressures of the job. Good grief, lady! You ain’t seen stress until you’ve tried to repair the Department of Veterans Affairs!
As a veteran myself, I was horrified and personally offended by reports of vets dying while waiting for health care. The former VA secretary, retired Army Gen. Eric Shinseki, had to quit. The department is still struggling to regain its footing.
The idea of putting Sarah Palin in charge of this project makes me shudder.
The president-elect hasn’t said with absolute certainty that she’s on a short list for VA secretary. I hope he thinks better of it.
As for Palin, my hope is that she recedes into the shadows.
She has no business running the Department of Veterans Affairs.