Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Okay, Now I'm Sure

I was skeptical of Sarah Palin back when she had her deer in the headlights look on the Bush Doctrine, and didn't like her response on the Georgia crisis. Now, I'm out and out calling her a liability for McCain. Why? Here's a transcript:
Couric: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?

Palin: I've read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.

Couric: What, specifically?

Palin: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years.

Couric: Can you name a few?

Palin: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn't a foreign country, where it's kind of suggested, "wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?" Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.

The National Review article I pulled it from spins it like this:
As soon as I saw it on CBS earlier (I trust most of you have better things to do with your time!), I knew the new conventional wisdom would be something like "she bans books and doesn't read." And sure enough. The e-mails are coming in. Obviously the governor of Alaska reads. And what it looked liked to me is the governor of Alaska decided she wasn't going to play along with Couric. Whatever she answered would be scrutinized for the next 24 hours for what she included and left off. So instead she let Katie badger her a little. (I half expected Palin to say, Katie, I even have a Blackberry in Alaska!)

And now the ticket is in yet a better position to run against the media.

Who knew a McCain ticket would ever be in a position to do such a thing?

I'm afraid I disagree. Crying "Gotcha journalism," seems to be becoming a mantra whenever she runs up against a question she doesn't know how to answer. And I can see the point on the Bush Doctrine question because chances are most non-politically astute people couldn't answer that question. (My counterpoint to that being I like people in charge of the country to be politically astute). But this . . . this was a softball. Name a newspaper, or a web source, any of them, and run with the question. Claiming it's a stupid question doesn't work. She's been caught out in gaffes like the Bush doctrine one earlier, so it's a valid point to ask where and how she gets her information. It's also a good question for her to answer, an opportunity to put the critiques of her knowledgeability to rest. She totally flubbed it. "Well, of course she reads," seems a pretty lame response.

Oh, and this doesn't help:

Um, yeah. The transcript:
COURIC: Why isn't it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries; allow them to spend more and put more money into the economy instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy, helping the--it's got to be all about job creation, too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans. And trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity not as a competitive, scary thing. But one in five jobs being created in the trade sector today, we've got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.

This doesn't help either:

It makes no sense. The transcript:
COURIC: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?
PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land-- boundary that we have with-- Canada. It-- it's funny that a comment like that was-- kind of made to-- cari-- I don't know, you know? Reporters--


PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our-- our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia--

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- we do-- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where-- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is-- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to-- to our state.

Now, I do think that people should draw a line between Palin being competent and McCain being competent. You may not like McCain's policies, particularly as he is moving more towards the right, and he is seriously puzzling me by his political strategy these days. But he has basic knowledge, and he's not exactly in his deathbed. But Palin? Whoever suggested her as a running-mate should be quietly dismissed from his campaign. I still think he should've chosen Huckabee.

I've heard a rumor on the 'net that the McCain campaign has gotten the questions for Thursday's debate, but it's only on anti-Palin sources, so I'm not convinced that's the case. For her sake, I hope so. Unfortunately, from what I'm seeing this debate may be quite widely watched, but only because Biden's notorious for his gaffes as well and I'm seeing a whole lot of side betting on who will crash and burn first. It's like the Roman coliseum, only nobody gets killed.

I'm definitely watching, and for that very reason. Yep, I'm tapping my inner Roman and waiting to see which one screws up first and worst. Are you kidding? It's the only chance for a laugh in this whole debacle. Although I do hope for their sakes they've been well prepped and it won't be so bad, and for our country's sake I'm hoping they can be roughly competent 'cause one of them is about to get a very important job, for my own sense of humor I'm secretly hoping to see a train wreck.

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