Monday, September 29, 2008

Zakaria: "Ditch Palin"

Earlier this year, Advance Indiana churned the notion floating among conservatorati that Barack Obama would ditch Joe Biden after he exhibited too much "crazy Uncle Joe" at consecutive campaign stops while "Palin syndrome" infected America. Now it appears Palin is under assault.

("Palin Syndrome," which has a Republican strand called "Obama-mania," refers to the public's irrational, fevered pitch enthusiasm for a completely unknown political candidate because (s)he "looks and feels the part" for a demographically diverse ticket).

CNN's world affairs expert, Fareed Zakaria, captures my sentiments about Palin, and even my general admiration for Senator McCain, better than I ever could in the following interview with CNN:

CNN: What did you initially think when Sarah Palin was announced as the Republican vice presidential nominee?

Zakaria: I was a bit surprised -- as I think most people were. But I was willing to give her a chance. And I thought her speech at the convention was clever and funny. But once she began answering questions about economics and foreign policy, it became clear that she has simply never thought about these subjects before and is dangerously ignorant and unprepared for the job of vice president, let alone president.

CNN: You don't think she is qualified?

Zakaria: No. Gov. Palin has been given a set of talking points by campaign advisers, simple ideological mantras that she repeats and repeats as long as she can. But if forced off those rehearsed lines, what she has to say is often, quite frankly --nonsense. Just listen to her response to Katie Couric's question about the bailout. It's gibberish -- an emptying out of catchphrases about economics that have nothing to do with the question or the topic. It's scary to think that this person could be running the country.

CNN: Does it make you concerned about Sen. McCain as a president?

Zakaria: Yes, and I say this with sadness because I greatly admire John McCain, a man of intelligence, honor and enormous personal and political courage. However, for him to choose Sara Palin to be his running mate is fundamentally irresponsible. He did not put the country first with this decision. Whether it is appropriate or not, considering Sen. McCain's age most people expected to have a vice presidential candidate who would be ready to step in at a moment's notice. The actuarial odds of that happening are significant, something like a one-in-five chance.

Every time I hear Palin's answer to Katie Couric's bailout question, I'm reminded of the scene in Billy Madison where Adam Sandler gives an infantile answer to a question during an academic competition, and the moderator/principal replies:

"Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

But Palin will never get bounced, and my party is the reason. If McCain kicks Palin to the curb now, the Democrats will make him eat it for dinner. We'll put up ads about how he made a horrific call for political expediency.

So here's what I propose: bi-partisanship for the national interest, just like when Senator McCain championed campaign finance reform. Barack Obama agrees to SAY NOTHING about the change if John McCain will just do it. It would be like Obama giving McCain a political mulligan. Maybe if he did that, McCain would at least look at him in the next debate.



Anonymous said...

I hope Palin remains on the ticket...she is the best possible example of the judgement of McCain. She shows the country the type of decisions he would make as president. She should probably cost him 20 to 30 electoral votes......keep her on the ticket!!

Anonymous said...

zakaria should really be concerened that we have three useless senate yakkers running. obma is a freshamn senator with no experience.

what about the potentail death of obama buden? obama in 47. his father was an alcoholic dead at 46. his mother dead of cancer at 52. the media is AFRAID to ask him about his health becuas ethat would be racist.

joe biden had to brain aneurysms by age 45. surgeries in feb and may 1988. what is his actuarial table?

these three by the sake of being senators who have never held executive, management or ever leadership positions in the lowly senate.

by process of elimination, palin is the only qualified candidate, she has participated in small business, been a mayor and a governor.

that tells the story.

obama or mccain would be trainees effective jan 20. obama actually would still be a freshman senator with no credentials.

Anonymous said...

I think Palin is a nice woman and kind mother but really not a type of person for VP. She is not ready yet. If she tries to act like a knowledgable VP, her image will be like a "bimbo barbie".

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous who is defending palin. I am a republican and I decided not to vote at all because of mccain choice for VP. The old man had three melanoma's already. His chances of cashing out during his first term are pretty pretty good. TRUST ME you don't want the pitbull with lipstick running the country and especially NOW. She should go back to her trailer in Alaska.

CaptainScott said...

Zakaria, I find it curious that you don't address Sen. Obama's credentials?? If Gov. Palin's qualifications for Vice-President are suspect, as you say they are, then surely you must concede that Sen. Obama's are even more so??? And, let's see, he's running for President, I believe???

Anonymous said...

zakaria is shown as a world affars expert. i wonder 'what world?'

CaptainScott said...

Anonymous, I agree with your opinions, but it gives you a little more credibility if you use proper grammar and punctuation. Don't get offended, just hit the old spell check button every now and then.

Anonymous said...

captain scott. PLEASE don't be emotional about this. palin is not even qualified to run her carwash that she run to the ground forget the country. PLEASE listen to her recent interviews and tell me if Barrack is much much qualified than her. I would have voted for McCain if choose Romney for example. Romney is READY to take over if something happens to McCain and mark my word IT WILL HAPPEN..............I care so much about this country to see palin with a student body president credentials running the country.

Anonymous said...

Bless this man and others for coming forward and saying this. I agree with everytyhing Mr. Zakaria has said. It goes to show the judgment of McCain is horribly flawed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Fareed Zakaria for intelligently expressing why Sarah Palin should not have been chosen as John McCain's running mate. Everyone in the media tries to compare her experience to Barak Obama's. However, the knowledge and experience Obama has gained in the past 20 months regarding foreign policy and the U.S. economy outweighs Sarah Palin's experience as mayor and governor. It doesn't diminish her experience but it does outweigh her experience. I was so impressed when you stated on CNN that Gov. Palin's Alaskan experience as governor would be appropriate if she were handling the economy in Saudia Arabia but not the U.S. economy. Thanks so much for bottom-lining why Gov. Palin should not have been selected as McCain's running mate. It is surprising to see that she has very little knowledge of the U.S. economy and she is a governor. One would think that she'd have a better grasp of how our economy works. She needs more preparation time. It's unfortunate that the best host, journalist, commentator ever died (Tim Russert). Tim was the reason I voted for Barak Obama. I decided that if Obama could withstand the Tim's interrogation and probing, he could handle the presidency. Sarah Palin needs to be baptized. Unfortunately two months does her a disservice. Shame on you John McCain for putting Sarah in such a precarious position. She's intelligent, charismatic, folksy, etc. But, she's not ready to be vice president.

Sal said...

Palin will do find, zakaria is nothing more than a Muslim lover who sees Palin as a threat to Barack bin Biden....

I am sick of the obvious racial and slanted comments made by CNN and its inept staff referred to as journalists, they are nothing more than propoganda vehicles for terrosism.

Zakaria, please leave us alone with your nonsense

Anonymous said...

Sal buddy. Cut the nonsense and stop blaming muslims for everything that is wrong AGAIN. The terror scare of george bush (my fellow americans uhhhh terror terror) are over. palin is an idiot who can not run a mc donalds forget about the whole country. I am not an Obama fun and I will not vote for him either. mccain chose the wrong person. he choose a trailer park pittbull with lipstick. Like other commentators said SHE IS OUT OF HER LEAGUE and she should bow out and go back to her white trash roots...........

Anonymous said...

Sal, how can you even accuse someone else of being racist after your remarks printed here.......your hate spewing embarrasses this country.

Anonymous said...

If you listen to the rhetoric of republican conservatives you might walk away with the idea that perhaps they really do care about the country first, even before party. These folks are always stating that government is the cause of all our problems, heck their hate for government is almost fanatical and yet when I look closer and peel away some of that rhetoric what I see is not very pretty. These folks are, to put it politely, insane. I mean here is this unknown person, this governor who believes that because she see Russia from across the bearing strait and can shop in Canada that somehow she is now a foreign policy expert. When in the military I was in many of the hot spots of the world, stood shoulder to shoulder with my brothers at arms to defend this great nation of ours. Spoke with many of the locals about what views they held about there own and our country, what pressures they felt from their neighboring countries. Yet I will never profess to be an expert on foreign affairs.
In order to be able to be ready for something you must prepare for it. How can you prepare for something you know nothing about? Simple you first study it.
Since Gov. Palin professes to already know about foreign affairs she will never waste her time studying affairs. Already you see her rattling her saber at Russia, threatening Iran, invading Pakistan, and rushing to the rescue of Georgia with troops we don’t even have (who knows perhaps she will talk McCain into reinstating the draft for that one).
Many republican conservatives know deep down in their souls Palin was a bad and dangerous choice but they would rather see the country fall before turning on their party.

Anonymous said...

I see a lot of ignorants making commentaries here. Palin has a small mind and this is the reason why we should not vote for Mccain-Palin, unless you want this country run by most unqualified people ever. You ignorants, already elected Bush 4 and 8 years ago and you elected him because he reseambles you and you relate to him, he is one of yours. But you don't realize that ignorant people can detroy this country and the world. Politics is not a football game (your team has to win by any means) there is no teams in politics. You either elect the politician with the most clear and reasonable ideology or you elect an ignorant that will tell you what you want you to hear and he will implement his ignorant ideaology in any aspect of our life. And that's the direction we being going for a long time. Wake up people before is too late. We are already the joke of the world and everybody hate us not because of our life style but because of our political choices. I am publishing this anonymously only because for the first time after I left an ex communist dictature country many years ago I am afraid again to speak up because of you, ignorants.

Anonymous said...

Osama Obama is not qualified to be President. Voting "present" is no experience at all. At least Sara Palin is a Governor running a State

Anonymous said...

there are a lot of negative comments about Palin and that is from the liberal bias that is CNN. I do not think Obama has that much experience either, by putting Palin on the ticket it gave all the liberals a way out of defending their presidential nominee.

Anonymous said...

How come you never talk about Obama, who has done nothing more than being community activist. He has hardly spent ant time in the Senate. What makes you think he will be any good as a president.

Anonymous said...

For goodness sake, why are people discussing experience here ?

It is not Palin's experience (or lack of) that is being questioned by people the world over, it is her lack of intelligence !! She is STUPID. As are you if you even consider voting McCain/Palin.

What an embarrassment for a great nation such as the US....

Anonymous said...

sorry, but comments from a foreign born journalist doesn't carry any weight with me, american educated or not.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but McCain's pick of Palin was a stroke of genius and proved to me he was definitely had the shrewdness and leadership ability to be president, which I had doubted until then. Since the suggestion is that Palin "needs to spend more time with family", I can only conclude the little woman is upstaging a lot of chauvanists, and that can't be allowed.

Anonymous said... keep Palin. She's the only thing that is keeping American from making this a close race. Imagine if Mccain gets Powell, or Romney in there! The race will pull back within distnace necessary for Bob Barr and Ralph Nader to actually make this close race.
WE WANT OBAMA TO WIN BY A LANDSLIDE ZAKARIA!! - not to make this close.

On another note:
Mccain said this morning that his stark contrast on the position of Pakistan with Palin is explainable: He said he largely agrees with Palin in the sense that “he would route out terrorism wherever it exists.” But, he doesn’t want to “broadcast” it to the nation or on TV in an open announcement, because there’s a difference between saying it, and having an intent to do it but keeping your intent from the mainstream American people. This is otherwise know as lying folks.
I question everything Mccain says now… is everything he says going to simply be a tactic to make people believe that he is going to do something when he gets into office for fear of saying or annoucing something that they might not want to hear now for fear of putting his campaign at risk? Mccain is a liar, cheat, and thief to the American people. He used us and our futures as a chip in his bargaining tactic on this fabricated bail-out issue. I voted Obama yesterday, and have never been prouder in my life to vote.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing! Even after Katie Couric's interview where Palin made a complete ass of herself, some people continue to blindly support her and McCain? Good luck to you people.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Sarah is challenged to speak in coherent sentences. I don't think it means that she is stupiid, though. It does mean, however, that she will be less than effective at communicating, a very important skill for any executive or leader. It is especially important when your words need to be translated into other languages, or interpreted by others.
I am particularly bothered that John McCain chose a running mate who is currently being investigated. What does that say about his respect for our laws or investigative bodies? Does he not care what the out come may be?

He thinks she is either guilty or innocent. If he thinks she's innocent, how did he come to that judgement? He could have only heard her side of the story. Our system of justice does not allow any one person to be judge and jury and prosecutor. If he has decided she is innocent, that is poor judgement.

If he thinks she is guilty, then why would he add her to his ticket? Did he think his Washington cronies could out wit the small town unsophisticated Alaskans to close down the investigation? Did he think his candidacy for president wielded so much power that others would forget about any injustice that may have been committed against one man? If he thought she was guilty, then certainly, he showed poor judgement in choosing her.

Why would he not let the issue be settled before he tapped her?

John McCain is far mor dangerous and scary to me than Palin.

Anonymous said...

My favorite is when the right-wing pundits responded to the reaction from Palin's Couric interview. They said that she was not speaking to the "intillectual elite," rather she was speaking to the regular American folk. I'm sorry, but I'm a regular American, I'm jot not an idiot. It's so clearly obvious that McCain will do whatever it takes, about once a week until election day, to get us off the real topics. First Palin, then suspending his campaign to hammer out a resolution for the economy. Even the folks in Washington said they didn't want him there. I just hope the Obama campaign doesn't rely solely on intelligence and facts in this campaign, because there apparently a lot of people out there who pay more attention to the style of your glasses and how many limbs were broken in a POW camp as credentials to be president.

Unknown said...

If you think choosing Sarah Palin was irrisponsable how about the ignorance of choosing Joe Biden?
Does Biden have a proven track record regarding energy, reforming politics or going against the political cloat of and governors and states men?
Is Biden even liked or respected by his own circles?
Of all the silly things thatPalin has said does anything compare to Biden admitting that "maybe Hillary would have been a better pick"?
What does that say about Barrack Obama's political decission making skill, his leadership, his control over the always loose cannon or the respect that Biden has for his own "commader and chief"?
Please stick to foriegne policy and please be sure that it is as foriegne as possible.

Wilson46201 said...

Dear "Raul": People might pay more attention if you learned basic English spelling. Right now, you just look plain ignorant! You do seem to be a great acolyte of Sarah Palin in your demonstrated inability to communicate in Standard English...

Unknown said...

Btw, what a great way of representing "change" by choosing Joe Biden!!
Does Obama even have a clue?
What was he toking on the day he decided he could be president?
The only thing that Obama has demonstrated all these months to us regarding his effectivness as a leader is that he is "not George Bush".
WTF is that for a credintial?
Did he even take any economic classes in college?
If he has why havn't we heard of that?
Obama is a con artist, thats it! And you (let's help someone other than ourselves)liberals now know what it's like to be conned.

Anonymous said...

The left is terrified of Gov Palin because she is the best evidence that one doesn't need an Eastern pedigree to rise to high office.

I think my parents called it "jeolousy"

Go Sarah! I can't wait to see what she does to Senator Biden.

Unknown said...

Gee, Willy, what an honor and priveledge it is to be addressed by someone like you.
Maybe someday I can be a literate pompous jack a$$ like you?
Imagine, this humble and ignorant immagrant insulting your great language the way I have.
Such insolance?
Go find your rock, your family is waiting for you.
And stick to the issue next time and stop being fragile.

Anonymous said...

For those that question Obama's credentials, keep in mind that he had to prove himself to get enough votes to be the democratic elect. Although likeable, I’m not sure Palin would be able to get the necessary votes to be president or vice president for that matter. I like seeing her and hearing from her, but I certainly believe she is in over her head. I think we have lowered the bar by having her on the republican ticket, there are other women far more qualified than her. If there was more time to prep her I would say: “yes, let her remain on the ticket.” However, time is of the essence, if she does poorly in the debate, I think she should bow-out gracefully, and not wait as long as Hillary did.

Unknown said...

I don't agree with Mr Zakaria's analysis of Sarah Palin's abilities. She does lack experience on the national political stage. However, there are other qualities that can make up for a lack of experience -- leadership, charisma, mental acumen.

Also, she is running for VICE president, not President. She can gain experience being VICE president while McCain is in office. If McCain gets elected, it is responsibility of journalists to make sure McCain gives Palin his experience in office. No FDR/Truman situation, PLEASE.

Truman had no experience in the national scene, and he wasn't too bad as a President. And FDR gave him NOTHING.

I do concede one point to Zakaria. If McCain does exit the Presidency for whatever reason during the first year (health death, scandal, whatever), then I would be nervous about a Palin premature Presidency.

Wilson46201 said...

Harry S Truman had been a United States Senator for 10 years when selected to run for Vice President of the United States. That's 10 years of immersion in national politics unlike Sarah Palin.

Pobrecito "Raul": by all means vote for Sarah Palin! She seems as ignorant and mean-spirited as you...

Anonymous said...

Raul...Raul....Raul......not only are you mean spirited, you cant spell correctly Obama was my first choice for the nomination from very early on....however, if that had not worked out, my second choice would have been Biden. You can imagine my happiness when it became an Obama-Biden ticket....for you or anyone else to question Biden's experience and knowledge is laughable. You may disagree with his views but he very well prepared to be vice president OR president.

Anonymous said...

From what little I have been allowed to see and hear of Gov Palin by the GOP, I seriously question her ability to run the state of Alaska as well. I doubt she is is still at 80% approval ratings today in her state? And if she is, then I seriously question the quality of the other leaders from Alaska.

As far as McCain's choice - it is a slap on the face of every American. I loved McCain circa 2000/2004. But I cannot jump party lines for this McCain version 2008. He has made many moves that I make me question his judgment now. I think he is 8 year too late. And Palin is 8 years too early.

About Obama, yes he a freshman - but he is mature. Could the dems have done better, maybe so (Disclosure:I voted for Hillary). However do understand that the rut of the last 8 years has led us to look at a fresh face who projects maturity, leadership and the oft-beaten mantra of Change. If President Bush had not screwed up the last 8 years, I doubt we would be looking at a Obama-like candidate.

Finally, what should McCain have done? I personally preferred Gov Jindal (who refused wisely so) or Gen Powell. If the idea was to go after the gender vote base, then Carly Fiorina or Meg Whitman were not bad choices. And if you had to go after someone with executive experience in the public sector, then I think Gov Lingle or Gov Rell would have been a better choice than Gov Palin. Of course these others are no beauty queens or far enough on the right and that may have pissed off some conservative voters :)

Chris Worden said...

So many thoughts, so little time...

"Raul" has got to be a Democrat plant intent on making people think Republicans are buffoons. Nobody who can navigate the internet can be that absolutely illiterate.

Separately, thanks for the comment that Zakaria's post was NOT about experience, but rather, about apparent intellect. Obama's critics can say there are things he doesn't know, but I've never heard anybody say he wouldn't ultimately "get it." My fear about Palin is that even given time to study the subject matter, Palin still won't EVER "get it."

Palin is 2008 Dan Quayle without as much intellect. George Bush, Sr. wanted an Indiana Senator, and instead of picking a renowned statesman, Richard Lugar, he went with the "young, good looking guy" hoping he could close the "gender gap." Respectfully, that's all McCain did here.

Finally, Sal, can you help me understand what it is that everyone fears about American Muslims? Or are you referring to a separate group of Muslims, and if so, which ones? People are hellbent on associated Obama with the Muslim faith, but I'm not sure what policies this affects? Do you think he's going to give Muslims secret tax cuts that nobody else gets!?

Anonymous said...

With fundamentalist Christians bombing abortion clinics, killing doctors, forcing women to have children conceived due to incest or rape, I dont see why anyone should be so scared of American Muslims. I think maybe it should the extremist right wing Christians who we should fear.

Anonymous said...

I have voted republican my entire life. I'm rethinking because of Palin- it is unthinkable that she should be in office. I like her a lot from a personal standpoint and agree with her on social issues, but she is not ready for this. Oh- and to the idiot spewing nonsense about Christians running around bombing abortion clinics... etc. That is a TINY TINY number of extremists. If you're worried about a violent group, look at numbers and worry about gangs. Stop spewing idiocy.