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Palin and the Press

I just have to say that I find Bob Herbert's latest article in the Times to be well-stated. It's about how, despite what the McCain campaign and other supporters say, the press should indeed be exploring and challenging the opinions of vice-presidental nominee Sarah Palin:

The McCain campaign has done its bizarre best to shield Ms. Palin from any sustained media examination of her readiness for the highest offices in the land, and no wonder. She has been an embarrassment in interviews.

But the idea that the voters of the United States might install someone in the vice president’s office who is too unprepared or too intellectually insecure to appear on, say, “Meet the Press” or “Face the Nation” is mind-boggling.

The alarm bells should be clanging and warning lights flashing. You wouldn’t put an unqualified pilot in the cockpit of a jetliner. The potential for catastrophe is far, far greater with an unqualified president.

The United States has been lucky in terms of the qualifications of the vice presidents who have had to step in over the last several decades for presidents who either died or, in Richard Nixon’s case, were forced to leave office. Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson became extraordinary presidents in their own right. Gerald Ford successfully guided the nation through the immediate aftermath of one of the most traumatic political crises in its history.

For those who think Sarah Palin is in that league, there is no problem. But her unscripted public appearances would lead most honest observers to think otherwise.

Herbert goes on to detail some of Palin's remarks during her interview with Katie Couric. He finished with a simple, fair, analysis:

The press has an obligation to hammer away at Ms. Palin’s qualifications. If it turns out that she has just had a few bad interviews because she was nervous or whatever, additional scrutiny will serve her well.

If, on the other hand, it becomes clear that her performance, so far, is an accurate reflection of her qualifications, it would behoove John McCain and the Republican Party to put the country first — as Mr. McCain loves to say — and find a replacement for Ms. Palin on the ticket.

Comments (5)

I honestly think she came across as being less coherent than Bush in the Couric interview. That's a feat itself.

The one thing that sticks in my mind when I see Palin interview:

I think it would serve the country better if we could find a replacement for McCain and Obama. Ugh! I hate all this focus on whether Palin is qualified when we have two piss poor candidates.

Either Obama or McCain are about to take over management of 300,000,000 people, a $13 trillion economy and a $3 trillion budget. What makes either of them qualified for the job? What has Obama managed in his life? Ok, McCain was a squadron leader. Yay, 11 other pilots he managed. Both of them have been one of a crowd. Heck, McCain and Obama haven't even been doing their current job for the past 18 months.


Thanks for your comment, Jeff, but I'll note that since your email address and URL indicate that you may be a part of Bob Barr's presidential campaign, you aren't exactly an objective observer of McCain and Obama.

I do plan on supporting Barr with my vote. Though, not my time or money. I think AstroTurfing is really cheap and stupid. I just made up the e-mail (since I have a catchall to my domain, though with the amount of spam I get, maybe I should change that) and used his URL just because he's an option in my state.

I'm just really down on the two party duopoly. My main point is that everyone is focused on Palin's qualifications and have just accepted that being a Senator and career politician qualifies you to be President. If only Ross Perot hadn't funked up his campaign by hopping in and out and in and out and then naming Stockdale as his VP. Perot has really been the only candidate that I've had a chance to vote for that might actually be qualified to run a "business" the size of our country.

Do I think Barr would be a good President? No. However, the best I could hope for is that he'd use his veto pen a lot :)

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