One of my favorite non-reporting tasks when I was editor at The Carthage Press was selecting which syndicated columnists to use on our editorial page.
I always liked Florida-based columnist Charley Reese, the fair and even-handed AP political columnist Walter Mears, the well-researched Mort Kondracke columns, and the thought-providing religion columns of George Plagenz, but perhaps my favorite columnist was First Amendment specialist Nat Hentoff.
Hentoff is still turning out excellent columns, and was one of the few to sound the call for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as John McCain's vice presidential candidate:
Because of Palin's reputation as a maverick, and her initial reduction of state spending (including pork-barrel spending), life-affirming Palin connects with voters and has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential running mate for John McCain.
She would be a decided asset — an independent Republican governor, a woman, a defender of life against the creeping culture of death and a fresh face in national politics, described in "the Almanac of National Politics" as "an avid hunter and fisher with a killer smile who wears designer glasses and heels, and hair like modern sculpture."
Still unknown is whether Palin would be as flip-flopping as McCain on the Bush torture policy that has so blighted our reputation in the world. But we'd find out, as — if chosen as his running mate — she would create more interest in this already largely scripted presidential campaign.
And her presence could highlight Obama's extremist abortion views on whether certain lives are worth living, even a child born after a botched abortion.