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.