I Qualify for Vice-President, Too

Lisa Gritzner
President, Cerrell Associates

After watching Sarah Palin artfully evade Charlie Gibson’s questions last week (despite him showing the proper amount of McCain Campaign-required deference, might I add), I was depressed and wondering what our country was coming to…was this really the best we could do? Is this really how I want my gender to be represented? Is this history in the making or just history repeating itself like the fall of Rome?

Then it hit me this morning…instead of feeling remorse, its time for me to step up and do something! The more I thought about it, the more I realized…I am just as qualified, if not MORE qualified to be Vice President, as Sarah Palin. So here it is my official announcement of my candidacy for Vice President – or at least throwing my hat into the ring for a cool cabinet position…

And since I’m all about transparency in my campaign, I thought I would throw out a few of my qualifications and positions on the issues:

Foreign Policy:

Well, for starters, I’ve actually been to foreign countries – many of them. I’ve had a passport for more than a decade. And, I speak another language. I also had an emphasis in Foreign Policy in college, wrote my dissertation on Russia, and went to the United Nations as a delegate for Model UN where I focused on nuclear proliferation and weapons systems (uh, huh, now you’re starting to think there might be something to this half-baked campaign idea).

Leadership Experience:

I have served as Chief of Staff for an elected official who represented over 250,000 people (Wasilla, Alaska – 7,000 people). In that job I directly oversaw an office operating budget of over $1 million and a municipal budget of over $8 billion (Alaska State Budget for 2008 – $2.9 Billion). Today, I run a company with more than $6 million in revenue. I know what it’s like to be both a public servant with all the challenges of managing a large bureaucracy and to run a small business, make a payroll, and worry about health insurance coverage for my employees. Oh, and I’ve already been Vice President…of a business of course but I’m pretty comfortable with the title and the business cards.

And, while I used to not mention this in public ever, I too have been a beauty queen. Yep, I’ve got the sash and tiara to prove it. I’ll admit it, I quit that phase of my life because I thought it was shallow and stupid but clearly I “misunderestimated” the potential for my VP candidacy and so I’m happy to dust off my “Miss Universal Glamour” trophies, put my tiara back on, and demonstrate to the American public that I too am ready to lead.

Military, Homeland Security and Public Safety:

While I’m not the leader of the Alaska National Guard, I did have the opportunity to manage policy responsibility for the LAPD. I’m pretty sure we have more tanks, helicopters, body armor and cool guns than the Alaska National Guard. I’ve participated in countless homeland security discussions about high profile targets, emergency preparedness briefings for large scale events, and have had the opportunity to work with national leaders like Bill Bratton directly on key public safety issues like gang proliferation, crime reduction tactics, and community policing. I never tried to use my position to get anyone fired though…

I also don’t believe that war is “God’s will”…sorry folks but war is a uniquely human responsibility – to both start and end.

The Economy:

I’ve worked to balance many budgets, fought against deficit spending, passed bond measures for public safety facilities and parks, and focused on initiatives to cut taxes and spur both public and private investment in local communities bringing jobs and opportunity to areas that needed it the most. I’ve also worked with private businesses and investors to help them focus their dollars on projects that remove blight and restore hope to areas, including those in South LA that are still recovering from the riots in the early 90’s. I’m also familiar with the “Bush Doctrine” and can give you three actual things that I would do differently from the Bush administration, starting with giving tax breaks to those who need it and raising taxes for those who already have so many tax shelters and advantages that they don’t need the federal government to step in and help out. It’s funny that even after all that prep for her big interview, Palin listed “reduce taxes” as one of the three things she would do differently from President Bush. Reducing taxes while increasing spending IS the Bush Doctrine.

The Environment:

I like polar bears, caribou, and don’t eat anything I consider to be cute. I actually have been called a “Global Warming Alarmist” because of my previous BLOG postings, which I’m pretty stoked about because we all SHOULD be alarmed about global warming and I’m happy to do my part to get that message out there. I’ve worked to build parks and to save key pieces of open space from development. I have also advised numerous companies about key environmental initiatives like toxics remediation, clean air programs, and greening efforts. And while Sarah and I agree about the need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, I think we need to reduce our dependence on ANY oil and have worked with many companies seeking alternative sources of energy, including algae and trash. If my qualifications were spun out by the Republicans, they would probably say that the fact that I separate my trash into black and blue barrels shows that I understand the issues related to climate change.

Family Values:

I think the best way to promote family values is to actually let people be families and to define “family” in a way that makes sense for them. I support gay marriage and a woman’s right to choose just when to start a family. And, as far as abstinence goes, I believe we need more discussion about birth control options in schools, not less. I’m also not so fond of forcing kids in high school to get married just because they have made some bad choices and one of their parents happens to be running for public office. Marriage among two adults is hard enough!!!

So, there you have it folks, just a few of my qualifications and my positions on key issues…Lisa Gritzner for VP! I’ve got the experience, the saucy glasses, and in high school I used to have that badly teased hairdo so I’m sure I could do it again.

Now if only I had the McCain spin machine behind me. Because here’s how the Republicans would characterize me as a Democrat: “a global warming alarmist who wants to do away with the institution of marriage, tax us into oblivion, and save polar bears instead of create jobs." But if I were a Republican, I would be: “a local business owner who is sensible, respectful of individual rights, understands the needs and concerns of everyday families, and has a plan for jumpstarting the economy.” Because apparently, all one needs to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency is a good quip, a middle class background, a modicum of everyday life experience, and maybe be OK to look at for four years. I am SO in.

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