You often hear how Obama and his supporters mysteriously make negative news disappear from the internet. Apparently, they are not alone. Below is a story that used to be on Fox News. It's gone now, and I know why. Fox doesn't want you to know that it's not just George Will saying Sarah Palin has "negligible experience" now. In fact, if all the Republicans who haven't drank the Kool-Aid could speak without fear of damaging the ticket, they'd tell you what they now know: Sarah Palin is a twit.
John McCain isn't, and we're not voting for VP, right? So why care? First, Senator McCain belied everything appealing about himself when he picked Palin for political reasons. Good judgment? Out the window. "Country First?" Out the window. But more importantly, even holding the view I do that McCain is in fine physical and mental shape (it's not "advancing age" that makes him "unsmooth"; he's always been that way), I'm can't shake "what if..."
In my lifetime, I cannot think of anybody vying for the VP role, except for Sarah Palin and Admiral Stockdale, who actually terrified me. Any public figure can recreate or improve a public image, so Palin can still shock the world, but so far, she has been a vacuous soundbite spitter who believes the more emphatically you say something, the truer it is.
In fact, SHE would be more like the third Bush term than McCain could ever be. If she gets into the White House, it will be more "from the gut/ignore countervailing facts" governance. And, in accepting the VP role, Palin showed she has no ability to assess when she's in over her head. That's a terrifying prospect in an international crisis.
I predict that Americans will tune into the VP debate this Thursday in greater numbers than the first presidential debate. Many of those will be driven by schadenfreude ("enjoyment from the misfortune of others") because they anticipate Palin being "deer in headlights." That won't happen, but Palin and the McCain apparatus has gone into overdrive to downplay expectations just in case.
Palin seemed to take glee in emphasizing Biden's age (65), saying it will be "quite a task" going against a "great debater" who was first elected when she was in second grade who has been (in Washington) a "long, long, long" time. (I'm not making that up. It was like Palin was struggling to get to 500 words on a high school essay).
I understand downplaying expectations as a political tactic for election results, but I don't understand it here. It's as if Palin thinks the reason she might get beat is because she didn't take debate in college and hasn't had decades to absorb sound bites by osmosis, not because she'll be revealed as knowing nothing on most national issues.
Respectfully, if a candidate can't sell the American public on the idea she knows what she's doing, how will she sell world leaders?
Anyway, here's your phantom story:
Conservatives Begin Questioning Palin’s Heft by Associated Press Sunday, September 28, 2008 http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/28/conservatives-begin-questioni...
A growing number of Republicans are expressing concern about Sarah Palin’s uneven - and sometimes downright awkward - performances in her limited media appearances.
Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, a former Palin supporter, says the vice presidential nominee should step aside. Kathryn Jean Lopez, writing for the conservative National Review, says “that’s not a crazy suggestion” and that “something’s gotta change.”
Tony Fabrizio, a GOP strategist, says Palin’s recent CBS appearance isn’t disqualifying but is certainly alarming. “You can’t continue to have interviews like that and not take on water.”
“I have not been blown away by the interviews from her, but at the same time, I haven’t come away from them thinking she doesn’t know s- t,” said Chris Lacivita, a GOP strategist. “But she ain’t Dick Cheney, nor Joe Biden and definitely not Hillary Clinton.”
There is no doubt that Palin retains a tremendous amount of support among rank-and-file Republicans. She draws huge crowds, continues to raise a lot of money for the McCain campaign, and state parties report she has sparked an uptick in the number of volunteers.
Asked about Palin’s performance in the CBS interview, a McCain official briefing reporters on condition of anonymity said: “She did fine. She’s a tremendous asset and a fantastic candidate.”
But there is also no doubt many Republican insiders are worried she could blow next week’s debate, based on her unexpectedly weak and unsteady media appearances, and hurt the Republican ticket if she does.
What follows is a viewer’s guide to some of Palin’s toughest moments on camera so far.
Speaking this week with CBS’s Katie Couric, Palin seemed caught off- guard by a very predictable question about the status of McCain adviser Rick Davis’ relationship with mortgage lender Freddie Mac. Davis was accused by several news outlets of retaining ties - and profiting from - the companies despite his denials.
Where a more experienced politician might have been able to brush off Couric’s follow-up question, Palin seemed genuinely stumped, repeating the same answer twice and resorting to boilerplate language about the “undue influence of lobbyists.”
These missteps could be attributed to inadequate preparation and don’t necessarily reflect more deeply on Palin’s ability to perform as vice president. But when reporters have tried to probe Palin’s thinking on subjects such as foreign policy, she’s been similarly opaque.
In an interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson, Palin gave a muddled answer to a question about her opinion of the Bush Doctrine. And given the chance to describe her foreign policy credentials more fully, Palin recited familiar talking points, telling Gibson that her experience with energy policy was sufficient preparation for dealing with national security issues.
In the same interview, Palin let Gibson lead her into saying it might be necessary to wage war on Russia - a suggestion that most candidates would have avoided making explicitly and that signaled her discomfort in discussing global affairs.
Then, asked this week by Couric to discuss her knowledge of foreign relations - in particular, her assertion that Alaska’s proximity to Russia gave her international experience - Palin tripped herself up explaining her interactions with Alaska’s neighbor to the west. Watch CBS Videos Online
On the economy, too, Palin has avoided taking clear stances. In a largely friendly interview with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, Palin spoke in tangled generalities in response to a question about a possible Wall Street bailout - and even preempted her campaign by coming out against it.
On Thursday, Palin finally took questions from her traveling press - but shut things down quickly after Politico’s Kenneth P. Vogel asked her whether she would support Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who has been indicted for corruption, and Rep. Don Young, who is under federal investigation, for reelection.
Unlike her other interviews, at least this time Palin had the option to walk away.