Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Crunch Time for Palin

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Sarah Palin has done three interviews and did poorly in the ones not conducted by a Conservative. That's two interviews in which she wasn't only off her game, she was ill-prepared and ignorant of basic world events. Jeff Goldberg notes this from her Couric interview:

How can it be that some people still pretend that Sarah Palin is suited for high office? This country has never seen someone so comprehensively unprepared for the vice presidency; Dan Quayle was Metternich by comparison. I've watched Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric three times, and my astonishment does not diminish. Her nonsensical answer about Russia has deservedly been highlighted, but let me focus on another question, this one concerning the export of democracy. Couric asked, "What happens if the goal of democracy doesn't produce the desired outcome?

In Gaza, the U.S. pushed hard for elections and Hamas won." Palin's answer, in full, was this: "Yeah, well especially in that region, though, we have to protect those who do seek democracy and support those who seek protections for the people who live there. What we're seeing in the last couple of days here in New York is a President of Iran, Ahmadinejad, who would come on our soil and express such disdain for one of our closest allies and friends, Israel ... and we're hearing the evil that he speaks and if hearing him doesn't allow Americans to commit more solidly to protecting the friends and allies that we need, especially there in the Mideast, then nothing will."

He goes on to say how she should have answered but touches on the point that she didn't seem to even get the question. That's a problem considering that Gaza is a flash point and jihadi influence is spreading there daily. Goldberg correctly points out that she seemed to endorse Hamas because she seemed to not even know what Hamas is. Israel will be a major issue in the near term and not even knowing the arch enemy of one of are most important allies is not comforting.

Granted, she is the governor of Alaska and has been focusing on issues central to that state but one would hope that she has some inkling about what is going on in a part of the world that has had an impact on every presidency since Truman. Anyone who watched the nightly news during the al-Aqsa Intifada couldn't help but have the basics down when Palestinians were bombing seders and pizza parlors full of innocents. Wasn't her curiosity at the very least piqued?

Sarah Palin has one last chance to shine and that is on Thursday night. I sure as hell hope that she is being pounded with info on Shia's, Sunni's, Kurds, Fatah, Hamas, Hezbollah, Putin, Merkel, Ahmadinejad, al-Sadr, Assad, China, North Korea, Somalia, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, all of Europe including Turkey, East Africa and the myriad other questions that will arise. To not know what and who are Hamas are is unforgivable unless she comes out ready on October 2nd.

There's no bigger Palin fan than I but her performance has been almost satirical. She sets herself up for parody on SNL simply by the answers she gives to seemingly innocuous questions. I want her to do well but she is way behind the curve and I blame McCain's people for not having her ready and up to speed.

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