Monday, September 29, 2008

I've Been Set Straight on Sarah Palin

A few days back, I wrote about VP candidate Sarah Palin's humiliating interview with Katie Couric, and wrote that Palin is truly a foreign policy moron. I also wrote that McCain's selection of such a pathetic fool was disgraceful and throws doubt on his claim to always put "country first."

Well, today I take it all back. Sarah Palin is obviously ready to be vice president.

How do I know?

Her mommy and daddy said so.

In an interview on the CBS Early Show, Sally and Chuck Heath told CBS's Harry Smith that their daughter is indeed ready for the second most important job in the country:

When asked by Smith about rumblings that Palin isn't ready to be vice president and a heartbeat away from the presidency, Chuck replied, "She's ready to do anything she wants to be. And she perseveres, she works so hard, she learns so fast. Yeah, she -- I -- I don't worry about that at all. That's what I'll tell 'em. Yeah. ... You want some honesty, yeah -- yeah, not a typical politician, get her. Yeah. Yeah."

Sally added, "She's got that ability to relate to people. She's diplomatic. She can get her point across."
Such a thoughtful and eloquent answer to a question they had to know was coming. At least we see where Palin gets it.

It may be true that she has good organizational experience from being a mayor and a governor. And it's generally true that governors have made better presidents than have senators or congressmen. It may be better for the country to have a vice president who is about as far from being a Washington outsider as possible. But that's not enough to qualify anyone to be president, let alone vice president. So far, Palin has not demonstrated the ability to think on her feet, to be capable of any kind of creative analysis of issues, or any kind of dynamic intelligence that would indicate she's ready to be involved in high-level policy making or negotiations.

Things aren't looking so good for McCain's campaign now any way. Today's Intrade market odds have Obama at 58 to McCain's 40.4. If McCain somehow manages to turn this thing around and win, it will be a sad day for the country. But even if he loses, McCain will have sullied his reputation as a true patriot who always puts his country before himself. The selection of Sarah Palin is nothing more than a transparent ploy to win the presidency. And that is unbecoming of McCain.

PS: To the two anonymous commentators on my first Palin post who asked whether it's not more relevant that Obama, as the presidential candidate, is inexperienced. Yes, it matters. But Obama is smart, analytic, and thoughtful. Even if I preferred McCain to Obama (and I'm not saying whether I do), I don't doubt that Obama's foreign policy would be intelligent and careful. It is simply unimaginable to me that Palin, if she became president, could negotiate a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, or could face down Medvedev over Georgia, or engage in tough diplomacy over free trade. It's not even so much her appalling ignorance of the issues (although that's still shocking. Given that I'm sure she's being force-fed basic understandings of foreign policy, she should be at least able to speak coherently about what's going on in the world). Rather, what scares me is her total inability to think analytically. She cannot be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office.

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