Let’s be clear about what we saw last night. Sarah Palin is thoroughly and utterly unprepared to be vice president (and, God help us, president). She gave clueless, cringe-inducing answers – that relied on repetitive, oddly-emphasized talking points – to some of the most basic foreign policy questions facing the commander-in-chief. Questions she clearly had no idea how to genuinely answer.
Conservatives complain that the Bush Doctrine is hard to define and she simply asked for clarification. But any reasonably informed person and certainly the GOP candidate for VP should have an idea of what the Bush Doctrine is; preemptive self-defense, regime change in the name of democracy, I’d even accept protecting Israel.
But she had no idea. The reason she had no idea is because she doesn’t know anything about foreign policy. It seems pretty obvious that she doesn’t even read the international section of the newspaper.
Of course, how elitist of me to suggest that a candidate for the most powerful office in the country should read the newspaper and be informed about issues facing the country. Reading is for tennis playing, wine sippers, right?
The other more predictable line of attack is media bias. Charlie Gibson was condescending and combative. He glowered at her. The interview was edited to make her look bad. Unfortunately, none of that (the excuses are not true) was necessary to make Palin look bad. Every answer she gave was either a formulaic talking point or a nervous dodge. (Forget the fact that if she were a man, Gibson’s “glower” would never be mentioned at all.)
Read this excerpt:
GIBSON: But governor, I’m asking you, if you don’t have approval. We said the same thing about Musharraf. We said we needed his approval and we concede just the fact that we’ve got al Qaeda reconstituted in the Waziristan area making cross-border raids into Afghanistan. Do we need his approval or can we simply go in and go after them?
PALIN: This brings us right back to how important it is to win in Afghanistan, to make sure that the terrorist groups are not growing there. We can’t afford to lose in Iraq and we can’t afford to lose in Afghanistan. And we’re going to have to implement in Afghanistan a lot of the same successes, a lot of that surge solution that have been implemented and proven — proven to be successful in Iraq.
An uninformed dodge using an empty talking point. The entire interview was this way, or worse.
I know hardcore conservatives want to win, but you have to ask at what price? It is now inconceivable, if you love your children and this country, to vote the McCain/Palin ticket.
Surely, there is a hockey mom from Alaska who reads the newspaper and has an interest in national domestic and foreign policy affairs.
Let’s get her on the ticket and swap out this one.