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The Palin Problem

That was the headline on my latest column, in which I suggested Sarah Palin bow out.

Well.

Several thousand e-mails later, I can say with some certainty that I hit a nerve.

To the GOP base, predictably, I'm a traitor. But what's interesting is how many Republicans seem to take attacks on Palin personally. Moreover, they despise the media so much that they'd rather rationalize Palin's flaws than acknowledge what is patently obvious. In their view, it is the media's fault that Palin has been rendered incoherent.

I don't doubt that Palin is much more articulate on issues with which she is familiar. She is undoubtedly a political talent and a rising star. But she was plucked too soon. Both Palin and McCain are responsible for this unfortunate and untimely debacle -- he for asking her and she for accepting.

Obviously, the McCain team knows it has a problem or it wouldn't be shielding Palin from less-structured media encounters. They've brought in their big guns to coach her for Thursday's debate. Perhaps, they will succeed in raising her game. My guess is she'll do better than anyone expects, but that would require only that she speak in complete sentences with subject and verb in their proper order.

I realize, of course, that Palin quitting the campaign at this point is unlikely. Conventional wisdom holds that switching running mates dooms presidential candidates, as when George McGovern dumped Thomas Eagleton in 1972. Republicans took that opportunity to raise questions about McGovern's judgment and he lost to Richard Nixon.

But, for the sake of argument, let's entertain the possibility that circumstances are different this time. Is it possible for McCain to lose Palin and still win? Maybe.

First, McCain doesn't have to fire Palin as McGovern did Eagleton. She could excuse herself -- with grace and honor -- for personal reasons.

Second, McCain could fill her open slot with someone keyed to the moment. Given the current economic crisis, maybe Americans desperate for wise counsel would forgive McCain his error in judgment and applaud a competent substitute -- such as Mitt Romney -- who understands the marketplace and can help articulate a plan that might keep this ship from sinking.

Third, anxious Americans could view this changing of the guard not as a flip-flop -- perhaps retiring that term forever -- but as a necessary adjustment, given the economic crisis at hand.

We all make mistakes. Only a fool never admits to them.

By Kathleen Parker  | September 30, 2008; 1:56 PM ET
Categories:  Parker  | Tags:  Kathleen Parker  
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Next: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Comments

I am Obama supporter, but I must say I agree with your article. If McCain chose a qualified running mate, although I would likely disagree with them in terms of policy, I wouldn't shudder for America's future. Differences of opinion should be allowed and encouraged, but those opinions need to be based on intellect and an ability to communicate. Broad knowledge of the geopolitical landscape should not be optional in a VP candidate. Ms. Parker, thank you for having the courage to speak out. If Palin does not step down, I am truly afraid for our country.

Posted by: ranranraj | September 30, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

As an Obama supporter I have mixed feelings. For my candidate's electoral prospects, I hope John McCain stays as stubborn and hard headed as he's been and sticks with Sarah Palin. But for the country, with the fact that this is still a close election and I truly believe McCain's health makes it entirely possible that if elected, his Veep may very well have to serve, I hope he relents and puts a qualified person on his ticket. Either way, I think his rash, partisan and opportunistic choice (did he REALLY think Hillary Clinton's supporters would fall for this?) has doomed his candidacy. At least I hope so.

Posted by: Omyobama | September 30, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I find it amazing that there are still those on the far right who rationalize what seems obvious to the neutral observer; that she has absolutely no clue what she's talking about. That Katie Couric interview was just embarassing. She has foreign experience because she's next to Alaska? I'm in Texas, does that mean I have adequate enough foreign experience to potentially be vice president or even president? It's time that Americans stop voting in people like we have for the past couple decades who are "just like us" or "guys we can have a beer with." I want a smart, articulate president who can lead us out of the mess we're in and back to our standing atop the world. John McCain lost my vote when he picked somebody so dumb and unfit for office.

Posted by: HTseng | September 30, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I just don't see it. I don't see how he could swap Palin for anyone else and not be doomed. Even if Palin bowed out on her own, Repub women would know damn well that is was because McCain told her to. And that would probably infuriate them beyond repair. She's their great pink hope. For all the independent voters... it really is an admission that McCain chose Palin for political purposes and not because she was the best choice for the country. That's a mighty big "do-over"... changing your VP nominee/running mate mid-stream... and I think with McCain's bizarre campaign behavior, it's too much for the voters to forgive. It would be just one more erratic "ploy" in his bid for the Presidency, and the public is burning out on those. He painted himself into a corner with Palin.

Posted by: DogBitez | September 30, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The answer is no. If McCain lost Palin after choosing her, he would have absolutely no chance of winning this election even if Obama came out in a news conference and confessed that he killed little children for sport and ate them with his biscuits and tea. McCain has to stick with his first choice, Palin, and if Palin dropped out, everyone would know what really happened. McCain has already made too many mistakes so far. Dropping Palin would be the utter end of his lifelong dream of being President.

Posted by: forgetthis | September 30, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I wrote a couple of weeks ago on my obscure blog that the choice of Palin seemed politically shrewd at the time, and we are still seeing the shrewdness of it.

By choosing someone that large swathes of the Republican base could identify with personally -- and see themselves in -- McCain's campaign created a situation where rational criticism of Palin's qualifications would be perceived among the Base as personal attacks on ordinary Repubs themselves. And that's what we see. "She's a mom like me, don't question her. She's a Christian like me, don't make her out to be an idiot."

She has attained Republican political nirvana - she is both wholly unqualified AND untouchable. In a sane society, she wouldn't have been picked in the first place. Well, she has been, but if there were any sanity left, Biden could reduce her to a pile of rubble on Thursday and America would see how unqualified she is. But we live in 'murka, and Biden will have to keep his mouth shut or the backlash from the reverse-sexist right will be deafening.

Unqualified and untouchable -- this is of course the status Bush has sought for 8 years. I think this is what all Repubs want -- the freedom to screw things up royally without ever having to take the blame. Now, with the finance crisis upon us, I can say only, "Vindicate THIS, you [expletive deleted]."

Posted by: jamshark70 | September 30, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Why are people saying that they are afraid of Palin being VP? No one was afraid when Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan took office. They were both governors and neither of them had knowledge of foreign policy except for what they read about. Governors don't get foreign policy exposure. How many foreign negotiations did Bill Clinton participate in before he became President? Mitt Romney was a governor. How much foreign policy does he know first hand? I wish Palin would dump her handlers and tell the truth. She may not have much first-hand foreign policy experience, but that didn't disqualify many of America's presidents and veeps, and her executive talent more than makes up for it.

Posted by: forgetthis | September 30, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Stick a fork in her. She's done.

Sarah carries the seeds of her self-destruction within. She's like a train wreck in slow motion--we can't help but watch with our mouths open. She will make a great historical footnote.

The single best moments, and the absolute most telling this past week during the financial debacle with McCain running around the Hill, was having Joe Lieberman by his side. Sarah was no where near him, to provide him the counsel that Joe was providing. Not even McCain respects her enough to have her by his side during that crisis.

/lolz

Posted by: HillRat | September 30, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

It's possible to make the switch and win, but I don't know who on the right America would trust right now as a financial guru:

Greenspan (a lot of this can be hung on him for keeping interest rates so low, plus it would take the average age of the ticket to 76)

Romney (a rich CEO)

Bernanke (too close to the problem)

Rubin (again, could be saddled with this, plus he's a Dem)

Untainted others (would make it a straight-up admission of incompetence on Palin's part)

Clinton (that might work, but I doubt she'd take it)

Shelby (Actually, that might be a decent pick -- finance chops but opposed to the Bush proposal)

Posted by: Left_of_the_Pyle | September 30, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

That the GOP base thinks anyone is a traitor for pointing out Palin's obvious shortcomings points to the disease that is eating our country alive; blind partisanship and a willingness to sacrifice everything to get your team elected. This is a worst-case scenario in a democracy. We can expect more worst-case outcomes if this continues through November.

Posted by: dccamp68 | September 30, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

@forgetthis - Bill Clinton at least showed some evidence of intellectual curiosity, and the ability to absorb new information and synthesize it into coherent policy positions (or at least as coherent as could be expected from any politician -- which is not much).

Palin, by contrast, shows NO evidence of this ability. That is scary.

I'm not opposed to a governor reaching high office; nor am I opposed to a woman. I am opposed to THIS PARTICULAR woman because she just doesn't seem to be that bright. McCain could have picked, say, Kay Bailey Hutchison as a running mate and I would have been impressed. (But then, she wouldn't have satisfied the raw-meat rightwing radio loonybin crowd.)

(Oh, and by "executive experience" do you mean overreaching her authority and violating professional ethics on various whims? Come to think of it, that makes her a right perfect Republican, doesn't it? For heaven's sake... the LAST thing we need now is more of that.)

Posted by: jamshark70 | September 30, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

He is stuck with her. Even if he rationalized a change by using the state of the economy, his judgment will be in question. Why did he pick her at all, when there were more seasoned governors out there, including Mitt Romney? He would be forced to admit the cynicism and sexism behind his choice, and That. Cannot. Happen.

It is plain to those unbridled by partisan loyalty that she was picked to fire up the base with her social conservative credentials, which she did. She was not picked as a choice for good governance. She would be even more ineffectual than Dan Quayle, and would cement McCain's status as a one-term president, should he be elected and live that long.

No, any kind of change is an admission of defeat, and that isn't how that operation works.

Posted by: Charlene-K | September 30, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Love your comments. But you say "We all make mistakes. Only a fool never admits to them." Wait a minute. Are you claiming
that our Decider Guy is a fool?

Posted by: FredB1 | September 30, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Everyone in the bagel place this morning was discussing the proposed bailout. Everyone at work has been agog. Yet Sarah Palin sorta, kinda thinks it has something to do with . . . health care? Job formation, maybe?

All of us were mostly clueless about this topic three weeks ago, but most of us civilians have started to educate ourselves, fast, about what's happening and how to fix it. The politicians are moving even faster.

Yet Sarah Palin, that "quick study", whose ignorance we were supposed to excuse because she'll catch on quick, has no CLUE what this here bailout proposal is about. Could it be housing, maybe? Mortgages? How 'bout foreclosures? Even someone who's scanned the headlines within the past few weeks would have been able to start making noises about homeownership and the American dream. This is what the uninformed but game candidate would do. It's only the joke candidate who is so clueless she can't even hit the right issue.

I don't think McCain can let Palin go without killing his chances. Is he truly man enough to put the well-being of America above his own political ambition? I doubt it.

Posted by: krasni | September 30, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Now you're comparing Palin to Reagan???

"No one was afraid when Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan took office. They were both governors and neither of them had knowledge of foreign policy except for what they read about."

True, but both Clinton and Reagan showed signs of having read something; Palin has not. And unlike Palin, both Clinton and Reagan are acknowledged master communicators. Face it, Palin isn't even comprehensible much of the time. She is the most demonstrably unqualified veep candidate since James Stockdale, and makes about as much sense.

Posted by: SageThrasher | September 30, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

If McCain dumps Palin at this point, my guess is he would lose a half dozen points in the national polls - maybe more.

He is behind in VA and North Carolina as of today. Obama is catching him in Ohio and Florida. Colorado and PA are almost a 'done deal' for Obama.

At the rate its going, we're looking at a landslide and that is WITH Palin not screwing up in the debate.

If McCain dumps her, it is completely over.

Posted by: FivePlaneMcCain | September 30, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The bristling I felt, as an intelligent woman in favor of rights for women, at the cynical unveiling of Governor Palin has turned to downright fuming at the self-righteous pandering the Republicans have resorted to as they try in vain to sustain the illusion that she is qualified to lead our country. Isolating her from inquiry, branding any critique of her as anti-feminist or as mean-spirited, manufacturing reasons to be insulted on her behalf - - where will it end? Having John McCain sit by her side as the gallant defender during her "redo" with Couric was just surreal. I think I have to agree that, for the sake of the country, she should withdraw because there is a chance that their ticket will win. I don't think it will put McCain in any better position to win the White House to swap her for Joe Lieberman, especially now. But, I also don't necessarily think it will make his chances any worse. His credibility has been toast with thinking people for a while now, so our votes aren't going to be lured at this point, and it's not like his base is going to vote for Obama instead.

Posted by: lawbabie | September 30, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

How can those who still support Sarah Palin claim they put "Country First"? Palin is clearly not prepared to handle the many challenges facing the US and the globe. If the McCain camp thinks she is too fragile to handle a few reporters, how in God's name do they expect her to perform at tough diplomatic negotiations? And the latest interview with Katie Couric made McCain look like an overly protective dad as his daughter readies for the prom.

Posted by: stopanimalexperimentation | September 30, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The Republican base is reacting to the very justified criticisms of Palin (and there are many, from her cluelessness to her involvement in corruption to her downright archaic 18th century beliefs) the way that they react to any uncomfortable truths pointed out to them: crucify the messenger. It is a practice that they learned well from their hero, Mr. George W. Bush.

It is sad that these people - who brought so much destruction down upon the country with their spectacularly bad judgment in the past two elections - are still allowed in voting booths. Unfortunately we are stuck with them, just as Mr. McCain is stuck with Half-Baked Alaska for a running mate.

Posted by: B2O2 | September 30, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

McCain took a huge and reckless and foolish gamble with his VP pick. Palin is completely unqualified (her interview with Katie Couric made me cringe and the subsequent do-over with Couric with Daddy McCain by her side made me cringe even more. Whining about media "gotchas" when she was such a breathtaking train-wreck? Oh please. It was not a hostile interview, and the question was more than relevant based on the week's news). As an independent, I'd been leaning slightly McCain before this complete disaster of a veep pick. Now there is simply no way I can trust the judgement of this man.

That being said, I don't doubt what Ms. Parker said. Palin's performance on the debate will likely get touted as a huge victory as long as she avoids tripping over her own sentences.

It's sheer arrogance and a complete insult to voters' intelligence for her to use the "I can see Russia from my house" argument in favor of her "foreign policy" credentials. Why aren't more Republicans outraged by this choice? I'm sure there are any number of smart and capable women in the party who could have been chosen. A caricature of a candidate has been chosen for a history-making nomination, and that's a crying shame.

Posted by: groups | September 30, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I am an Obama supporter. I actually feel sorry for Palin. Not sorry enough to vote for her. I feel sorry that she would allow herself to be used by McCain. I won't advocate that she withdraw from the race. Any advantage that Mr. Obama can get, I'm all for it. Mr. Biden adds comic relief to the campaign--which is his own doing. Palin, as comic relief, is at the expense of the whole country.

How did she become governor? Did the voters listen to her during her gubernatorial campaign? How did she acquire an 80% "popularity" rating? These are some probing questions that I think the media is missing.

She is emblematic of the whole anti-intellectual culture that is prevelant in our society. We do want leaders who are more intelligent and more articulate than the masses. We want leaders who are able to have high-level discourse with other leaders around the globe.

Posted by: mjgrooms | September 30, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Talking about buying a "pig in a poke", this is a reflection of McCain's judgement and he wants to stick the country with this "abortion".

His candidacy is dead. The question is how expensive does the Republician Party wants to make the funeral?

Posted by: alvin12 | September 30, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Kathleen you are right on target, but the damage is done. McCain has telegraphed his poor judgement and absolute disregard for the facts. Perhaps this is the reason the economy is in the tank.

McCain arriving in Washington and begging President Bush to personally invite Obama, so he couldn't refuse, for a nothing photo opp. McCain never went to Capitol Hill but did make a few phone calls from his house. He then had a great double date at a very expensive restaurant Saturday night with Liberman, while the real mmembers of congress ate stale donoughnuts and labored into the night to find common ground on the economy.

McCain is old, unstable and out of touch. His campaign is like he has been all his life-ABOUT ME (JOHN MCCAIN)-not his country first. He deserves Palin. The country doesn't.

American people want to see and hear the V.P. nominees on real journalist interviews. Her not appearing on Meet The Press within the first 2 Sundays after the convention is unexcusable. She is not qualified.

She went to the Principals office with John McCain on the joint interview with Couric. When have you ever seen a Candidate of the Office of President Of The U. S., appear as the principal to correct the little girl.

She and McCain are done. Nothing can turn this situation around. Even if she doesn't sink in the debate, she still reacts like the 8th grade girl standing in front of the class that forgot her homework assignment and doesn't know what to say. I have no pity on her because she is not smart enough to know her limitations.

Posted by: COWENS99 | September 30, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The lowest common denominator of Republican Party Presidential politics is simply stated: candidates who appear as strong leaders willing to stand up to liberals and the media are authentic conservatives. Candidates not perceived as strong or who are perceived as too friendly with liberals and the media are suspect.

Sarah Palin, much like George W. Bush and much more than John McCain, is a lowest common denominator Republican. She presented self-confidence, even brashness, in her early campaign appearances, and what substance her stump speeches and interviews have had has been mostly related to her disdain for liberals and the media. The Republicans who still believe George W. Bush has done a good job as President -- the permanent campaign jargon for these voters is "the base" -- love Palin for most of the same reasons they admire George W. Bush. If she were not on the ticket, they would not be anywhere near as enthusiastic about Sen. McCain.

That's the bargain McCain made when he put Palin on the ticket. She has generated enthusiasm among Republicans who have always regarded him with suspicion, but who can be depended on to go to the polls. That, though, is only one side of the coin. The other is that Palin is largely ignorant of almost every area of federal government policy, and has appeared helpless when not reading from a teleprompter. People not already disposed to love her really, really don't -- and after eight years of George Bush in the White House there are a lot more of them.

Can McCain drop her? No. Can he win if she leaves the ticket voluntarily? No.

Look, this campaign is over, as far as who wins and who loses the Presidency is concerned. The incumbent Republican President has been sitting at approval ratings in the 20s for two years, and the economy is sliding toward recession amid near panic in the financial markets. If Sen. Obama declares his support for selling heroin in elementary schools or giving California back to the Mexicans, he could still lose this election. But McCain can't win it. McCain made a mistake in putting Sarah Palin on the ticket, but he made a much bigger mistake by not finishing off George Bush after the New Hampshire primary in 2000 -- an election year in which he could have won.

Posted by: jbritt3 | September 30, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

There is no way that McCain can win this election, with or without Palin. The media can entertain that scenario until election day if it wishes but Obama won in 2006.

But I write this because I find the last two lines amusing and very true "We all make mistakes. Only a fool never admits to them."

Now there is a succinct and concise description of George W. Bush if ever there was one.

Posted by: nyrunner10 | September 30, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Laughter, Sadness & Anger

1 (Laughter): What made Tina Fey's portrayal of Palin on SNL was that the skit included Palin's words verbatim. It was less of a parody and more of factual account of the governor and that is what made it both humorous and sad.

2 (Sadness): This was not a "gotcha" moment. If Palin bothered to watch the news or pick up a newspaper, she would truly be a "quick study" as then she'd be spending more time learning McCain's policy stances than learning about him AND what's going on outside Alaskan borders.

Granted, she's no Rhodes scholar but she's not a dingbat either. She has been given a task that would topple most people. Where she is the governor of Alaska and that itself sets her apart from most people, she, at this point in her political career, does not rise to the level of a worthy VP (which I think was Parker's point)...and for this, I am angry at she and John McCain.

3 (Anger): As he sat beside her during the second Couric interview, all I could feel is disgust. He talked over both she and Katie and behaved like a domineering male who was prepped to admonish the women in the room for speaking out of turn.

In a way, her appointment is Affirmative Action at its worst. AA has benefited all minorities in the workplace and that includes white women. Where AA's goal is to give qualified people the opportunity to "break through ceilings," its opponents have argued that it also enables unqualified individuals to rise to positions despite their lack of qualifications and not because of discriminatory practices.

Palin may be "just like us" (not sure who "us" is) but therein lies the problem. Our country shouldn't be led by "normal" people. Yes, "normal" people can do extraordinary things but in an extraordinary socio-economic climate, we need extraordinary candidates. Palin is spunky but mediocre at best.

Posted by: sankofaus1977 | September 30, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I once had respect for John McCain - even gave $40 to his campaign. He was my Plan B if Hillary Clinton was the Democratic nominee. Now, I can smell his desperation from the 45th floor of a Chicago office tower.

McCain's selection of Palin was the straw that broke the proverbial back. Initially, I was terrified of Palin's extreme social conservatism. Now, I am stupefied by her utter lack of curiosity, let alone knowledge, of anything beyond Wasilla, AK. I and any number of individuals I know may not have her experience as governor. At the same time, we are clearly far more informed as to the country she seeks to govern and the world beyond our shores.

To those who compare Palin to Bill Clinton, PLEASE!!! I am no fan of the former President but the man graduated from Yale and its law school and attended Oxford. Sarah Palin attended five small colleges in six years, studying sports broadcasting.

Posted by: GordonsGirl | September 30, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

All, the two Mc's....

McCain is behind Palin one thousand percent, isn't he? Dropping her would only sink his chances further as dropping Eagleton did for McGovern.

Posted by: multiplepov | September 30, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Who can better handle a crisis? Now we know. In his usual hotheaded style, McCain cancelled the campaign, rushed right in and made a colossal fool of himself.
Obama remained cool and presidential, then made a few strategic calls to the leaders. Now McCain has PROVED to us that he can't deal with a crisis.

Posted by: dunnhaupt | September 30, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Im now a former Republican because of Palin. Why aren't there more outraged Republicans? Where has sanity and reason gone?

Palin has no business managing a Taco Bell.

Where are the flag waving patriots of the party? Why is there no discussion of Todd Palin's and possibly Sarah Palin's membership in the secessionist party?

Where are all the anti Clinton/anti Arkansas hillbillies who now are going to vote in some snow hillbillies?

At least Bill and Hillary went to great universities. Five very marginal colleges for Sarah and no college degree for Todd.

God help us. I may get religious now. Maybe thats what this is all about.

Posted by: joebob2 | September 30, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin = Clarence Thomas.

No one does affirmative action better than the GOP.

Posted by: trace1 | September 30, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

It is clear that Sarah Palin is a fine woman, wife and mother. Alaska also feels she is a great governor. But the prospect of her possibly having to assume the responsibilities of the Presidency in a few months if the worst scenario were to play out is absolutely terrifying. She is governor of a state with the same number of electoral votes as Washington D.C., or Delaware for that matter. Her flippant manner does not cover her inability to be articulate on topics that really matter to this country right now. Her babbling, incoherent responses to Katie Curic's questions make George Bush look like a Rhodes Scholar. The rest of the world must wonder when we can't nominate or select leaders who are conversant on the very serious issues facing this country and the world today. A nice mom, or a guy you could see yourself having a beer with are great for neighbors or friends, but for President? Just look at the past 8 years for your answer to that one.

Posted by: cb1231 | September 30, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

It's not just that Sarah Palin doesn't know "squat" about international affairs...she doesn't even appear to know "squat" about the lower 48. It is readily apparent that this is not a woman who customarily reads newspapers, let alone books. Why wasn't this obvious to the McCain crowd when they picked her? Couldn't they look ahead and see the all too obvious pitfalls? or did they think they could hide her until McCain won and it was a "done deal?"

Posted by: marrigotti1 | September 30, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Dear Ms. Parker--

It is my understanding that you originally hailed McCain's selection of Palin as his running-mate. Now, after watching her poor performances during televised interviews, you sense that she is "in over her head".

My question to you is why aren't you equally concerned about the fact that Ms. Palin doesn't believe in "evolution" as a sound scientific theory. She believes that dinosaurs and Adam and Eve all happily roamed the earth together 5,000 years ago. She also believes that it was "god's will" to expand Alaskan oil drilling. Is this the person you ever even remotely deemed qualified as our next vice-president? Would you have continued to support her candidacy had she simply performed better for Couric? Folks like Palin and Huckabee are dangerous to the tenets of our democracy; they consistently blur the constitutionally prescribed separation between church and state.

Btw, whereas Palin has only been "allowed to interview with the press 3-4 times, Biden has made himself available over 100 times without committing too many major gaffes. So yeah, I think Joe will kick butt on Thursday and he will be at Obama's side when they relieve Bush/Cheney of their duties on January 20th.

peace

Posted by: antlerson | September 30, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

What's the difference between Clarence Thomas and Palin - lipstick. (and Thomas is at least smart enough to not constantly open his mouth to reveal how ignorant he really is)

Also - is it true that Palin is preparing for the debate by working with Miss Teenage South Carolina?

Posted by: deepjethro | September 30, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Full disclosure, Obama supporter.

Okay, Biden has made some gaffes. His comment about FDR getting on TV after the crash had me shaking my head. But at least I could get an idea of the the point he was trying to make. Palin's answers to, admit it, soft-ball questions were absolutely clueless.

I think McCain is stuck with her. He can't afford to anger the base he pandered to in picking her, and independents will feel pandered to if he picks someone else.

He can't win on issues this year, so he has to try and make this election about character and temperament. His pick of Palin, and his odd campaign "suspension," have not helped him make his case. (Also, I wonder if he was pres, would he have sent troops to Georgia? His remarks at the time made me wonder. Another hot-headed move.)

My secret fear is that what will make Obama lose is that too many people will be afraid to put an African American in the White House. Anything that makes Obama/Biden look the safer choice, have surer hands on the rudder so to speak, will help overcome that.

Posted by: pdech | September 30, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Thank you. I was beginning to think that all conservatives had lost their minds. "The Palin Problem" has gone far beyond being a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with various views. This is now a matter of a VP candidate being completely unprepared in every fashion for the job. I admittedly do not agree with Mitt Romney's views, however, I would not lose sleep at night knowing he was inches from the oval office. I cannot say the same for Sarah Palin.

Posted by: seagoff | September 30, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Forgetthis:

Reagan was governor of the nation's largest (population) state for 8 years. Clinton had 12 years' experience as governor of a middle-sized state and was universally recognized by his fellow governors as intelligent, innovative, and dynamic.

Palin has 18 months as governor of a state with a population the size of Austin, Texas. She believes that dinosaurs and man coexisted on this planet less than 6,000 years ago. It took her FIVE colleges to get a simple degree in journalism. She is, like George Bush, intellectually uncurious (early reports from anonymous sources on her debate prep team were actually bragging that she "asked few questions" and "preferred one-page memos to lengthy position papers"). We've seen that act already, and look at the mess it's gotten us in.

Comparing Palin to Reagan and Clinton is quite like comparing chickens**t to chicken salad.

Posted by: pcpatterson | September 30, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Please. She is neither a rising star or a political talent. She happened along at the right time in Alaska, but she was fading even as McCain tagged her. As Bill Parcells says about football teams, you are what your record says you are. Palin is what her exposure says she is, certainly not a rocket scientist and possibly the worst person ever elevated to such a position since Dubya. You wouldn't want Palin working the drive-up window at McDonalds when you are coming through. This debate will not change a thing about her. It will be the prom queen on display and it may play to her minions in the trailer parks with their pregnant teens and rebel flags, but not to anyone with critical thinking skills. I would have voted for McCain until he gave in to the evangelicals and sold his soul to Palin.

Posted by: JudgeRoyBean | September 30, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

First off, I'm liberal and not one of your normal admirers, but it took a lot of guts for you to speak up and THAT is the American spirit. So now I am a fan.

Many people seem to miss your point that Palin should voluntarily step down. You are not asking McCain to sack her. If she steps down voluntarily then McCain can have what he's wanted all along: Lieberman. And it will be too late for the Right to do anything about it. They can't vote for a Dem. They'll be forced to vote for McCain and Lieberman.

Lastly, Clinton is a Rhodes Scholar. He's on a higher intellectual plane than most of us. Don't compare Palin with Bill. She is a standard issue blue collar small town American kid. No interest in the big world, no curiousity about things she doesn't already know. Happy to get what she wants with her cute kitty impressions.

Posted by: martiniano | September 30, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

we've had worse veeps than Sarah Palin. She seems like an adept politician, and despite all the extra-crunchy maverick talk she does, she is going to fit right into Washington as a viscious ADD-addled fixer and leech like most of our elected officials. She is a lock for the next elected US Senator from Alaska

If she stays or goes, the race has already been mulched by Old John. The only real question with regard to Mrs. Palin right now is: Where in the world is Trigg?

Posted by: roboturkey | September 30, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Anybody watch the mccain "take your daughter to work" interview with Katie Couric last night? How bad is he going to get. Almost makes me feel bad for palin. Almost. She got asked a question at a steak shop in Philly about Pakistan and she trumpeted Obama's plan to attack terrorists there, athe oppostie of mccain's preaching. Then he has the guts to say that she shouldn't be answering voters' questions. So voters don't count to mccain now? Sorry, I've have lost all respect for the man I once thought would not be a bad choice for president. He has totally changed. Maybe, however, he has been like this all along and the media fawned on him for years and built his straight talk image while hiding his real self. Either way, he is a joke anymore.

Posted by: mikel7 | September 30, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

"Why are people saying that they are afraid of Palin being VP? No one was afraid when Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan took office. They were both governors and neither of them had knowledge of foreign policy except for what they read about." from forgetthis

The difference between Governor Palin and Bill Clinton is that although he was the governor or a small state, at least he had some foreign experience. In fact, Republicans used the fact that while Americans were beign killed in Vietnam, he was in London studying, protesting, and avoiding the draft.

Ronald Reagan was also a governor, but California by itself can be a G-8 member due to the size of the economy. California's population is actually larger than that of most Western European country, granted prior to that, Reagan was an actor, but the only thing Alaska and California have in common is thei fact that they're the largest and second largest states respectively by territorial size.

Now I do not wish to belittle Sarah Palin's lack of experience. Abraham Lincoln could be considered just as much of a country bumpkin as Ms. Palin. After all he was a country lawyer who served one term in Congress and a couple of terms in Springfield. However, when Lincoln arrived in Washington just as the country faced the Civil War, the first he did was to go to the Library of Congress and checked out every book on strategic thinking and tactics and studied.

I just do not see a President Palin (assuming God-forbid something happens to Senator McCain) doing something similar when, say, Russia decides to pull another surprise and make good on its irredentist claims on the Crimea. Furthermore, for John McCain actually going to Katie Couric and actually defending Governor Palin was foolish. It reinforces the worst kind of sexism. That of a woman who is unable to stand on her own and needs a man to defend and validate her.

Senator McCain may have chosen Governor Palin, because she is popular, a maverick, and reinforces the conservative base. The fact that she got a pass because the media actually started asking questions and the Republican Party was able to use the old chestnut about the liberal media attacking a "real American". But McCain made his bed in choosing Governor Palin with all her strengths and weaknesses, now he has to sleep in it.

Posted by: Kruhn1 | September 30, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

What I find interesting is how they changed the format to the VP debate to compensate for Palin's weakness. In all seriousness, when Palin was talking to Couric about her comment about Biden's age, she just didn't sound all there. Still the same choppy, searching for words cadence that becomes even more profuse when she's truely stymied and bleeding incoherent streams of syllables. I'm sorry folks but this chick got to where she is by leveraging something other than academic muscle. She just doesn't sound like she know's what she's talking about even when it's nothing technical. Her 2006 gubernatorial debate was very convincing to me. She sounded like she knew what she was talking about but her answers had little substance, the questions were real easy and the young guy sitting to her right had a much stronger grasp of the material. Question: "Would you allow an abortion even in the case of rape or incest?" Palin: "I would choose life" (repeated three times). Even my son who's two and half can speak clearly in near complete sentences when he's coached and encouraged enough.

Posted by: ehperkins1971 | September 30, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

the President needs a wingman, not a wingnut.

Posted by: can8tiv | September 30, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't think McCain will drop Palin, I don't think he wants to. On the joint interview he and Palin had with Couric he seemed to be enjoying the buzz Palin gave him, gives his audiences, gives his campaign.

He seems besotted by the mutual adulation.

He seems blind to anything beyond that - the affect on his presidential prospects, the affect on his presidency should he get that far.

And if he does get that far, it is not just Palin that is scary. It is all the other potential Palintypes he may recruit.

Posted by: pdgnz | September 30, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

An interesting insight - What it's like to debate Sarah Palin
I know firsthand: She's a master of the nonanswer.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1001/p09s01-coop.html

Posted by: pdgnz | September 30, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

As far as the debate last night went, Obama came out looking more intelligent, calm and prepared to take office than McCain. McCain acted like a bitter old man, not very sure of himself, relying on his POW schtick (which is growing old), and waving the American flag. He constantly accused Obama of "not getting it" all the while appearing that not only doesn't he get it but he doesn't understand it or have a plan to fix it. He talked down to Obama and never once would look him in the eye. McCain is constantly trying to make Obama look weak and accusing him of not being willing to take action against an agressor because Obama would rather try diplomacy first. Obama did make a very forceful statement that if he had Bin Laden or the Al Quada in sight, and could not get help from Pakistan or whoever, he would not hesitate to "take him out". I don't think McCain saw that one coming.

The bottom line is that Barack Obama came away looking very "Presidential". He is a total package for what this country needs. We do not need an embittered old man, who is not willing to discuss anything rationally but would rather point the finger at anyone who disagrees with him. He also does not appear to have any kind of a viable plan for our country. (If he does, he sure is keeping it a secret!) Sarah Palin is in a tail spin! The woman can't think her way out of a paper bag. If you saw any of the Katie Couric it is becoming more evident of her lack of intelligence and judgment and moreover John McCain's selection of her as a running mate. After all, if you believe just because you are close to Russia you in turn know about foreign

Posted by: christine33 | September 30, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. Parker,

You're going to lose your Magic Neoconservative and Theoconservative Decoder Ring for attacking Stubborn Mules for Sister Sarah.

The Citadel is about to give you the Pat Conroy Treatment.

And the Bob Jones U. Alumni Stormtroopers have probably already targeted members of your family.

You'll be a former Palmetto state resident by the end of October.

Posted by: MarkinJC | September 30, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't anyone afraid of Palin being a "heartbeat away from the presidency"? Not only is she totally unqualified from being vice-president, but she is totally unqualified from stepping in if the need arises. She has a totally distorted and far out religious view (excuse me, the witch hunter pastor who she claims was instrumental in her being elected as governor). Do the names David Koresh and Jim Jones ring any bells for anyone? What kind of hidden agenda does this woman have? She makes Joe Biden look like Father Flanagan or the pope.

Posted by: christine33 | September 30, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin was reckless. It also showed an utter disrespect for the office of the President of the United States. This was his first major appointment of his possible future administration. While Sarah Palin is in no way qualified to be President, I don’t know why more people are not questioning whether McCain is qualified given this situation. He obviously doesn’t get it. He bowed down to the ultra right wing of his party and has now embarrassed himself and damaged his own legacy. Perhaps both he and Palin should both drop out of the race and the Republican Party should start from scratch.

Posted by: milehighreader | September 30, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm torn. On one hand, I want McCain to lose, and I think having a fool like Palin might help make that happen. On the other hand, in the off chance he wins, I REALLY don't want her anywhere near the line of succession.

Posted by: fake1 | October 1, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

There is nothing wrong with 'Our Sarah'. Once she gets a brain and a little bit of knowledge she'll be OK. UNtil then we should panic.

As for Ms Parker I suggest that she is very perceptive when she says: 'I realize, of course, that Palin quitting the campaign at this point is unlikely.'

Posted by: robertjames1 | October 1, 2008 4:12 AM | Report abuse

"were branded terrorist sympathizers.."

Not my comment. I just said that "can't never could."

Now how will you find a way to lose another election?

Posted by: gary4books | October 1, 2008 6:19 AM | Report abuse

As an Old European, I have followed with interest how US is tearing itself apart. Given the calamities created by its elected officials during recent years, I must say that this development is not altogether unwelcome. If the damage created by the incompetence of US' elected leaders were limited to US alone, one would not really mind. But, the damage keeps spilling over, as in Iraq and now in the economy. The decline in US political and economic power is therefore welcome, as less power hopefully translates into smaller negative spillovers. One is looking forward to the Chinese Century.

But that is not the main issue. What is really interesting is how US came to find itself in such a sorry state. I propose three reasons.

First, the ability of US politicians to re-draw the boundaries of their voting districts, combined with the tendency of like-minded people to agglomerate, feeds partisanship over compromise. This creates centrifugal forces that feed extreme opinions.

Second, the fragmentation of media, a trend accelerated by the Internet, enables people to insulate themselves from reality and live in self-imposed information bubbles. In short, you are exposed only to information that feeds your own prejudices. The result: reason declines and beliefs, opinions, and superstition reign supreme.

Third, the rejection of reason, rationality, and empiricism as the defining basis of individual world-views, and the replacement of this with rigid religious fundamentalism.

These tendencies would provide a very interesting object of study for sociologists.

Posted by: quoderatdemonstratum | October 1, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

I believe that Kathleen Parker hated Sarah Palin all along. Why? Palin is one of us. Parker is of the beltway. I have no doubt that Parker will be the toast of Georgetown and Connecticut Avenue cocktail parties for stabbing her fellow conservatives in the back. Like David Brooks, she'll be the conservative that liberals love. I hope she enjoys her thirty pieces of silver,

Posted by: pas2 | October 1, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

In terms of knowledge, there is a theory referred to as the expanding sphere of knowledge. Think of the knowledge you currently possess as a ball. The next slice of knowledge you will easily assimilate is that knowledge just outside the ball, touching what you already know.

There is an infinite amount to know, to learn and to discover far beyond that which is adjacent to your present sphere. You may gradually build your knowledge base outward into, for you, uncharted territory.

It is difficult to draw in knowledge very far from the boundaries of what you presently know. And if you talk about what you have attempted to assimilate, ideas which are too far out, you come across as a student trying to parrot the ideas of a scholar from one of the best think tanks.

I read recently that she mentioned only the writings of C.S. Lewis when asked about her favorite books. I have read most of his writings. She called them very deep. Not really. I reread them for a bit of bedtime light reading when the cares of the world weigh heavily and I feel the need of a spiritual uplift. If C. S. Lewis is deep for her, then her sphere of knowledge does not extend very far out. No wonder she sounds the way she does.

Posted by: LeeTaylorEMT | October 1, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

When McCain chose Palin, my first thought was that the selection was shockingly irresponsible. Even though I'm a democrat, I thought, he owes me and the country more than that as a major party nominee. I now see that I was too gentle. Choosing Palin as so cavalier, so careless, as to rise to the level of unpatriotic. It was an act of astonishing vanity. It's a sad fact of life that people who have done great things sometimes loose themselves in the afterglow.

Posted by: madhoboken | October 1, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I don't think McCain will ditch his Charlie McCarthy sidekick. He's convinced of his own immortality and doesn't think she'll ever get near the chair in the oval office, so he thinks his cynical gambit will work.

And as for the brilliant person who commented "Why are people saying that they are afraid of Palin being VP? No one was afraid when Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan took office. They were both governors and neither of them had knowledge of foreign policy except for what they read about. Governors don't get foreign policy exposure," if you don't get it, you'll never get it, but the issue isn't sheer "experience" (whether foreign policy or other). It's the issue of innate intelligence and the ability to respond to questions without stuffing them with every soundbyte in whatever mishmash comes out your mouth. Did you actually watch the Couric interview with that bit about the 700 billion dollars? That is just plain scary. She may have well been SPEAKING IN TONGUES in that Pentacostal church of hers. It was simply gibberish. It had nothing to do with "experience," but with the ability to answer questions honestly without trying to BS your way through on the basis of a salad of jargon you've been fed. She fails, miserably. I pity her for having been put in this position, but the end result is the same. Let her go back and be governor of Alaska, or mayor of one of its cities/towns. She is simply dangerous for our country.

Posted by: Hokuto | October 1, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Poor McSaurus. The caption on his campaign posters should read;'A mind is a terrible thing to lose!'. Along with any semblance of integrity, honor, truth or main street American values. Palin is merely a pretty lost puppy in all this and has no idea what a joke she has become to all of mainstream America. This poor example of Republican politics could not even name a single source for her news or information! Holy crap. These two could not even be elected to the resident board of a retirement community so what the hell are they doing even being considered for the White House?

Posted by: HRHolmes | October 1, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Sexism is still the issue. Anything said or done will be judged through this lens. It truly is the litmus test for what we do to question Palin's qualifications. We're damned if we do and ..............
It is high time for us to make a rational choice for President. Rational immediately excludes "She's just like me" from the equation.
Thus the question becomes: How many people make a rational choice?

Posted by: raiffer | October 1, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"We all make mistakes. Only a fool never admits to them."

... or a stubborn combative candidate. I used to think McCain was way better than Bush but the way McCain is sticking by Palin reminds me of Bush's infamous quote "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job".

Posted by: mitchgart | October 1, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"By choosing someone that large swathes of the Republican base could identify with personally -- and see themselves in -- McCain's campaign created a situation where rational criticism of Palin's qualifications would be perceived among the Base as personal attacks on ordinary Repubs themselves. And that's what we see. "She's a mom like me, don't question her. She's a Christian like me, don't make her out to be an idiot."

She has attained Republican political nirvana - she is both wholly unqualified AND untouchable. In a sane society, she wouldn't have been picked in the first place. Well, she has been, but if there were any sanity left, Biden could reduce her to a pile of rubble on Thursday and America would see how unqualified she is. But we live in 'murka, and Biden will have to keep his mouth shut or the backlash from the reverse-sexist right will be deafening.

Unqualified and untouchable -- this is of course the status Bush has sought for 8 years. I think this is what all Repubs want -- the freedom to screw things up royally without ever having to take the blame. Now, with the finance crisis upon us, I can say only, "Vindicate THIS, you [expletive deleted]."

Posted by: jamshark70"

___________________________________________


This right here. Gawd help us if it works as expected - then again, Republicans have given us so many proofs of the Law of Unexpected Consequences in the last 30 years that there's a better than even chance it won't.

Posted by: irae | October 1, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

BIGOTTED AND BIASED - THAT IS GWEN IFILL, THE WRONG MODERATOR FOR THE VP DEBATE. SHE JUST PENNED A LOVING TRIBUTE TO OBAMA, READY FOR DISTRIBUTION ON THE PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION DAY - OBVIOUSLY THE ASSUMPTION IS THAT OBAMA WILL BE THAT PRESIDENT. PLEASE PEOPLE WAKE UP. THE MEDIA IS DRUNK ON ITS OWN IRRESPONSIBLE GLOATING... NO FAIRNESS OR SOUNDNESS IN THE LIBERAL, LOPSIDED REPORTING. SHAME ON GWEN IFILL AND SHAME ON THE DEBATE BOARD.
SICK OF THE OBAMA/MESSIAH SELL.

Posted by: DemocratForPeace | October 1, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

We all make mistakes. Only a fool never admits to them.

Hey, that reminds me of someone - what's that incumbent president's name again?
You know, the one all the Republicans were perfectly happy with until they began to fear he was going to hurt their campaign chances...

Posted by: jjolly1 | October 1, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh please. This is more of what Lou Dobbs CNN calls the insanity of the liberal media piling on Palin.

Most of the criticisms of Palin have been
* unsubstantiated smears by Angry left bloggers
* Democrat opponent attacks on her handling of Troopgate
* liberal media reviews of her supposed lack of foreign policy credentials or interview gaffs somehow disqualifiying her. Biden is disqualified on both counts.

Liberals find it difficult to acknowledge that she is an effective and popular governor, and a gifted speaker and campaigner. Even Obama can't draw crowds as big as her these days.

Contrast Palins inexperience with foreign policy with Obamas (none) - accept for his breaking the Golden rule and asking Iraqi leaders recently to delay any withdrawal deal until after the election. Obamas proposal would actually have EXTENDED the presence of American troops in Iraq. Gosh golly gee !

Contrast Palins inexperience with the Democrats finest foreign policy wonk: Joe Biden.

Biden supported the Iraq war, supported partition, supported withdrawal and defeat, and opposed the surge !! Four out of four and ALL WRONG ! And you think Palin is a heartbeat-away risk ? : )

Palin has run a State and a small town. She has red-lined budgets, fired people, cut programs etc. She has cut Alaska's budget by 10%, cut the Governors expenses by 80%, actually fires people - mostly political appointees for inaction - and is a role model of a working class mother who actually knows when life begins as opposed to "above my paygrade" Obama. Too bad, Obama failed biology 101.

Contrast her executive experience with Obama, who ran the Chicago Annaburg Challenge for six years 1995-2001, yet his experience is notably MISSING from his two biographies. Why the lost years ? Accomplishments ? channeling funds to left-wing radical teaching groups and ACORN homes-for-poor-credit-risks ? A fightening account of Obamas non-leadership at the White House bailout meeting last week has leaked... that it ended in acrimony and shouting.. apparently left lawmakers and the President shaken. McCain sat quietly in the room shaking his head.

There are reasons Americas enemies like Obama and Biden.. and it has nothing to due with Sarah Palin.

Posted by: pvilso24 | October 1, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

While ditching Sarah would lose McCain points from the Christian Right, I suspect that that particular demographic will play a much smaller role in this election.
Over the past eight years, people have noticed that Idealogical Reliability is no substitute for actual expertise, experience and judgment.

Posted by: jjolly1 | October 1, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: hclark1 | October 1, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I've heard it said that one who tells the truth is chased from 9 villages. Oops! All I can say is that much like Idaho's late Helen Chenoweth, Sarah Palin appears to be a Fundamentalist tinfoiler. Her church and involvement with the Alaskan Independence Party bear that out. Dropping her is simply out of the question. The Evangelical base of the GOP would revolt. An old song by Don Gibson, "It Has To Be" sums it up best. "It can't be helped. No use to try. I wouldn't be. Satisfied. If you were gone and I was not by your side...it's sad but true. It's only you. It has to be."

Posted by: Puller58 | October 1, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Palin is not running for President .. it seems that everyone forgets this little detail. She is intelligent, a fast thinker, and just the right person to be trained in office to assume the top in four years. Sarah Palin is as least as experienced as Sen. Obama, so let's be scared of him first. Palin is a great reason to vote for McCain ... because governing experience is a necessary asset to any ticket.

Posted by: HaveItYourWay | October 1, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Dropping Palin from the ticket would be paramount to political suicide for McCain. The religious right, which has thrown its support behind McCain ONLY because of Palin's pick, would desert him in droves. It has been the support from the religious right that has made McCain competitive in several states. Subsequent to dropping Palin from the ticket, money and other important resources will stop flowing to the McCain campaign. Now more than ever, McCain NEEDS contributions as he prepares for the final push. He also needs as much moral support from the GOP's political machine. There isn't enough time left for a new VP pick to gel and heal any divisions and turmoil that would result from Palin's departure. The religious right will never forgive McCain.

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | October 1, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Governor Palin may prove to be a good debater, but she seems as uncurious about the world and for someone who is a heartbeat away from the Presidency is dangerous. I said it before, lack of experience is not as dangerous as lack of intellectual curiosity.

I remember reading an opinion piece about James Buchanan, hands-down the worst US President ever and how much experience he had prior to being elected President (Congressman, Senator, US Minister to Russia and Britain, and Secretary of State). In contrast to Buchanan we have Lincoln, a country lawyer who served one term in Congress and a few times as a state legislator, who is thought as probably the best President of the United States.

As I said before, it is not the experience it is the lack of intellectual curiosity. On of the first things Lincoln did upon arriving to Washington was to get a hold of every book available in the Library of Congress on military theory, strategy and tactics. Should Governor Palin be required to take over the Presidency because Mr. McCain dies or is incapacitated and she faces a major crisis, would she have the same intellectual curiosity? I am not sure.

Ms. Palin may be a great governor of Alaska. She definitely is a good enough politician to have actually won in Alaska during an election where the Democrats were favorted to win because of the scandals surrounding Governor Murkowski and the '06 mid-term election meltdown of the Republican Party. However, I am not sure she is ready to take over the reins of the US Executive Branch should she be required to do so.

Posted by: Kruhn1 | October 1, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Greeting from those of us who have endured being called traitors and worse by the Republican hate machine for a decade. Welcome to the receiving end of things, Ms. Parker.

Posted by: JCharles1 | October 1, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

It scares me when people say "Palin is one of us" as a justification to vote for her. Does that mean that you want someone no better than yourself to lead this country? People who say "she can learn"- she isn't a 22 year old aide to someone- this is the VP- the VP should be someone who could be the President the day after election. If you think she is ready- it just shows how much you are like her-simplistic, poorly educated and ready to continue the decline of the US. 8 years of dumb is enough.

Posted by: AndrearKline | October 1, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

"plucked too soon"?

Nope. She will NEVER be ready. She is 44. I was much more interested in the world and read the NYT and WSJ daily when I was in college. She just isn't a WORDLY person. She is the perfect example of a street-smart white trash.

I'm just surprised that it took YOU so long to realize.

As for McCain swapping her for Mitt. C'mon. Do you really think the country is going to BEND OVER again to another Republican scum, who ties his dog to the roof of a car drives for hours in a rainstorm?

Get real!

Posted by: dogsbestfriend | October 1, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is the perfect chice. The congress and senate are full of dishonest democrat who sold out to fannie maye lobbist and Franklin Raines. Right now the democrats are the fox in the hen house. We need sarah to clean out the the corruption. She in not the old boy network. Biden Dodd Kennedy reid are a bunch of thieves who have been sucking the life out of the tax papers.

Posted by: DrRevere | October 1, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Obama has less experience then Sarah Palin. The real reason the elite left wing and media dislikes her, because she is a real self-made woman who did not go to the east coast Ivy League schools. Real America loves. The elite left dislikes and condemns
Any one who does not share their bigoted view of this world. That is why the mainstream media is losing money, laying off staff and dieing daily. Sarah Palin does not need to speak to the elite media. She can speak directly to main stream America.

Posted by: DrRevere | October 1, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

So, Ms. Parker, you are getting a taste of what the rest of us have been subjected to when we say your party is wrong on ANYTHING. Now your party is eating its own.
When the GOP loses all trappings of power next month and goes to the wilderness to cleanse itself, tell us how it goes.

Posted by: jnik | October 1, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

As has already been stated, it is probably to late for a meaningful change. McCain judgement has already been called into question and ANY change would be seen as a transparent attempt to change the way the wind is blowing. As a person who voted for George Bush in the last election, I fear McCain is just an extension of failed policies that have severly damage the United State in many areas. His pick of Palin was a ploy to win women voters. The women voters see that and are not likely to fall for it. She has turned out to be a disaster. McCain would have been much better off choosing Tim Pawlenty. As a Minnesotan I know that he is articulat, informed, right wing, and capable. Sarah Palin is none of these things. If he loses any credibility he has with his own party will be gone. Too bad.

Posted by: justmeinmpls | October 2, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Goodness, your new column only shows how much you really do not understand the issues you choose to write on -- and yet you have the gall to criticize Gov. Palin for her perceived ignorance. Just take the idea that you advance: that it would be possible easily to change vice presidential candidates now, after the voting has already begun. That is simply non-sensical. Is Sen. McCain to forfeit all the votes already cast for him and Gov. Palin in a close swing state like Ohio? and in the other states where votes have already been cast? there can be no question that those votes can somehow be -re-cast'. The switcheroo that you are suggesting runs up directly against the holding of the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore: that it is a violation of due process to change the rules in the middle of the election. There is simply no legal way that McCain can change Vice Presidents, now that the voting has begun, and still win.

And you have the nerve to call Gov. Palin ill-informed.

Posted by: dajh | October 2, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The Mainstream Media just never realizes, no matter how many times Gov. Palin may tell them, that neither she nor most Americans care about your good opinion. And being allegedly conservative does not make you any less blind than all the rest of the MSM, as you have so comprehensively demonstrated these past few weeks.

Posted by: dajh | October 2, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Parker, good for you for taking a stand and not backing down on what you believe! I also commend you for opening your ears and listening to Palin and realizing that she just does not know about the problems or issues that are facing Americans.

I was horrified at her comment that she didnt get a passport because she wasnt "part of the culture" where mommy and daddy send you to europe after graduate.

I lived abroad for over two years, going for undergrad and then an MBA and my parents did not pay for it. I wanted to enrich my life in this way. Many students study abroad now, my generation is by far the most internationally traveled group at this age than any in history and many students take out loans to do this. She HAS NO IDEA what people in this country are doing. She does not represent us!

And she does not have more experience than Obama. You are going to compare the Illinois state Senate and United States Senator to city council and mayor of Wassila? Are you crazy? Wake up! Open your eyes and ears people!

Posted by: nubs203 | October 2, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I must say that what is happening to Palin is evil. I am not sure how to look at it any other way: McCain put himself first (not country, not Palin, not her family) by putting her into the terrible predicament of having to pretend like she's capable in front of a nation that is already angry and frustrated from years of political deceit. She's taking more heat than he is for a stupid, selfish decision that he made under the misguided belief that women are so stupid that they'd vote for him just to vote in a woman (sans Hillary as a candidate). We have to stop the hateful politics though, and it starts with laying off of Sarah Palin and communicating dissatisfaction directly to McCain. Attacking her doesn't really help anyone and just represents more of the same mean-spirited, personal denigration that divides us as a people.

Posted by: ScotDavids | October 2, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

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